What would you spend your millions on if you won the lottery?
Buying a football club seems like a romantic but financially unwise use of your riches, but that’s what Partick Thistle fan Colin Weir has done, completing his takeover of the club this week with a view to handing over his shareholding to a fan group by March next year.
The idea is to mimic the model at Motherwell, where the club has been run by The Well Society, a similar membership-based fan group, since 2016.
But how will it actually work? And will it be a success? Thistle fan Matt Greer joined the Totally Scottish Football Show this week to explain.
“An interim board has been put together while the takeover goes through,” said Matt. “He [Weir] is one of the six members of that board, then he’ll gift the 55% of shares to a fan group. After that, he doesn’t really get anything out of it.
“For a club our size it should work. Motherwell have got a very successful model there and it’s not like they’re going to drag random fans in off the street. They’ll get fans in with relevant experience, people know what they’re doing in running a business and the football operation side too. You’re not going to just get fans picking the team or running the finances.
“There have been rumours of a takeover from the consortium who own Barnsley, but there was a bit of unrest there, sacking their manager after promotion etc, so I think the fans are quite relieved that hasn’t gone through.
“Personally I can’t see any bad parts, but the concern might be how far you can take a club when it’s fan-owned. Is there a ceiling? But you look at Motherwell and the teams they’re above in the league – they’re above Hearts, Hibs and they’re challenging Aberdeen for third.
“They’ve got a few more fans than us and have sold a few players so their finances are well under control, but you’ve got to look at a club like that and wonder “Why can’t we do that?”
“If we get a more successful team on the pitch, we should get more fans through the gate, scouts in to watch players. The word is they’re going to put money into the youth academy, so hopefully we’ll get more money in from players that we develop as well.”
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