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Winter of '63

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  1. I am fairly sure that it was Aberdeen who wanted to retain the 11-1 voting. St Mirren's former chairman, Stewart Gilmour mentioned in his interview on Sportsound last weekend that he had been unable to get the change he wanted from 11-1. My recollection was that St.Mirren & Ross County had voted against the proposal to restructure the Leagues - I suspect that a change to the 11-1 was added to the proposal as bait to get their preferred option through - can you believe that the SPL would have tried such an unprincipled stunt?
  2. Anyone who thinks that law courts are a means of obtaining truth and justice are very much mistaken - they clearly have more baws than brains. In 2004, there was a clear breach of SPL Rules regarding ground capacity with a re-vote to obtain the desired result. My recollection is that while the Court of Session Judges expressed sympathy for Thistle's case, they refused to grant an interim interdict on the basis that we should have exhausted all options with the Football Authorities. This time, there was a vote of all the member clubs and they came to a clear decision. There may well have been procedural errors in the voting but even if the Court upheld this, another vote would then have been arranged with the same result...and added hostility from the other clubs. While I understand and to some extent share the grievance with the other clubs, in fairness, there was little reason for any of them to vote No - they were either saving themselves from possible relegation(St Mirren, Hamilton, Ross County, QoS, Alloa, Forfar, Brechin), gaining a far from certain promotion (Raith) or simply getting a wad of money and moving on to plan for next season. There is nothing intrinsically unfair about deciding league positions on a average points per game basis if the League games can not be played. A null & void season would be unfair to Celtic, Dundee United & Cove who are clearly going to win their respective Divisions. The reality is that as in 2004, we are not a big enough Club to matter and we have been thrown under the bus because it suits the vested interests. It doesn't mean there aren't questions to be asked - - why was the vote to decide the final places tied to the release of funds? - what did Dundee get in return for changing their vote? - would the League have been called on the same basis if no games had been played after the end of January? I think Rangers would have been champions by a tiny fraction. - will Aston Villa, who are in the same position as us , be relegated? The Premiership are considering no relegation with the top two from the Championship being promoted. - why couldn't a deadline have been set to play at least some games before ending the season? The Premiership are considering up to 30 June. It does leave a bitter taste but we have only ourselves to blame for ending up bottom in a poor standard League - I like McCall but the results have not been good enough...and we were about 10 months late in getting rid of Caldwell. I'm hoping that something comes out of the re-construction talks...I have attended fewer games over the last two seasons and would have even less enthusiasm for the First Division...however I suspect there will be more serious problems about going to Firhill this year than uncultured football.
  3. The former St Mirren Director Stewart Gilmour in his Sportsound Interview yesterday said with particular emphasis yesterday that Doncaster "really didn't like it" when he didn't get his way and also that SPFL Lawyer Rod Mackenzie habitually used the rules to block alternative suggestions. Have Ladbrokes suggested that they will be looking for a return of their sponsorship money if the League is not called this week? Would that be a good business position for a betting company to take in current circumstances? I doubt Ladbrokes are short of money or that the relatively small amount of SPFL sponsorship payment is a crucial financial factor for them. The highest paid Chief Executive in the UK last year was the Boss of Bet365 who was paid a mere £323 million so I suspect Ladbrokes won't be relying on recovering funds from the SPFL to keep their business afloat. I checked the English Premiership Table and noted that Aston Villa are in a relegation spot but have a game in hand which if they win will take them clear of the drop. It will be interesting to see how that situation is dealt with. I'm not sure if there is a genuine reason to make an urgent decision at this time - there will have to be degree of fixture co-ordination for Football though-out Europe and I don't expect Football to return to anything like normal for a long time.
  4. My recollection is that they managed to miscount the vote at the initial meeting in 2004 and had to be corrected when they tried to announce that the vote to relegate us had been passed - there were only 12 votes to count! I am therefore not surprised that an email from Dundee which went against the desired result was conveniently "lost". My resentment at the vote relegation vote in 2004 was not directed against Inverness, who were given the opportunity to be promoted but against Hearts, Hibs , Aberdeen (who picked up the ground rent) and Motherwell( who survived relegation the previous year on the ground rule) The Forfar Chairman was speaking from his own club's self -interest which is that they will benefit from playing Thistle rather than Stranraer. If we play at Forfar next season (whenever that might be) it would be good if Thistle fans instead of going to Station Park bought tickets for an Inverness home game instead. Dundee have clearly been got at. This will now turn into part of the Old Firm Punch & Judy show...which might be our best chance of avoiding relegation by diktat.
  5. The Voting was gerrymandered in 2004 to relegate us against the rules because it suited the Power Brokers...it will happen again and we will be thrown under the bus.
  6. There are no neutrals - everyone votes in their own self-interest. As I posted earlier in this thread, this "solution" would not be applied and the Leagues called if Rangers had been two points behind Celtic with a game in hand...incidentally Rangers would be Champions in that scenario.
  7. Would they be calling the League with Celtic as Champions if Rangers were 2 points behind with a game in hand? I fear the same principle will not apply for considering relegation issues.
  8. I picked up on my Youtube feed yesterday a video of Rangers v Thistle at Ibrox on New Year's Day 1972. We had the League Cup Final Line-up other than John Gibson for a presumably injured Jimmy Bone. Someone with better computer skills will maybe upload it here - though health warning - it's from Rangers TV. It's about 14 minutes of highlights taken from Scotsport with commentary by Alec Cameron. Our goal was posted on the Thistle Facebook/Twitter page yesterday as goal of the day - it was a belter with Alex Forsyth surging past John Greig and a flying header by Denis McQuade. It's good to see that legendary side in action - but although I wasn't at that game and hadn't seen the highlights before, I definitely have seen the Movie - it doesn't have a happy ending.
  9. It was a game which left me a bit flat...it was hard fought and fairly even...not awful but few real goal threats by either side...Ayr didn't look a better side but they are third and the League Table doesn't look good tonight...we were ok but there was not much to be enthusiastic about...we don't have many exciting players and although they might be upgrades on what we had, I am not that keen on Old Firm loan players...I was sitting looking along the 18 yard line and had a clear view and thought it was a penalty so didn't even get annoyed...we didn't miss any of the players who have left. I thought Penrice was the pick of the team, O'Ware won a lot of headers, Bannigan composed(other than colliding with Brownlie), Zanatta nearly very good frustratingly often...Rodden didn't get in the game...MacKinnon made one good challenge and I think I spotted him play the ball on one other occasion. We have improved and I think McCall has a coherent plan...I don't think we will be relegated...but it is all a bit underwhelming...we seem a long way from the standard of players I would like to see.
  10. On a quick check of the Official History, I make that a total of close to 400 goals for Thistle in their careers.
  11. The first time I saw McGinty play, I thought he was clumsy and awkward...I do remember a game towards the end of last season when he made a number of swaggering runs forward but he just wasn't good enough...seemed like a decent guy and good luck to him...a certainty to score against us! I was more impressed with the first few times I saw Slater play...he was just the sort of capable midfielder who could bring the ball forward and make a pass that we had lacked in our relegation season...way better than Ryan Edwards, Martin Woods & Adam Barton(Version 2). He became less effective under the Caldwell's Shambles and I remember shouting "No One To Pass To" on a regular basis when he and Banzo brought the ball through from midfield. His injury kept him out of the reckoning for the early part of the season and while a decent player, he was too similar and not as good as Banzo & Cole. I would have thought he is far too good for Queens Park's level but they have just gone professional and maybe they are planning to do a Gretna. I was told that McCall's initial assessment of his squad was that only Bannigan would have been in his Ayr side so I am not surprised at the extent of the clear-out. I am not disappointed by the departure of any of the players who have left and there a few more who are still there that I would not miss. We desperately need a midfield anchor but I'm not sure about MacKinnon...otherwise I have faith in McCall's ability to build a team...but the Jury is still out.
  12. 10 of those played in my first ever game at Firhill - December 1962 against Airdrie - George Smith was on the left wing, Davie McParland was right half and John Harvey was centre half - I was too young then to have any judgement on how good these guys were...but as I have posted before, when the half-time scores were put up on the board at what is now the Bing End, there was a huge cheer as Rangers were losing and we were top of the League.
  13. It's wins and losses for all games played in the Club's History.
  14. In fairness, I thought Bannigan made some well-timed tackles on Saturday - none of our other players did! A United Player had a wild swipe which Banzo skipped past as he was breaking forward in the first half and Clark injured himself in the challenge late on...I did think that Banzo would certainly have got a yellow and possibly a red if he had made either of these challenges.
  15. I would date Thistle's decline from their historic norm at Season 1981/82 - we stayed in the smaller Top League of 10 teams (with 2 relegated every season) from 1976 and without too much difficulty. Only under Lambie and Archie have we returned to that level. Head-to-Head statistics can be distorted by sides not being in the same divisions over several seasons but there are some interesting comparisons with the teams in our peer group. We have significant deficits against Dundee (79-101), Dunfermline (29-50) and St Johnstone (42-52). We have however won more games than we have lost against Motherwell ( 85-82), Kilmarnock (95-79), St Mirren (77-67), Falkirk (85-60) & Hamilton (59-58). I think our core fan base has dropped over the last 25 years in comparison with these clubs - Hamilton from a lower base have also declined and they share with us a quite awful cup record. My conclusion is that we have been pretty rubbish for most of the last 30 years...I don't know what the reason is but prior to that period we regularly produced players who went on to play for Scotland (Mo Johnston was the last in a long line) but since then we have seldom brought though players good enough to play for very ordinary Thistle teams. Maybe concentrating on developing our own players is the way forward.