Partick Thistle shelve training ground plan after Colin Weir takeover

Partick Thistle manager Ian McCall
Thistle reiterated their backing for manager Ian McCall

Partick Thistle have shelved plans for a new training ground after Euromillions winner Colin Weir used the money to purchase the club instead.

But the 71-year-old will restart his funding of the club's academy to 2021.

Lifelong supporter Weir's Three Black Cats group purchased a 55% shareholding in November with a promise to hand the club over to fans in March.

"A decision was made to use the majority of 3BC's existing budget to fund those deals," Thistle have stated.

"Regrettably, that means that the training ground will not go ahead at present, but it is something others might want to look at in future."

Weir's group also bought Firhill Developments' assets, which are the south terrace and the main stand, meaning "Thistle will own the full stadium and its environs again" for the first time in more than 10 years.

Agreement had previously been reached to purchase land around a mile away from Firhill for a new training ground, but Weir initially stepped away from the Scottish Championship club in July amid a boardroom reshuffle.

"The purchase of the shares and land used a significant chunk of that money, so it is no longer possible to restart the project," Thistle say.

Weir has made it clear he does not want to own a football club and plans "no further involvement" for the Three Black Cats group after 30 March, although he will continue to be a patron of the club.

An interim board is looking after the day-to-day running of the club while a completely separate working group has been created to work with fans - the PTFC Trust, which owns 19.5% of shares, and Thistle For Ever - "to identify the right model for fan ownership".

Former Thistle chair Jacqui Low is a director of the Three Black Cats along with Weir, but no new board chairman will be chosen until the transfer of shares in March.

Thistle, meanwhile, reiterated their backing for manager Ian McCall, whose side remain bottom of the Championship 11 games into his tenure, and "have agreed to his proposal for activity in the transfer window".

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