EUROMILLIONS winner and long-standing Partick Thistle benefactor Colin Weir has provided financial backing for a Thistle fans' group as they launch a formal takeover bid.

Thistle For Ever launched their campaign last month and appealed for financial assistance to gain a controlling stake in the Firhill club. As it stands, Jags supporters own nearly 28% of the club and would require a further 23% to gain control.

Weir walked away from the club earlier this summer after growing concerned with the club's direction, having previously funded the youth academy and providing capital to set up a training ground.

HeraldScotland:

READ MORE: Partick Thistle fans fear sale of Firhill and now want to run club

Weir is now reportedly backing Thistle For Ever (TFE) as the supporters' group launch a formal takeover bid.

The fans' bid will rival that of NewCity Capital, a billionaire consortium who have been in negotiations with Partick Thistle over the last few months to buy a controlling stake in the club.

TFE released a statement on Tuesday evening explaining Weir's involvement in the bid.

It read: "Partick Thistle fans group Thistle For Ever (TFE) has made an offer to but out the Glasgow club's majority shareholding to make it a supporters' owned club, after securing multimillion pound backing to do so. This will enable a Community Investment Company, or similar vehicle, to be set up and allow Thistle to be run for the benefit of the community.

"Colin Weir, who previously invested significantly in Thistle and its academy, will fund TFE's proposal to buy the shares in full. Mr Weir's support comes without conditions and he will play no part in the running of Partick Thistle after the community takeover is completed.

"In addition, Mr Weir will fund TFE's plan to purchase the assest held by Firhill Developments, the south terrace area and the Main Stand, thus putting the whole club and its assests in to fans' hands for the first time ever.

HeraldScotland:

READ MORE: David Beattie says Ian McCall can bring soul back to Partick Thistle as he opens door to Colin Weir return

"Mr Weir will also resume his funding of the Thistle Weir Youth Academy if TFE's offert is accepted. He withdrew his backing amid the uncertainty of a potential takeover by a foreign consortium."

Paul Goodwin, who is a director of the Scottish Football Supporters Assosication and spearheaded Thistle For Ever's bid, believes that a fan ownership model is the best way to safeguard the club's long-term interests.

Goodwin told the Scottish Sun: "Change is in the air at Firhill, on and off the park, and this opportunity for Partick Thistle to become community owned will secure a sustainable and certain future for the club.

"With our fully-funded offer, we have ensured that the current Board has an option, that is in the best interests of the club, one that ensures the future of Partick Thistle here at Firhill for decades to come.

"It must be considered as a viable alternative to handing over control of our club to people with no affinity and no understanding of Partick Thistle. The majority shareholder group does not have to wait to secure a sale of their shares - TfE, with this substantial financial support, can allow existing shareholders to get a return for their investment now.

HeraldScotland:

READ MORE: David Beattie asks Partick Thistle fans to trust him with takeover as he pledges club will remain at Firhill

"They will also achieve their aim of selling to a group who have the best interests of Thistle at heart. It will be run as a sustainable football club, debt free and in the hands of those who cherish it more than anyone else – the supporters.

"Colin Weir is a long time Thistle fan, who wants nothing but the best for the club. His incredibly generous support allows us to put this offer on the table now while continuing to raise funds from fans for the longer term. We have a meeting with him later this week, at his invitation, and we will thank him personally for supporting our ambitions for this club.

"TfE now asks that this proposal is conveyed to the majority shareholders group and Firhill Developments by chairman David Beattie for a prompt response."

The latest developments come after manager Gary Caldwell was sacked last Wednesday. Since then, Ian McCall - formerly of Ayr United - has been appointed as his successor, with former manager Alan Archibald working as his assistant.