Majority fan-ownership...how it works
SMISA became the majority owner of St Mirren FC in summer 2021...meaning we can allow the people who will care for the club most – you, the fans – to safeguard its future forever.
That means we delivered the Buy The Buds campaign in half the time originally expected – thanks to the ongoing commitment of our members and our unique partnership with children’s charity and leading social enterprise Kibble.
A quick guide to how a SMISA-owned St Mirren will work is below.
SMISA owns a 51% shareholding in St Mirren, giving us majority control. Our partners Kibble own 27.5% and help support St Mirren to grow as a business by offering staff time and commercial expertise. The other 21% is split among several hundred small shareholders.
We have a two-way legal agreement which requires certain decisions to be mutually agreed by the major shareholders (SMISA and Kibble). You can see a summary of this on our terms of vote page.
It’s important to stress fan-owned does not mean fan-run – we want St Mirren to remain a well-run business. That means we need to put in place the people we believe are best qualified to do that, and to trust them to get on with the job.
So that means the club is still run by the club’s board and management – but as majority owner SMISA can appoint at least half the club board, and will make sure our members views are considered in club decisions.
The day-to-day business and football operation of the club is run by the club’s management and staff, led by the chief operating officer and overseen by the club board.
The St Mirren board:
- are legally responsible for the operation of St Mirren as a limited company;
- set the club’s strategy and direction, agree its annual budget, and make major financial and operational decisions;
- use their expertise to do what they believe to be in best interests of St Mirren;
SMISA has appointed four of the six-person St Mirren board: John Needham (club chair), Alex White, Gordon Scott and Alan Wardrop.
The other members are Jim Gillespie and Mark Macmillan (Kibble representatives).
There are currently four SMISA-appointed directors on the club board. They:
- help oversee the running of SMFC on behalf of SMISA and its members;
- ensure SMISA and the views of its members are represented in how the club is run;
- are the link between the club board and the SMISA board.
- manage SMISA affairs and make key SMISA decisions;
- help ensure the club are aware of SMISA member views;
- keep members informed on SMISA business;
- interview and choose preferred candidates for any new SMISA appointments to the SMFC board;
- make major shareholder decisions (along with Kibble);
- scrutinise how club is run, through our representation on club sub-committees.
- safeguard the club’s place at heart of the Paisley community;
- invest in the club’s future – and vote on how SMISA money is spent;
- elect the SMISA committee /have the option to run for election to the SMISA committee;
- approve new SMISA appointments to club board;
- vote on any SMISA surveys/polls, and on any issues the club refers to SMISA members.
Our unique partnership with Kibble brings together two of Paisley’s oldest institutions – St Mirren (founded 1877) and Kibble (founded 1840). They:
- provide staff support and commercial expertise to help grow St Mirren as a business and create new income to be reinvested in the club;
- appoint two members of the club board, and (along with SMISA) make major shareholder decisions;
- create training, job and sporting opportunities for the young people in their care, meaning our club will help change the lives of some of the country’s most vulnerable kids;
- St Mirren's board and management will be responsible for communicating club news and announcements, and the reasons for club decisions, to the fanbase;
- SMISA will not be responsible for club communications. While we always try to answer member questions as best we can, only the club can explain club decisons. We won’t be able to give out information on club operations which the club itself hasn’t made public;
- SMISA will demand open and two-way communication between the club and our members/the wider fanbase as much as possible – but some matters will still be subject to legal, commercial or employee confidentiality. The club being fan-owned doesn't change that.