June has been a helluva month for Partick Thistle supporters. Just as most football fans are putting the sport to the back of their minds as the close season gets underway, those of a red-and-yellow persuasion have been through more highs and lows in the past two weeks than many others experience over the course of a full campaign.

It began with an exhilarating 2-0 play-off final first-leg win over Ross County at Firhill that left Kris Doolan’s men with one foot in the Premiership, followed a few days later by a crushing collapse in Dingwall where the Jags shipped three goals in 20 second-half minutes before ultimately losing out on penalties to the Staggies.

More bad news arrived last week as first the club board and then fans' group The Jags Foundation (TJF) released statements informing supporters of the dire financial state the Championship club found itself in. Losses for the 2022/23 season were estimated to be in the ballpark of £280,000 – a sizable sum for a team competing in Scotland’s second tier.

How did this happen?

Both the club board – who assumed power in December after their predecessors resigned en masse in the face of growing pressure from supporters – and TJF are laying the blame for the debacle at the previous board’s door. Their successors argue that they inherited a financial mess and that the club hasn’t been running on a break-even basis. Jacqui Low, the previous chairman, has been approached for comment but declined.

Investment was promised that never materialised; errors in the club’s balance sheet; a reckless gamble on promotion: these were the reasons provided for Thistle’s fiscal woes. The previous board admitted in the past that they had budgeted for a second-place finish at the minimum – quite why expectations were so high in a notoriously unpredictable and unforgiving league is yet to be explained.

How serious is it?

It’s not great. TJF’s candid statement laid bare the extent of Thistle’s financial worries, pointing out that if it weren’t for the Jags’ trip to Ibrox in the Scottish Cup – a tie that banked between £250,000 and £300,000 – the club would have been unable to pay its wages in February. Even with that unexpected cash injection, Thistle was only just able to meet its salary commitments for May.

READ MORE: The Jags Foundation ready to bring Partick Thistle back from the brink

Getting drawn away to Rangers was a stroke of fortune and without it, the Jags would have hemorrhaged over half a million over the course of one season – gargantuan losses at their level.

How have the losses built up?

The gamble on finishing second appears to be the primary cause. Squad players were recruited on relatively big wages last summer as the board looked to assemble a team that previous manager Ian McCall could challenge for the title with. When it became clear that wasn’t going to happen with McCall at the helm with the Jags’ promotion bid flagging in February, the 58-year-old was relieved of his duties.

In came Doolan and although the team’s form improved, Thistle eventually secured a fourth-place finish, missing out on second on the final day of the regular season thanks to a 2-2 draw away to Raith Rovers. A winning goal would have lifted the Jags into second and banked an additional £170,000, but it wasn’t to be.

Surely they made some money in the play-offs, though?

They did, but it’s not an especially consequential amount. Playing an additional six games, all of which were televised, did boost club coffers to an extent but much of the extra cash is ring-fenced for parachute payments for teams relegated from the Premiership.

Is there a danger of administration?

Absolutely not – at least in the short term. TJF have already donated £50,000 to the club to ease some of the pressure, and have pledged a further £10,000 a month for the next year. There’s just one problem – the organisation doesn’t currently generate that much revenue.

In their statements last week, both the club and TJF urged supporters to join the fans’ group and up their monthly donations where they could, as well as buying their season tickets when they went on sale on Friday – and the response has been impressive, to say the least.

READ MORE: Partick Thistle's sad plight shows fan ownership is the way ahead for Scottish game

TJF has seen its membership shoot up, one-off donations have been received and existing members have upped their monthly payments. Additionally, over 1000 season tickets have been shifted in less than a week.

Thistle are not out of the woods just yet but fans have answered this call to arms in resounding fashion. All of a sudden, the mood music at Firhill is a lot less gloomy.

Surely there will be cutbacks, though?

Quite possibly. High earners such as Danny Mullen and Darren Brownlie have been released after their contracts expired earlier this month, while Scott Tiffoney sealed a free transfer to Dundee last week.

The likes of Kyle Turner, Kevin Holt and Ross Docherty – all out of contract – are sure to be on the radar of a few top-flight clubs and remain in discussions with the club over extending their deals. Others, such as Aidan Fitzpatrick, Harry Milne and Jack McMillan, are under contact at Firhill until next summer but are likely to be attracting interest, too.

Is it Save The Jags all over again?

Not exactly. Thistle’s flirting with financial oblivion in the 90s almost cost the club its very existence but things don’t appear to be quite as bad this time around. TJF’s £50,000 donation has helped to ease any immediate cash-flow concerns and the club board has announced that ongoing discussions to secure more income from interested investors have been positive.

Hang on a minute – weren’t Thistle funded by a Euromillions winner?

Not really. Colin Weir did donate some of his winnings to the club a few years back but this was used to wipe out existing debt and to fund the team’s youth academy. He then bought a controlling stake in the club and donated the shareholding to supporters, but he wasn’t privately financing the day-to-day operations.

Hasn’t there been an ownership saga at Thistle? Is it a fan-owned club now?

The move to fan ownership has been protracted, to say the least. TJF was set up a few years back to eventually receive Weir’s stake but negotiations fell apart last year when Three Black Cats, Weir’s company that held the shares, opted to give them to the PTFC Trust instead.

READ MORE: Save The Jags: Partick Thistle fans called to action due to 'eye-watering losses'

The Trust, comprised of five individuals who were not democratically elected, became the majority shareholders in September but were accused of championing a hands-off fan ownership model without consulting their fellow fans.

When the club board were replaced in December, the Trust changed tack and announced a collaborative approach with TJF that will allow the fans’ group (comprised of over 1200 members, making it the biggest supporters’ organisation in the club’s history) a meaningful say in how the club is run.

That process is still ongoing but it has not hit any snags in the road, and TJF remain confident that the move to fully-fledged fan ownership is on track.