Monday 31 January 2011

Something is rotten in the state of Firhell

So the PTFC AGM results in life-time fan and recent board appointee Jim Alexander being thrown off the board by a vote among shareholders of 4 million to 1 million or thereabouts. As if it weren't bad enough that one of the good guys has gone, there's something not right here at all.

In preceding years the Board of Directors have been re-elected en-masse without individual votes. It was done publicly, if arguably in breach of the Articles of Association and therefore the Companies Act. Suddenly at this years' AGM, which was held on a Monday morning instead of the usual evening slot (ensuring a poorer attendance, naturally) and they hold a 'secret' ballot on individual board members.

I cannot verify if any of the following is true, but they are some of the things I have heard. If any of this is factually inaccurate I'd like to invite the Club to respond and correct me:

The Jags Trust were approached by an ex-director (with the joint largest individual shareholding) asking for a meeting. At least one current director (with a substantial shareholding) and that ex-director were present at that meeting. The Trust were informed that Jim Alexander's position was under threat based on some of the proxies submitted and enquired how the Trust intended to vote. In the end, the Trust (who own 1 million shares or thereabouts) voted for the status quo and for Jim to remain on the board.

The same ex-director apparently held several proxy votes, and was overheard discussing these proxies with another individual at the AGM. If what I have heard is true, this individual held in excess of three million of the B shares in Partick Thistle as a result of those proxy submissions.

The count for the re-election was carried out by the company in which this ex-director has an interest. This count was confirmed as correct by this same ex-director. The same company continues to deal with the Club's accounts and pays for one of its employees to be seconded to Thistle to do this job.

Now Jim Alexander has stated on the record several times that he believes the 'PropCo' deal was not good for the Club. At the time there were a considerable number of individuals who (rightly) saw the way the whole deal was structured as lacking fundamental protections for the Club. Is it any coincidence that of the leading active members of the Board we now have two people who have a substantial financial interest in PropCo and no obvious dissenting voice on the Club board. Where is the balance of power? Who is pulling the strings here?

There is something rotten in the state of Firhell.

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