Partick Thistle call on clubs to put self-interest to one side and 'do the right thing' on reconstruction

Jags urge teams to do something positive for the game
Partick Thistle chairman Jacqui Low.Partick Thistle chairman Jacqui Low.
Partick Thistle chairman Jacqui Low.

Partick Thistle have issued an emotional plea to clubs to set aside self-interest and ego and vote for league reconstruction.

Plans for permanent top-flight expansion are a last chance to change the structure before next season.

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Clubs have been asked to provide their opinions on a permanent 14-10-10-10 model after previous reconstruction attempts failed to garner enough support.

Partick Thistle were relegated despite being just two points behind Queen of the South with a game in hand.Partick Thistle were relegated despite being just two points behind Queen of the South with a game in hand.
Partick Thistle were relegated despite being just two points behind Queen of the South with a game in hand.

They have been asked to respond to the idea by 10am on Monday and also on whether they would agree to shortening the notice period for a general meeting to seven days.

Jacqui Low, the Thistle chairman, believes the damage done to her club and others would be “long term and serious” if this last chance of reconstruction falls through.

“Let’s be blunt in our plea to fellow clubs so that there’s no misunderstanding," Low said. “Use this opportunity to do something positive for our game - right the wrongs done to us and a number of other clubs. We all want to protect our own club; Thistle is no different.

“But there’s a difference between that and self-interest, which seeks to protect a perceived advantage created by an unforeseen crisis.

“Don’t use your vote to settle old scores. Don’t reinforce rivalries between clubs just to keep fans happy. Don’t turn a blind eye because it doesn’t impact on you - this time.”

Thistle were relegated from the Championship to League One in April when clubs voted to end the season early due to the coronavirus crisis.

Partick were two points behind Queen of the South at the time, but with a game in hand over the Dumfries club.

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Hearts and Stranraer were also relegated from their respective divisions, despite there being eight rounds of fixtures remaining.

In a statement issued on Saturday, Low appealed to rival clubs to look beyond their own interests.

“Recognise there will be far-reaching consequences of your actions for Thistle and everyone associated with the club,” she said. “If that doesn’t matter to you, then focus on doing the right thing for Scottish football. If this vote collapses because people cannot set aside self-interest and ego, our game potentially faces irreparable damage and ongoing division for many years to come.

“We have kept our counsel during current discussions and debate about reconstruction. It may prove to be the ultimate exercise in futility but this may be our last opportunity to speak out.

“If there is no change to the current set up, Partick Thistle will be the Scottish club hardest hit in professional football as the new season starts.

“Despite being relegated in an arbitrary fashion - with a game in hand and only two points behind our nearest rivals - we stand ready, willing and able to play, including behind closed doors. But today, we still don’t know when or even if we will play football next season.

“Does anyone in Scottish football believe we deserve to be punished with a double whammy like this? Which club would find it acceptable if they were in our shoes? Not one of them.

“Clubs need to think carefully about what their indicative vote to the SPFL will be on Monday and what will inform that decision. Everyone needs to reflect on their motives and thoughts behind their next step.”

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Low went on to urge Scottish football to follow the example set by other countries who have sought to protect their clubs during the crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“At a time unparalleled in footballing history, countries throughout Europe have re-jigged their league set ups to protect the whole - we have the opportunity to do the same.

“For Thistle, if proposed reconstruction fails, the consequences of the actions visited on us by fellow clubs will be long term and serious. We will prevail because “that which does not kill us makes us stronger” but not before we suffer more pain and financial harm than is necessary or fair.

“We believe it is time for clubs to show solidarity with us as we arbitrarily and disproportionately bear the brunt of the damage being done to our game due to circumstances that are no-one’s fault.

“Our plea is simple: choose to do no harm.”

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