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Last Updated: Saturday, 15 May, 2004, 18:45 GMT 19:45 UK
Partick prepare legal block
Partick Thistle chairman Tom Hughes
Partick's Tom Hughes is out to challenge SPL decisions
Partick Thistle have threatened a last-ditch legal bid to avoid relegation from the Scottish Premier League.

Inverness Caledonian Thistle won the Division One title and are considering a groundsharing agreement with Aberdeen to allow promotion.

But Partick chairman Tom Hughes told BBC Sport: "We believe we are in a very strong legal position."

He hopes the SPL will reject Caley Thistle's application and negate the need for court action.

Hughes, whose side had long-since finished bottom of the table, agreed that it was not ideal that promotion could be blocked by present SPL rules.

"But, while the rules are there, we want the rules applied," he said.

We are 98% preparing for the First Division
Partick co-boss Derek Whyte
The Glasgow club believe that SPL rules dictate that a club should have a 10,000-seat stadium of their own.

Inverness are considering sharing with Aberdeen, despite a 100-mile trip for their fans, as Caledonian Stadium does not meet the criteria - and the SPL says it will consider the proposal.

It is likely that the SPL will change the rules before the start of next season, but Hughes said: "I think the present rules are pretty clear and the league have been totally unsatisfactorily advised on this issue."

St Mirren and St Johnstone have also previously threatened legal action against the SPL as they, along with Partick, were forced to build new seating to comply with the rules after they won promotion.

However, Partick co-manager Derek Whyte expects the club's legal battle to fail.

"We are 98% preparing for the First Division," he said. "But, if we get another chance, we will take it, don't worry about that.

"We want to play in the best league we can. The players want to play against the best."

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