WHEN you’re a Partick Thistle supporter, it isn’t exactly difficult to have your expectations of the club met. If the Jags are in the top flight then simply fending off relegation should be the primary concern most of the time. If they’re in the Championship, then all that most fans ask is that Thistle have a go at gaining promotion. If we manage it, great. If not, that’s fine. At least we tried.

I can only speak for myself here, but this season I’d be fairly content with a top-half finish. The last two seasons have made for painful viewing. Firstly, watching the team slide out of the Premiership just a year after securing a top-six finish for the first time since 1980. Then, the disastrous campaign last year, where a second successive relegation was only avoided on the final day of the season.

And yet, I can’t help but shake the feeling that things are about to get worse. The amount of bad news that Jags fans have received in the last week or so has been truly staggering. For those that haven’t been keeping up with all the latest developments, here’s a quick reminder.

HeraldScotland:

READ MORE: Transfer budget pulled at Partick Thistle as insider brands club 'a shambles'

A club insider spoke to my colleague Graeme McGarry recently and lifted the lid on the litany of issues plaguing the club. Gary Caldwell still had £200,000 left in his agreed transfer budget, and now won’t get a single penny of that cash, they say. Transfer targets that have been identified by the management team have been ignored. Instead, we’ll be getting fringe players on loan from Barnsley (more on that later). Promotion is not a priority for the new board, according to this source.

Plans for a new training ground, the first in the club’s history, have been put on hold after issues gaining planning permission. Colin Weir, the Euromillions-winning benefactor who has provided over £8 million to wipe out the club’s debt, fund the new training ground and finance Thistle’s youth academy, will provide no more financial support after becoming disillusioned with the new board. Oh, and we don’t even have a team bus anymore.

Graeme’s source branded Thistle as a ‘shambles’ and on this evidence, that appears to be putting it lightly. Just about everything that could go wrong has done so in the last week, and yet there’s a sneaking feeling that things will only get worse.

When fans first heard the news of a prospective takeover from a billionaire consortium - which also own French club Nice and English side Barnsley - some were excited. I was a little worried at first, I must admit. After all, we’re not a particularly big club, so why on earth would they be interested in us? What is it about Thistle that made them an attractive proposition for so wealthy a group?

The most obvious reason appears to be that as a mid-tier Scottish Championship side, we’re probably at just the right level to take youngsters on loan from Barnsley and develop them. Good enough that they’ll actually get a chance to play and improve, but not a level so high that they’re out of their depth.

HeraldScotland:

READ MORE: Colin Weir confirms withdrawal of financial support for Partick Thistle

The problem with this, though, is what happens if Thistle push for a play-off spot or, god forbid, get promoted? All of a sudden, this business plan doesn’t work anymore. The canny investors have realised this by the looks of it and came up with an elegant, albeit thoroughly depressing, solution: don’t get promoted.

The lack of ambition the new board are showing is jaw-dropping, if Graeme’s insider is to be believed. The long-term plan isn’t to try and seal a return to the Premiership; staying put precisely where we are suits them down to a tee. It shouldn’t cost too much to keep Thistle from falling into League One, and that way they don’t have to worry too much about, you know, actually running a football club.

Like I said, Thistle fans don’t have particularly high standards. We don’t expect titles and trophies season after season. All we ask is that the team have a go at improving, and don’t settle for merely standing still. It’s the most basic form of ambition that any football club should harbour. Because if there is no genuine appetite to improve, then seriously: what is the point?