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Options for action against the board


MarciaBlaine
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Thought this might merit its own topic separate from the TJF one.

From the outside looking in (i.e. a TJF member but not on the board) it seems that playing to 3BC's whims has not worked and never will. So it seems something more hardball has to happen.

As has been observed by @denismcquadeno.eleven and others, the announcement of 'fan ownership' has been cynically timed to land just after most fans will have bought their season tickets. Clearly hitting the club in the pocket is a very effective tactic but one that has been somewhat subdued with this timing. So what are the options?

  • Other financial action, e.g. no further money to the club via matchday food/drinks, hospitality, merchandise, etc. This will certainly have an effect on the club though it may be most effective if it was accompanied by people telling the club they're doing it and why (e.g. each person contacting the club to say "not one more penny"), and perhaps the money going elsewhere such as TJF coffers or another 'fighting fund' that specifically withholds the sums until specific demands are met. This latter is a tricky one because people would need to feel that their money wasn't going to disappear if/when demands aren't met. So could TJF be the body that effectively capitalises our dissent? No doubt some legal hoops would need to be jumped through to make that legit.
  • Matchday protests. These can range from banners/chanting at games, protests outside the ground, etc. For my money these are just water off a duck's back. They might give a wee thrill to the people protesting but are pretty ineffective if the intransigent people in charge don't care anyway.
  • More nuclear options such as fans intentionally disrupting games (Blackpool with their tangerines and tennis balls thrown on the pitch spring to mind). This is nuclear because it directly affects the playing side of things, including docked points. It can only really be an option if the team are clear of relegation with no realistic chance of promotion, or so deeply mired in the relegation doldrums that docked points make no difference. And it would undoubtedly pain many fans to go down this route, with good reason. We all want the team to succeed.
  • I suppose there are other direct action/'civil disobedience-lite' options from historical protests, such as 'phone zaps' (overloading the club with calls/emails), intentionally causing nuisance (like flooding toilets - feels a bit childish!), but again they will almost certainly detriment the playing side of things at some point, either through costs incurred or people not being able to do other elements of their jobs properly.  An extreme example would be if Gerry Britton is too busy dealing with hassle from us to effectively negotiate a player purchase.

I suppose I've talked myself into the first option but are there any other tactics or strategies that might work?

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43 minutes ago, MarciaBlaine said:

Matchday protests. These can range from banners/chanting at games, protests outside the ground, etc. For my money these are just water off a duck's back. They might give a wee thrill to the people protesting but are pretty ineffective if the intransigent people in charge don't care anyway.

Take your point but even if the "financial action" is the way to go, from a marketing point of view visual & aural protests are of value. I agree that on their own the powers that be would simply ride the storm. But we need to have tangible protests from a publicity point of view. For instance Friday night televised games should be a particular target. Also, and this overlaps into the "financial action" territory, match sponsors would not want to have their product marginalised on a day of protest.

One area at least where I would think matchday protest would be effective, again in association with "financial action", would be in matters of "match hospitality".  I can leave it to others to imagine just how much embarrassment and apologising could ensue from "fan action" in that specific area.

 

Edited by lady-isobel-barnett
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55 minutes ago, javeajag said:

I’ve written to Gerry Britton this morning  indicating not one more penny from me.

Me too.

I know it's a pain, but doing this each and every time we withhold monies would be really effective - the ongoing upswell of contact, being constantly made aware of it, would undoubtedly have a cumulative effect. Having previously worked (for my sins!) in a job that entailed dealing with complaints, it's the volume of individual contacts that changes things. 

Edited by MarciaBlaine
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1 hour ago, MarciaBlaine said:

Thought this might merit its own topic separate from the TJF one.

From the outside looking in (i.e. a TJF member but not on the board) it seems that playing to 3BC's whims has not worked and never will. So it seems something more hardball has to happen.

As has been observed by @denismcquadeno.eleven and others, the announcement of 'fan ownership' has been cynically timed to land just after most fans will have bought their season tickets. Clearly hitting the club in the pocket is a very effective tactic but one that has been somewhat subdued with this timing. So what are the options?

  • Other financial action, e.g. no further money to the club via matchday food/drinks, hospitality, merchandise, etc. This will certainly have an effect on the club though it may be most effective if it was accompanied by people telling the club they're doing it and why (e.g. each person contacting the club to say "not one more penny"), and perhaps the money going elsewhere such as TJF coffers or another 'fighting fund' that specifically withholds the sums until specific demands are met. This latter is a tricky one because people would need to feel that their money wasn't going to disappear if/when demands aren't met. So could TJF be the body that effectively capitalises our dissent? No doubt some legal hoops would need to be jumped through to make that legit.
  • Matchday protests. These can range from banners/chanting at games, protests outside the ground, etc. For my money these are just water off a duck's back. They might give a wee thrill to the people protesting but are pretty ineffective if the intransigent people in charge don't care anyway.
  • More nuclear options such as fans intentionally disrupting games (Blackpool with their tangerines and tennis balls thrown on the pitch spring to mind). This is nuclear because it directly affects the playing side of things, including docked points. It can only really be an option if the team are clear of relegation with no realistic chance of promotion, or so deeply mired in the relegation doldrums that docked points make no difference. And it would undoubtedly pain many fans to go down this route, with good reason. We all want the team to succeed.
  • I suppose there are other direct action/'civil disobedience-lite' options from historical protests, such as 'phone zaps' (overloading the club with calls/emails), intentionally causing nuisance (like flooding toilets - feels a bit childish!), but again they will almost certainly detriment the playing side of things at some point, either through costs incurred or people not being able to do other elements of their jobs properly.  An extreme example would be if Gerry Britton is too busy dealing with hassle from us to effectively negotiate a player purchase.

I suppose I've talked myself into the first option but are there any other tactics or strategies that might work?

Well said MB. I’d also add in -cancelling Centenary Fund payments and desisting from buying 50-50 tickets. Picketing the outside of Firhill, after first informing the local press, who will be more than happy to go long with sending a hack and a photographer would be another. I think TJF should get legal advice on how much they can reveal to the press, without the risk of being sued by 3BCs. Some of the stuff in that 22-page document is absolutely damning of 3BCs, not just of what they did but HOW they did it and to their own fans. I would like to know if any of the current players or past players are with us on this. To some it’s just their job or livelihood and they may not want to get involved. Others, may take a different view. Fan pressure and media coverage are two powerful tools or weapons which could be used. And, TJF needs to (temporarily) change to a fighting, campaigning group, coordinating actions and deploying those willing to protest.


But, finally, it will ALL hinge on how deep and important an issue this is for the vast majority of fans who regularly attend matches. If it IS important to most fans, because they feel the supporters have been treated badly and unfairly, if they REALLY want genuine fan ownership of their club, there is a chance to make a stand. But, if it’s only a small number and the others would prefer (eventually) to ‘just watch the football’ and accept it, grudgingly, then it will fizzle out and fail. TJF have a large group of supporters but how many of them are prepared to commit to what may be a long term ‘battle, rather than just one or two Saturdays of discontent?

Edited by denismcquadeno.eleven
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Total withdrawal of any cash input. From attending the game, even for season ticket holders  as it would send a message. No match day income for any merchandising, food, drink etc. Protest outside Firhill prior to the match and don't go in. Contact all media outlets and vent your frustration.  If there are sparse crowds it will impact on any sponsorship the club have, so kess cash flow for the club.

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Ideally we want to first get club sponsors and major advertisers on the fans side. They'll be caught up in the middle of this.  We don't really want to jeopardise their goodwill but may have to. How we do that is the hard part. My gut feeling is the Club's soft underbelly involves matchday hospitality. Maximum effect from minimum effort and all that.

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A 71st minute walkout had crossed my mind (although this could be misinterpreted if the opposition goes 3-0 up in the 70th minute)

I would hate to do anything that negatively affects the team but the live game against Inverness does provide an opportunity to maximise publicity. I'm sure BBC Scotland would happily report any action - boycott, walkout.

Two words of caution:

1.  We need to ensure we have significant backing from the season ticket holders who are not members of TJF.

2. Personally I would be reluctant to take any action until there is more information on the successful recipient of the shares 

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I'm not keen on financially damaging the club as we'd need to sort the problems out.

I would support

Letters of complaint to the Chairman Jaqui Low

Letters ofcomplaint to our main sponsors.  Just Employment Law, Greaves, o'neills, McCrea's, Forrest Precision Engineering, First Point USA etc.  Links are here at bottom of page https://ptfc.co.uk/hospitality-sponsorship/

Banners in JLS against her decision.

Match disruption.  Black cats thrown onto the pitch.

Staged walk out or delayed entry.

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The costlier options are ..t-shirts  and stickers and button badges

with

*‘(REAL  Fan Ownership with TJF,’)

*’(YES to REAL FAN OWNERSHIP

WITH TJF

’NO TO  SHAM ownership’)

*TJF (in huge lettering )

* (NOT IN OUR NAME!)

*( NO Shamownership!)

* TJF is the beating heart of Thistle fans

Keep it ticking!

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13 minutes ago, lady-isobel-barnett said:

Ideally we want to first get club sponsors and major advertisers on the fans side. They'll be caught up in the middle of this.  We don't really want to jeopardise their goodwill but may have to. How we do that is the hard part. My gut feeling is the Club's soft underbelly involves matchday hospitality. Maximum effect from minimum effort and all that.

Well it's not too hard to describe the behaviour of the club in a few general terms (dismissive, secretive/evasive, slow and inefficient) and then to assume that any sponsor is both happy to associate themselves with this behaviour and indeed may be only too happy to replicate it. A few (hundred) emails to that effect might help :whistling:

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9 minutes ago, Lambies Lost Doo said:

I'm not keen on financially damaging the club as we'd need to sort the problems out.

I would support

Letters of complaint to the Chairman Jaqui Low

Letters ofcomplaint to our main sponsors.  Just Employment Law, Greaves, o'neills, McCrea's, Forrest Precision Engineering, First Point USA etc.  Links are here at bottom of page https://ptfc.co.uk/hospitality-sponsorship/

Banners in JLS against her decision.

Match disruption.  Black cats thrown onto the pitch.

Staged walk out or delayed entry.

JEL: [email protected]

Greaves: [email protected]

O'Neills (web form): https://oneills.zendesk.com/hc/en-ie/requests/new?ticket_form_id=5646998471709

McCrea's: [email protected]

Forrest: [email protected]

First Point: [email protected]

Kelvin Properties: [email protected]

CPS (web form): https://cpsresearch.com/contact-us/

Along Trading: [email protected]

DCF design: [email protected]

Unick: [email protected]

Gilson Gray (web form): https://gilsongray.co.uk/contact-us/

Comply2 (web form): https://comply2.co.uk/contact-us/

Glasgow Taxis: [email protected]

Kingsford Capital: ???

P&D Scotland (web form): https://www.bellgroup.co.uk/contact/

PZ Tiling and Maintenance: ???

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17 minutes ago, jags on tour said:

Could we kidnap Kingsley on Firhill Road, bundle him into the back of a van then demand 3BC instate TJF as fan owners in order to get him back? 

I laughed at the part about flooding the sinks in the toilets, I thought it was only the wet bandits that done that?

I seem to recall some Derby fans were considering it recently!

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One (longer term) option is to infiltrate the preferred organisation.  They must open themselves up to new fan membership to comply with 3BC's own requirements, and since the two options are small affairs, could be controlled in due course. 

Should they block new fans joining, then that might open themselves up to a legal challenge.

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51 minutes ago, denismcquadeno.eleven said:

 

Another more modern form of protest or direct action which is peaceful and which can be effective is ‘the stunt’. Ie doing something which has been well- planned in advance as a one-off to attract attention from those in the vicinity or disrupt the smooth-running nature of something which depends on things running smoothly! Eg Getting a group to do something outside Firhill on a match day like blocking an entrance to a turnstyle with a picket-line of TJF members or sitting down in front of an entrance or exit to the ground. This kind of thing can be useful, AFTER you’ve tried many other ploys and actions. However, you likely need legal advice about what you can  and can’t do before the police arrive and mention breach of the peace or something similar. Don’t know how Scots Law deals with these aspects but here in England the law has been tightened to deal with protest, which is a disgrace in itself! They’ve made ‘making too much noise at a protest’ an offence. George Orwell’s 1984-type future may be closer than we think!

Edited by denismcquadeno.eleven
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1 minute ago, eljaggo said:

I like to be precise DMQ but seems I've overdone it!

 

No, it’s me and my ‘illiteracy’ when it comes to IT! I was trying to post the last comment I just made and found I’d quoted you when my comment didn’t follow on from yours. Like always, I pressed a button or two and ended up doing something else wrong. So, in the end, I ended up clearing off your comment, and replacing it with a star. Nothing personal, just IT skills that make my more computer-literate daughters laugh!

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