A fan-owned St Mirren…in less time, for less cost…and better!
When SMISA started the #BuyTheBuds campaign back in 2016 we expected it would take a decade to deliver St Mirren into the hands of the people who will safeguard it forever…you, the fans.
But majority fan ownership could happen much quicker than that – by next year – thanks to a unique partnership with Kibble, one of Scotland’s largest charities and social enterprises, who can help take St Mirren to the next level.
SMISA members are being asked to vote on these proposals. Read on for a summary of how they will work.
- SMISA is in a position to deliver majority fan ownership much sooner than planned – by end 2021
- we will do this by working in partnership with Kibble – one of Scotland’s biggest charities. The partnership will be unique within UK football – never before has a charity been part-owner of a club
- SMISA will buy enough shares to get to 51% - rather than 71%, as under the current deal. This reduces the amount of money we need to raise, which is why it can happen much sooner. Obviously we need our members to stay with us - but with your continued support we will have the required amount plus a cash reserve by late 2021
- Kibble will buy the remainder of Gordon’s shares (27.5%), making them part-owners of the club. If the proposals are agreed, they will do this immediately;
- from now until late 2021, SMISA, Kibble and Gordon Scott will jointly make major shareholder decisions. Gordon will continue as chairman;
- Kibble will offer staff support, help bring new income into the club, invest in new facilities, and create training and employment opportunities for the young people in their care;
- there will be a three-way legal agreement governing how the shareholders will work together, which will become a two-way legal agreement once SMISA buys Gordon’s shares;
- the club’s operations will still be overseen by the club board – but when SMISA become owners we will have the ability to appoint the majority of the board;
- we have negotiated a deal we think is best for St Mirren – but it’s for SMISA members to choose if you want it. Before you vote, we encourage everyone to read our Q&A;
- if we don’t accept the proposals, SMISA is still on track to deliver fan ownership by 2026, but it will still be years away, and the benefits offered by Kibble will be lost;
- SMISA created the #BuyTheBuds campaign because there could be no better owners than the people who will care for the club most – you, the fans.
- this delivers majority fan ownership in half the time and for around half the cost we first thought – but crucially it delivers it better;
- we will be in partnership with an organisation who can help St Mirren grow as a business – creating new income to be reinvested into the football team;
- Kibble share our values – neither of us wants to make profit for ourselves – we want a club which benefits the community;
- the club will be owned by the fans and run by those best qualified. SMISA will be able to shape the future direction of the club – and put in place people we trust to run it on our behalf;
- as a member you are not only helping deliver the buyout, but once we own the club you will continue to have a vote on all SMISA issues, and your views will be represented in club decisions;
- the deal brings together two of Paisley’s oldest institutions – St Mirren (founded 1877) and Kibble (founded 1840). Doing so will help change the lives of some of the country’s most vulnerable kids;
- Kibble’s reason for being is to look after the young people in their care – they see St Mirren as the ideal place to create training, job and sporting opportunities for them, while raising their profile;
- Kibble has massive commercial expertise – they can help St Mirren be a better-run business, and find new ways to bring in income which can be reinvested on the park;
- Kibble has a large staff whose time can be made available to St Mirren, at no charge – to support existing club staff to help bring in new income and improve the service the club offers fans;
- Kibble are making a massive investment in St Mirren – they need to be part-owners to have some control over that. But being part-owners means their fortunes are tied to the club’s – it’ll be in their interests as much as ours to see a winning team on the park;
- Gordon came back to St Mirren with the aim of being chairman, taking the club forward, and handing ownership to the fans – this deal lets him do that with the club in good health and with a fan ownership model that he feels will allow the club to continue to progress;
- the current board have achieved a lot and the club is financially healthy – but they believe the club will be stronger with Kibble as part-owners. Gordon is willing to give up ownership earlier than planned to let that happen;
- SMISA and Kibble will have the power to change things in future, but the club will need stability and continuity – we do not plan to make wholesale change to the boardroom in 2021.