Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Pee Tee is Dead, Long Live Jaggie McB

Manly J. Panda was in the Aitken Suite today for the announcement of the Jags new sponsor. MacB, the sugar-free water company, will be the name on front of our shirts next season: shirts that will be worn by David Rowson, Alan Archibald and Stuart Bannigan, but probably not Chris Erskine, Conrad Balatoni or Marc Twaddle. Also the terrifying monster called Pee Tee has been humanely put to sleep. He will be replaced by a terrifying monster called Jaggie MacB.

First things first though. The picture (above) doing the rounds at the moment of the putative new Thistle home shirt is unlikely to be an accurate representation of the real thing. Manly J. cornered “first division long-throw specialist” Ian Maxwell to ask about it, and he denied that the design of the new shirt was known, even to him. “Greaves are dealing with it” is all he would say, and The Panda will do all he can to make sure he’s in attendance when the strip is unveiled.

MacB’s representative at the launch (and CEO of their parent company), Kenny Webster seemed absolutely delighted to be there: if nothing else, Thistle have found an enthusiastic sponsor. Much was made of the plans for Thistle to become the hub for a whole host of community projects, even if the Chairman didn’t have all the details to hand. Look out for extra publicity on the “Free for Under 16s” campaign as it neatly meshes with MacB’s target market.

Finally, Manly J. managed to sneak a word with Jaggie Mac on the subject of personnel. He was more than happy to talk about Stuart Bannigan, but declined to mention The Bridge of Big Bird, adding credence to the rumours that the Modern Day McQuade is off to the SPL. Strange, when he was confident that he could build his team around the Maryhill Messi when we spoke to him last.

He spoke of the benefits that Thistle would reap from Bannigan going on loan to Ayr, and also mentioned that Hearts would receive similar benefits from Conrad Balatoni’s stay at Firhill. Is this a sign that he doesn’t expect the Hunched-Shoulder Shuffler to return next season? If so, we should expect a transfer fee for Erskine, although that will be little comfort to the infatuated Daddy Panda.

Jackie also let slip that he was looking forward to working with a left back who was going to be playing first-team football for the first time, quashing rumours that Marc Twaddle would be making a comeback to his second-favourite Glasgow-based team. The Twadfather will have to wait, and we’ll probably pick him up when his legs have gone. (Although – trivia time – did you know that our very own Vincent Black Lightning once played against Twaddle and completely marked him out the game? True story.)

Anyway, Manly J. Panda finished off his morning’s work with a wee milkshake in Jaconelli’s with his pals from Scheidt’s Footballing Miscellany who organised his press pass. He recommends the “Pure” flavour of MacBs, in case you were wondering.

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