GLASGOW’S trendy west end has been moving north of the city for some time now and Maryhill, while still predominantly working class, has seen some gentrification.

This was always the fear for those who support the area’s football club. If the other side of Maryhill Road became posh there could be a chance that Firhill would be sold to a housing developer.

And when it emerged that a Chinese-American billionaire Chein Lee, along with Englishman Paul Conway, wanted to but Thistle, alarm bells rang.

Why would such rich businessmen want to buy a Scottish football club with limited potential and that happened to be in the second tier?

Then there was the ousting of Jaqui Low as chairman, replaced by David Beattie, and others left including Alan Rough, perhaps the greatest ever Jag, who walked out of his post as director. Not only that, but lottery winner Colin Weir, who had put in at least £1.5million of his own money washed his hands of it all.

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Oh, and then there was no bus for the first-team, the transfer budget was cut and the league form has been abysmal. They sit bottom of the Championship with one point from four games.

All of this is why outside the ground yesterday morning a new Partick supporters group, Thistle for Ever, was launched with their purpose of fans becoming owning over 50 per cent of the club – not a consortium of strangers.

“There is turmoil on and off the park,” said Paul Goodwin, director of the group. “The two things are interconnected Partick Thistle are the archetypal community club.

“If we were talking about this five or six years ago then the supporters would be saying that clubs owned by fans would never work. We now have a template which we have seen at Hearts, Motherwell, St Mirren and these clubs are thriving on and off the field.

“They all have a structure in place that is sustainable and they are going to be there for the longer term and that is what we aspire to for Partick Thistle.”

Goodwin speaks for most Thistle fans when he says the consortium fill him with dread because he has no clue as to what their plans are. With so little information out there, it’s impossible not to consider worst case scenarios.

He said: “The biggest fear is that the club is saddled with debt. The prospective new owners have taken Nice and Barnsley into debt situations. Will they increase the debt threshold at Partick? Is that going to happen here? Once you own that bit of paper you can do what you want.

“Does the new consortium want to sell the ground? What is that they see in Partick Thistle. What do they see at this club which is so attractive?

“It is a strange one as we are a provincial club without a provincial if you know what I mean. We do not have a massive fan base as we exist in a city that is divided between two other clubs. You are not going to grow the fan base so what other assets have you got”

Goodwin then perhaps answered his own question.

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‘We’ve heard the rumours that were mooted a few years ago about a ground share with Glasgow Warriors. Is that something that could be looked at?”

These are all legitimate questions which they want to put to Beattie. Thistle’s fall from a top six finish to almost being relegated to League One last year – and Gary Caldwell’s team are already in bother – has been jaw-dropping.

So, is this all possible? Goodwin is confident but they have a bit to go, albeit this was day one.

He said: “The fans group owns almost 28 per cent of the club already. What we are aiming for is to be like the German mode where fans own 51 per cent of the club. The idea there is that we have a majority shareholding.

“We have a put a call-out just now so that fans and people can pledge their Partick shares and that we can nudge up to that 51 per cent figure. We also want the fans to pledge funds so that if the present Jags board do want to sell which they clearly do then why not sell to us?

“The board is in the position where they can sell to a corporation who do not understand the history and the heritage of Partick Thistle and do not have the longer term best interests of the club at heart.

“We want to give the board the option of selling to the fans group. The proposed deal to a consortium is allegedly teetering on the edge. So if David Beattie wants to sell, give me a call. If you really are Thistle people then think of the fans.”