Once again we are on the road this Saturday, 3rd November – making it six away games from our last seven played. Included in this run are four consecutive away league matches. No other club in the region has had such a run of away league and cup matches in the fixture list to date and we doubt very much whether anyone will. Let us state at this point whilst Royal Albert are our lodgers at this time we attach no blame to them whatsoever for this situation as other clubs involved in ground sharing have not been put in this position.
It can be said that two of these away games were Scottish Cup ties at Fochabers and Cumnock and quite frankly if it had not been for the generosity of everyone who travelled on the bus that’s supporters, committee and the playing and coaching staff we would have been well out of pocket even after the guarantee from Fochabers and the half gate at Cumnock. The cost of coach hire is now quite prohibitive these days even after getting what we considered were great deals for both trips.
We attended a meeting at Hampden on the 25th October at the request of the West Region to listen to a representative of HMRC speak to us about our resposibilities as regards PAYE and corporation tax. His opening gambit was to state that while he appreciated that we the clubs were all run by unpaid volunteers, the football clubs themselves were businesses generating income and in some cases paying wages and making profit and therefore were bound by the rules and regulations that applied. However there are two sides to this because as everyone knows the main priority in any business is cash flow and with this horrendous run of away games one of our main income streams i.e. gate receipts and the associated income has been non existent.
We use our website and home game programmes to advertise and sell tickets and look for sponsors for any function we are running. A perfect example is Saturday 3rd November when we are running a race night. With our last home game having been on the 6th of October, it has made it more difficult to sell tickets for this fundraiser.
In the current economic climate when some clubs are struggling and in some cases failing to meet their financial obligations on time, cash flow and a steady stream of disposable income is a must, because no matter how your team is performing clubs who own their grounds still have monthly fixed costs to meet so a regular flow of cash is important. We have seen a significant increase in season ticket sales and personal donations and this, with other ongoing income raising avenues, will help us greatly due to the lack of home games. The club would like to put on record their sincere thanks to everyone who has helped in our fund raising to date.
As a far as fixtures are concerned we would only say that all we ask in the light of what was heard at the HMRC meeting that the generation of income on a regular basis should also be considered when whatever little fixture planning is done that everything is taken into account and not just an effort to get certain fixtures completed no matter the cost to clubs whoever they may be.
The accumulator this month was won by Peter Lang who wins £150. Booby prize of £30 to Hugh Kerr. There are eight slots available at the moment if anyone is interested in helping the club finances. Contact any committee member for details or you can reply here.
Race Night – Remember the race night is on 3rd November, there will be seven sponsored races with the eighth being an auction race. We are still looking for sponsors prizes for some of the races.
Good news on Davie McEwan, the big keeper has shown no after-effects from his heroics on Saturday. Johnny MacKay is also fully fit again. JP Grant misses the Lanark game, he got a two game ban so he finishes his suspension this Saturday.
Tomorrow’s Scottish Cup tie with Cumnock at Townhead Park is definitely on, we have been contacted by Cumnock and there is no problem with the park.
It is likely that unless the Cumnock game is a draw and goes to a replay at Gasworks Park, there will be no game for us next week. The Royal Albert game which was due to go ahead tomorrow at Gasworks Park has already been postponed so it will take priority next Saturday over our scheduled legue game with Port Glasgow.
Although we have not yet played Port Glasgow this season home or away, the game could not be switched to their ground as they are sharing it with Greenock and Greenock are down to play at home next week.
It looks like the only other way there could be a game on is if there is a draw in the Scottish Cup and we played their team who drew’s scheduled opponents.
Thistle have signed a new goalkeeper, Alan Colquohoun. He has previously played with Rutherglen Glencairn, Pollok. Shotts, Cumbernauld Forth and Lanark. We have also signed Ross McNab, a local midfielder / forward from Blackwood who has been training with us for a while. His previous club was Livingstone United. Ross came on late in the game on Saturday and gave a good account of himself for his first time out, albeit in difficult circumstances and also showed up well last night at Thistle’s friendly with Petershill.
Thistle have signed experienced midfielder/ striker Brian Jack from Shotts. Brian has played for Petefshill and our Scottish Cup opponents Cumnock among others and should prove to be a valuable addition to the squad.
We have arranged a friendly match against Petershill for next Monday, 15th October. The game is away at their new all-weather stadium, kick-off time to be arranged. This will be a good chance to give some of the fringe players a run out and possibly give new signing Brian Jack some game time.
Thistle will play Cumnock away in the second round of the Scottish Cup on Saturday 20th October. The supporters bus will leave the club house at 12.15, we have booked a 70 seater h-liner and there are still seats available. Contact Hugh Kerr on 07746875347 or Stevie Johnston on 07523153713 to book your seat.