A Supporters’ Trust is a democratic, not-for-profit organisation of supporters, committed to strengthening the voice for supporters in the decision making process at a club, and strengthening the links between the club and the community it serves.

Supporters Direct Scotland

What is a Supporter's Trust?

Supporters Trusts, at their crux, are groups of supporters who have the best interests of their club at heart. There is not one standard, fixed model of what a trust is or how it is organised, and many have different origins due to their own football club's development & circumstances but they generally have similar aims which can include:

Influence
The formation and running of representative bodies of supporters
Ownership€“
The acquisition of shares in the football club to pool the voting power of individual supporters to further the aims and objectives of the supporters trust
Representation
Securing the democratic election of supporters representatives to the boards of directors of individual football clubs
Community
Strengthen the bonds between club and the community, and to represent the interests of the supporters and the community in the running of the club.

In effect, such an association is run as a pressure group with the fans bonding together to provide a strong, official voice that the club finds far harder to ignore.

As opposed to this, other trusts have been so successful in obtaining shares as to actually get a representative on their club's board, through collective share ownership and some trusts, have even been able to secure majority ownership of the club itself. Indeed in the case of the reformed Clydebank FC, the Supporters Trust secured majority ownership of the club from the outset of the club'€™s formation.

All trusts though wish to improve the lot for their team and supporters and while not all supporters may believe that trusts form a necessary part of the football world, preferring to see their club run without any fan involvement, there can be no doubt that all fans want their team to be successful, however it is achieved.

With the current trend towards multi-millionaire and even multi-billionaire owners bankrolling football teams and their success either as personal playthings or with an eye to an investment, the interests of the common or garden fan can be easily brushed aside or forgotten about compared to the interests of other forces such as television companies and league sponsors. Worse yet, fans can find their club taken over by an unscrupulous asset-stripper who promises the fans the earth, only to deliver shattered dreams and a trail of neglect and devastation that shakes the club to its very core, undoing in some cases more than a hundred years of hard work and tradition for the sake of avarice & greed.

It must be remembered at all times that without the fans, there would be no game for these people to want to be part of in the first place. It is the deeply held love that fans have for their team no matter how big or small it may be that makes it such an appealing proposition for businesses and media companies to get involved in.

Supporters Trusts, therefore aim to take a leading role in ensuring that supporter™s' interests are looked after & considered and not just swept under the carpet, acting as a safeguard so that supporters, and indeed their clubs, can never be ignored, marginalised or sidelined in any way.

Who are SMiSA?

SMiSA (The St. Mirren Independent Supporters Association) is a football trust founded in 2002 by mandate of Saints fans. We became an official supporters trust in October 2003 under the name 1877 Society Ltd.   You can read our current constitution here.   Over the years we have supported St. Mirren Football Club in various ways including loaning the club £50,000 for the devlopment of the AirDome behind the north stand. In April 2016 we launched our campaign #BuyTheBuds to purchase a majority shareholding in St. Mirren Football club. Phase 1 of which consists of a joint bid to buy the the Club with former director Gordon Scott, which was successfully completed in July 2016. Phase 2 will see the Trust buy out Gordon's majority shareholding to allow St. Mirren to become a fully fan owned football club.

David Nicol - Club Director

David has extensive experience negotiating multi-million pound deals with international clients through his role with a large Engineering firm. He has experience working in an in-house legal department negotiating contractual terms and conditions. Currently David is in a business development role. David’s main focus with the trust has been supporting on the legal aspects of the deal. He was part of the negotiating team brokering the deal between the buyers and sellers, and has developed the shareholders agreement between SMISA and Gordon Scott.

David has been a St Mirren fan his whole life, his first St Mirren game was a 2-1 defeat to Meadowbank Thistle in the early 1990's, a result which stood David in good stead for the many years of misery to come.

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George Adam - Convenor

With a career that includes Motor Industry Sales Manager, Local Councillor and as the elected MSP for Paisley since 2011 George is the Paisley People Person. Working for the good of his constituents and country has seen George serve on the Scottish Parliament Education & Culture, as well as Standards, Appeals & Public Appointments committees, whilst also acting as the Parliamentary Liaison Officer for the Cabinet Secretary for Education & Lifelong Learning.

Chairman of our trust, and approachable liaison between club, supporters and community it is not an overstatement to say George loves his town, his team and the community he serves. He has the admiration of the whole trust board for being the ‘face’ of SMiSA with all that brings.

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John White - Secretary

Dedicated in his role a Secretary to keeping the trust on track with its stated aims & objectives, John can call on an extensive career in Engineering Management where he successfully meets the needs of all stakeholders.

Seeking continuous improvement, whilst analysing cost performance in various businesses ideally equips John as Secretary to plan and record the trust’s business.

John firmly believes the club should be inclusive, available and approachable to the whole community, and be able to demonstrate it represents all supporters and people of Renfrewshire. ‘One Town, One Team, One Vision’ is the strapline John believes encapsulates what SMiSA seek to achieve.

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Jim Cumming - Treasurer

SMiSA Treasurer for over fourteen years, qualified accountant and Financial Controller at Parklands Country Club for over twenty-five years, Jim is SMiSA’S numbers guy who manages our finances ensuring full tracking, recording, accountability and transparency of our accounts.

A St Mirren fan since the early seventies Jim immersed himself in writing, editing and selling to fellow supporters a Saints fanzine. His three children and wife Jayne all share Jim’s passion for the club, and it is that he believes shows how important families are to the ongoing success of the club as a community hub.

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Colin Orr

Colin is an experienced media professional, who is the director in charge of the trust's communications output. He devised much of SMISA's fundraising structure and led the communications behind the campaign to sign more than 1,000 fans up.

He started his career as a journalist and spent eight years working for various titles in the Scottish media. Colin has now spent the past five years in a senior PR role at a large public-sector organisation where he has been the communications lead on a number of projects of national profile.

He has been a St Mirren fan since he was taken as a young child to see the club win the Scottish Cup in 1987, possibly without realising at the time that would be as good as a lifetime of fandom would get. Over the years he has been a regular contributor to the club's website and programme.

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Peter Black

From being a young boy getting a ‘lift Over’ the turnstiles, or being ushered through the players entrance by a well-known local Police Sergeant to see his idols, Peter has fifty-three years of memories good and not so good, to call upon.

An apprentice Ironmonger, turned Joiner Peter feels like he has worked in almost every home in the community, no surprise then to see how well known he is amongst SMiSA members, supporters and the town. After several years installing, designing and surveying all types of double glazing products, Peter now uses his people skills to help to help those suffering hardship and inequality as a Government Service agent.

Previously a member of the Fans Council, and now at the heart of the Trust, Peter’s popularity helps to connect with/represent those who don’t/can’t always shout the loudest.

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Tony Dorris

A club supporter for over sixty years, a keen amateur footballer, a youth coach with two local clubs, and having been mentored alongside Manchester United Manager Jose Mourinho by former Scotland Manager Craig Brown, Tony epitomises the value of commitment.

Tony amazingly combined all the above alongside a career as Chief Quantity Surveyor, Regional Surveyor and Commercial Manager in construction across the UK & Middle East. Married for forty-six years with five grandchildren Tony has enjoyed giving his time for over the last three years as a committee member of the Aberlour Children’s Trust, where he feels richly rewarded just being able to give something back to the community he loves.

Tony wants to continue to play his part with SMiSA in the regeneration of our community.

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Barry Mitchell

Barry works as a mortgage advisor at a large UK-based bank. As an approved person, he undergoes yearly fit and proper tests. Prior to that he was a self-employed photographer and had a partnership in an online business selling artwork on behalf of recent graduates. He looks after the trust’s digital and design output. He also leads the Trust's membership admin including mailing list, subscriptions and most recently our online balloting. A more recent supporter to St. Mirren after attending the Club's League Cup Semi-Final and Final in 2013.

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Jim Crawford

Jim remembers his first St Mirren game as if it was yesterday, a Scottish Cup game at Tynecastle against Dunfermline in 1962. One for the pub quiz perhaps? As someone who believe in community Jim’s wife children and grandchildren mean the world to him.

Currently a site Access Manager on National Rail projects, Jim’s career includes being the St Mirren Lottery Manager, Logistics, Vehicle Inspector and volunteering at the Renfrewshire Foodbank. Jim is as keen on DIY and music, as he is on collecting St Mirren memorabilia. A long standing SMISA member, Jim is only too happy to share that valuable knowledge.

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Alan Quinn

A Paisley Buddie, lifelong Saints fan who has seen the club win Two Scottish Cup Finals shows clearly where Alan’s loyalties lie. As a youngster Alan was a visitor to the team dressing room at half time in one game, unfortunately it was for some TLC and an orange after falling down, rather than a first team call up.
A retired Chartered Account, who has performed a number of senior roles in Finance in the Whisky industry, Alan has a wealth of experience in internal audit, compliance, system & process implementation and business integration. As SMiSA’s membership and responsibilities have grown, so has the need for Alan’s expertise to deal with our finance and accounting.

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