#BuyTheBuds Deadline of 19th June Announced
St Mirren fans have one month left to sign up to a scheme which could see them become the latest Scottish club to move into fan ownership, after a fundraising deadline was called.
The St Mirren Independent Suppoorters’ Association (SMISA) has teamed up with former club director Gordon Scott with a joint offer already accepted in principle by the consortium selling a majority shareholding.
The trust needs to sign up 1,000 members at a minimum of £12 per month for the deal to be viable – and are more than halfway there, having managed almost 600 since fundraising started in April.
But with other bidders on the scene the deal needs to be completed this summer – and SMISA have now called an end date of Thursday 19 June to hit the target.
The announcement was made last night at a public meeting at The Paisley 2021 Stadium attended by hundreds, at which Gordon and SMISA chair George Adam MSP answered questions from fans.
The joint SMISA/Gordon offer is loosely based on the successful model run by Ann Budge and the Foundation of Hearts.
Gordon is putting up the bulk of the money needed to fund the deal, which would see him become majority shareholder and chairman, while the fans would get a director on the board and a legal agreement giving them exclusive right to buy the shares Gordon buys now within 10 years.
Membership starts at £12 per month, with a £25 per month option, and a premium package offering ten years of membership and other exclusive benefits for a one-off payment of £2,500. For more information, visit www.smisa.net
SMISA chair George Adam MSP said: “We have had a fantastic reaction from fans, with hundreds signing up the first couple of weeks of fundraising, and we want to thank all of those who have done so to date.
“A team of us have been working hard behind the scenes on this bid for a year now – but its success now rests on what happens in the next month.
“We have one month in which to get the numbers we need to make this deal viable. If we don’t we won’t get the chance again.
“For the price of a pint a week, St Mirren fans have it in their hands to take control of the future of their club and everything it means to this community, and preserve it for future generations.”
Gordon Scott said: “The current board deserve a lot of credit for all they have done over the years – but one way or another they are going to sell up and move on.
“St Mirren fans have a simple choice – either be part of what are doing and build the future of our club together, or leave that future entirely to chance.
“It would be a life-defining achievement for me to become chairman of the club I have supported since I was a boy.
“My aim is simple – work with the fans and the community to give St Mirren the fresh ideas it needs, get the club back into the top league where it belongs, and hand it over to the fans to safeguard forever.”
Alex Rae & David Farrell Q&A hosted by SMiSA
Video highlights of Q&A with Alex Rae and David Farrell by St. Mirren TV.
An evening with the Millennium Champions
It was one the most dramatic and memorable seasons in St Mirren’s history – now SMISA members will be able to relive every highlight with the men who made it happen.
Our first exclusive #BuyTheBuds members event will be An Evening With The Millennium Champions, in the corporate hospitality suite at the Paisley 2021 Stadium on Friday 2 December, from 7:30pm.
Access to the evening will work as detailed when the #BuyTheBuds campaign launched in the summer, details of which are still on our sign-up webpage.
That means it will initially only be for our Plus (£25-per-month) and Premium members – but any unclaimed places will be made available to other members.
The night will be hosted by broadcaster and Saints fan Colin Kelly, and will see manager Tom Hendrie and members of the squad reminisce about the season, helped by video highlights of key games.
SMISA members will also be able to put their own questions to the team for what we are sure will be a really lively evening.
A pay bar will be available throughout the event but given the licensing restrictions, we are afraid it is available to over-18s only
All Plus members will have until Sunday 13 November to guarantee their free place and have been emailed with details of how to do so.
Those places are only available to those who had a Plus membership as of Thursday 27 October and should not be transferred
On Monday 14 November we will make any remaining tickets available to our other members at a cost of £10 each. All money raised will be donated to St Mirren’s youth development.
This makes sure everybody who is paying a higher membership fee has the option to attend the exclusive event due to them under the terms of their membership , while giving other members the chance to take any unclaimed seats.
We don’t plan to open up the sale to non-members, but reserve the right to do so should we still have spaces close to the time.
As always, if you have any questions, please send them to us at [email protected]. We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible there on the night for what should be a great evening.
Congratulations St Mirren fans. You just #BoughtTheBuds
Congratulations, you just #BoughtTheBuds
We are delighted to announce that the legal formalities around SMISA’s joint offer for a majority shareholding in the club with Gordon Scott were concluded earlier today, meaning the trust is now the proud part-owner of St Mirren FC.
This means 21 July 2016 can go down as a landmark moment in St Mirren’s long and proud history – today saw the right to decide what happens with our club pass into the hands of the people who care about it most...you.
For those of us on the committee, the past year has involved an incredible amount of work and we are both proud and delighted to have finally seen the deal over the line.
Again, we want to thank the 1,300 of you who signed up to #BuyTheBuds, as without that show of support we would not have been able to make history today.
We appreciate there will be few questions about what will happen next, and hopefully these will be answered below...
With the deal completed, Gordon now owns a 50.1% stake in the club, while SMISA own 28%. Crucially, SMISA now has the option to buy the shares Gordon buys now at the price he pays now within the next ten years, and thus achieve majority fan ownership of the club.
Five of the six members of the current board will now step down and we want to pay tribute to them for all they have done for the club over the years, as they can be justifiably proud of their legacy.
Four new directors will be appointed and the new board will include Gordon (as the new chairman), club chief exec Tony Fitzpatrick, and financial advisor Alan Wardrop, while current club director and company secretary Chris Stewart will stay in place.
Gordon has also asked SMISA board member David Nicol to join him as the temporary trust representative on the St Mirren board for the next few months.
The SMISA committee will use that time to finalise a procedure for members to elect one of their own to serve as their voice in the St Mirren boardroom.
At the same time, we have already started work on a procedure through which our members can vote to choose how the £2 portion of their monthly membership will be spent on the club. Once we have firmed up arrangements for both of these issues, we will put the details before members.
We are also working on plans for a fan party to take place in a town centre venue after the Morton game on Saturday 6 August to help usher in the new era, with details of that to be announced soon.
Once again, thank you all for your support and we look forward to writing the next chapter in the history of our club together.
Famous Saints fans sign up to #BuyTheBuds
The bid to take St Mirren into the hands of its supporters has received some big-name backing – with best-selling author Chris Brookmyre issuing a plea to fans to join him in signing up.
Writer Chris and TV acting star Douglas Henshall were among the near-400 fans who signed up to the #BuyTheBuds campaign in its first week.
The St Mirren Independent Supporters Association (SMISA) has had a joint offer with former Saints director Gordon Scott accepted in principle for the majority shareholding in the club – but need 1,000 fans to join this summer before the deal can happen.
And Chris sent a message of support to the trust, saying: “Clubs like St Mirren are all about community.
“As fans we all invest emotionally in the club, so it make sense that we should take that a stage further.”
Chris had initially tweeted to his 14,000 followers that he had joined, posting a link to SMISA’s website, and then retweeting a link to a Paisley Daily Express story about the fan bid.
Actor Douglas – known for his starring roles in TV shows Primeval and Shetland – then tweeted Chris back to say he had signed up too.
Both men are originally from Barrhead and have talked about their support for the club throughout their careers.
Full details of how you can join Chris and Douglas and sign up to #BuyTheBuds are available here – fans can sign up from £12 per month.
If the deal goes through, Gordon would become majority shareholder and chairman of St Mirren and SMISA would get a director on the board – with an option to buy Gordon’s shares and achieve majority fan ownership within the next ten years.
SMISA chair George Adam added: “We have had a fantastic response to our first week of fundraising – we want to thank every one of the near-400 fans who have pledged their support so far.
“We put this deal on the table because we believe it offers the best possible future for St Mirren.
“This is a one-off chance to ensure St Mirren’s next set of owners will be people who will keep the club where it belongs, at the heart of the Paisley community, forever.
“But that chance will be gone if we don’t get 1,000 fans signing up this summer. So I would urge anybody who hasn’t yet signed up to do so online now."
Fan Party - Sat 6th August
St Mirren fans just became part-owners of their club - and we're having a party! The SMISA team is marking last week's takeover by hosting a fan party at the University of the West of Scotland after the Morton game on Saturday 6 August.
We are hoping new club chairman Gordon Scott, chief executive Tony Fitzpatrick and team boss Alex Rae will all be there on the day to welcome fans to the event. There will be a bottle bar, and hot food for sale, while Saints fan and DJ Billy Gray will be providing the tunes until the event closes.
The event will be in the cafe at the library in the Paisley Campus of the University of the West of Scotland. Enter via the pedestrianised section of Storie Street, beside the student flats. Entry is FREE but be aware capacity is limited to 250 so it is essential anybody who wishes to come along register here to get their ticket - please bring your ticket on the night either as a print-out or on your phone.
You don't need to be a SMISA member to attend - the event is open to all Saints fans. Due to the venue's license, the event is open to over 18s only. Doors will open at 5pm with the event to start around 5.30pm. We hope to see as many of you as possible there, hopefully after another Renfrewshire derby win! If you need more info, drop us a line at [email protected]
Next #BuyTheBuds Public Meeting is on Thu 19th May
Our next public meeting will be held with in the hospitality suite at the Paisley 2021 Stadium on Thursday the 19th of May at 7pm. The meeting will be a chance to meet us face to face and ask George Adam, Gordon Scott and the rest of the SMISA team your questions on the #BuyTheBuds bid.
There will be a chance to signup on the day and we'll be live streaming the event for Buddies far and wide who can't make it that evening. We'll also be giving away a special something to the fans for your support so head down to the ground so you don't miss out.
SMISA director election – nominations open
As you know, one of the key parts of the #BuyTheBuds campaign was that SMISA members elect one of their own to serve as a fan representative on the club board.
When Gordon Scott took over as chairman in the summer he appointed SMISA committee member David Nicol to serve on the board as a temporary SMISA representative while we put in place an election procedure.
But the plan was always to have an election before the end of the year in order for the successful candidate to be elected to the St Mirren board at the club AGM (which will likely be in December).
So we are now inviting nominations from within the membership to run for election.
This role will be vital as the voice of the fans within the boardroom but also as the link between the club and the trust.
Full information – including a job description and election rules – are available for download now via the SMISA website
Any candidates will be invited to attend SMISA’s weekly committee meetings for the duration of their candidacy, so they can familiarise themselves with the operation of the trust.
The timetable is as follows
- Monday 10 October – nomination period opens
- Friday 28 October – nomination period closes
- Monday 7 November – voting opens
- Sunday 20 November – voting closes
Of course if there are questions not covered by the webpage, you can as always ask them via email here
George Adam MSP
SMISA convenor and election returning officer