William Bell

William Bell

I've been a Saints fan since the mid 70s and proud to say so. Fast forwarding to the late 90's I became involved with ‘Making a Stand’ - a group of fans who assisted with raising funds to seat and cover the Love Street terracing. The positive impact that the collective effort of a group of committed fans had made left a big impression on me and from that point onwards supporter involvement became ingrained in me.

SMISA developed out of that group of supporters. Initially it was a bit start / stop however the Association found its feet in 2002 and has matured into the position of majority shareholder in the club, a fantastic achievement. SMISA has always been a team effort and filling the role of Secretary through the formation of SMISA as a Supporters Trust, initial Share purchases in the club and numerous fundraising and supporter engagement events I eventually stepped down in 2013. At the time that was good for SMISA and myself and I had played my part in the team. Voluntary organisations are best served with fresh input by new volunteers and as I seek election to the SMISA Board moving forwards I would look to implement a robust succession plan to mitigate any potential stagnation on the Board.

Clearly the SMISA of 2013 has evolved and is in a different position nowadays although the principles upon which the Trust was formed remain true. What has changed is the wider responsibility SMISA bears with the privilege of the majority shareholding in St Mirren. The SMISA Board is the primary driver in the successful operation of the club - with the current model it simply has to be - and I firmly believe I can add value to the current Board to ensure this is achieved. 

My career in the Construction industry initially from a design background lends to developing programming, planning, gap analysis and risk mitigation skills along with the essential requirement for team co-ordination. These are skills I can adapt to the requirements of the Board and service of SMISA at this time should this application prove successful.

Primarily I see the Board representing the SMISA membership as the majority shareholder and by default is answerable to the membership. Engagement at all levels with St. Mirren fans is something I'm comfortable with, due in part to my previous involvement with SMISA and through the running of one of the Travel Clubs. Both have created opportunities to meet saints fans on a one to one level and I have always sought to be accessible to fans requiring assistance or insight as to how we operate on their behalf. I truly believe the club belongs to the fans and anyone who cares enough to support the team.

I believe the challenges ahead and current dynamic at the club demands that SMISA drives the progress and I seek to ensure the years of work, emotional and financial sacrifice given by everyone involved are recognised by way of progressing SMISA at this time.

I would be grateful for support of this application by way of appointment to the SMISA Board based on the above.

Stuart Chalk

Stuart Chawk

Having been a St Mirren fan all my life, I share the same passion and enthusiasm for this club as all SMiSA. Like many, I was brought up as a St Mirren fan by my dad who introduced me to Love St. and ‘Gus-Ball’.

Now 22 years old, I am working at a Consultant Engineering company and in the final year of my Civil Engineering degree. I feel now is the perfect time to put myself forward for election to the SMiSA board to enable me to have a meaningful impact on the club and community.

In the past I have engaged in public speaking at events etc. primarily through my role as Head Boy in high school. I have worked for several companies in the retail sector which developed valuable people skills such as communication, team working and assertiveness. I am also highly motivated to achieve my goals, meaning SMiSA member concerns etc. would be dealt with swiftly and effectively.

If elected, I believe I would bring a fresh element of energy and enthusiasm to the board. I would use my youthfulness to my advantage by promoting better fan engagement, in particular with the younger fan base. Building the number of younger SMiSA members would be a priority if elected, which I believe is critical to the sustainability of fan ownership in the long term.

Another priority if elected would be to improve the communication from SMiSA to members. This includes better social media interactions which I feel could be better utilised to ensure members views and concerns are represented at board level. I believe social media should also be increasingly used as a tool to encourage new SMiSA members to join.

As I’m sure many would agree, our youth academy and community engagement through the charitable foundation etc. represents everything which St Mirren stands for. I would ensure these elements of our club continue to receive backing in order for them to continue to grow. The youth academy in particular should be the centre of a club of our size. It is so important to have a continuous stream of new talent making its way from the academy to the first team. Not only does this act as a source of revenue when they move onto bigger things, but the excitement and pride supporters get when we see a player make it at first team level after being in the academy from a young age is arguably the best of all.

Finally, I would like to note that my election to the SMiSA board would be a huge privilege and not something which I would take lightly. Rest assured my attention and focus would solely be on representing fellow St Mirren fans to the best of my ability, which together will hopefully see the club guided in a positive direction.

COYS

Stewart Gilmour

Stewart Gilmour

You may well ask why does Stewart Gilmour wish to get involved again with anything in our football club, a fair question, one that can only be answered from the heart. Like many of our fellow fans I was being taken along by my Grandfather in the season 1958/9 to watch our club, that season culminated in the winning of the Scottish Cup and the subsequent celebrations in County Square, something never to be forgotten, even as a 5 year old, which embeds you as a supporter for life.

Never was I more proud yet humbled to be the Chairman for a period of 18 years, I faced, together with fantastic colleagues, many highs and lows, including the stress of pulling our famous club back from the Brealey brink of non existence in 1998. If nothing else that  awful time taught me that the club must live within its means, but believe me,I never wish to experience anything like that again.Many years were spent trying to stretch every pound that came into the club, culminating in the sale of our beloved, but crumbling,  Love Street ground which allowed us to become debt free for the first time in a long period, this enabled us to make our own decisions rather than be dictated too by banks or indeed creditors.

SMISA have achieved so much since being formed, a wonderful effort in pulling together so many fans to enable the Supporters Buyout, in particular in the face of ‘investors’ from Argentina, Italy and U.S.A. Hence my interest that a supporter ownership works for all, as this was a preferred route by the Board at that time, the others were not particularly palatable, or in our clubs interests. This was enabled by Gordon Scott’s assistance and we entered the payback years, while Gordon took a very good hands on role as Chairman.

As you are all aware this agreement was cut short and the Kibble entered the equation to repay Gordon early and take up 27.5% stake in the club, at this point I personally feel we lost our way slightly, Kibble have had a major role in the financial control and operational aspects of our club which from the accounts in May 2021 would indicate that our expenditure exceeds our income by some way, bearing in mind the Scottish Government loan is in our account and not tucked away for a rainy day.

I feel the role of SMISA has changed, from that of a group looking to add supporters to its membership primarily, to a group that owns the majority shareholding 52% in our club, the responsibility of the SMISA Board is now a larger remit, that of encouraging new members, engaging with the support and other St Mirren stakeholders, however primarily overseeing the security of the share our members have bought in our club, I do not feel this is being carried out to a level befitting the shareholders agreement we have with Kibble.

Having extensive experience of previously running our football club I would like to shape the future, alongside other SMISA Directors, of our beloved club. A future only reliant on us, the supporters of this great club. A future where our club is truly and wholly fan owned. I must stress I see this as a short term appointment to assist on enabling both the Club and SMISA to have a robust working arrangement which will be beneficial for the long term stability of our club.

My intended goals are in the short term assist the club through a difficult time, in the medium term return SMISA to the direction we embarked on to hold 76% of the total shareholding, finally for SMISA to build a war chest to assist the club through any future funding issues.

I hope after reading this you will favour me with your support, may I thank you for reading my submission.

Kenny Lang

Kenny Lang

I went to my first game with my dad in 1976 & been a season ticket holder for most of my 50 years, travelling home & away with the Chivas Travel Club.

Through the years I’ve been fortunate enough to develop numerous skills in various roles that I know will make a valuable contribution to the SMISA board. I’ve been employed in the finance sector managing teams & undertaking various project management roles. After a complete career change, I now work for Social Work as a co-ordinator for learning disability & older people. I’m also a volunteer mentor for vulnerable young people in care, helping to deliver positive outcomes.

Professionally I have acquired the necessary experience & transferable skills to undertake the role of board member effectively. Skills include:

  • Excellent communication & presentation skills.
  • Ability to plan & organise effectively.
  • Collaborate & negotiate with others. 

I’m also the joint social convenor for the Chivas Travel Club & have organised numerous successful POTY events / fund raisers.

I’m proud to have been an early SMiSA member and believe in fan ownership of our club; being at first co-opted then formally elected to the SMISA board in 2021. Initially, I was delighted and sincerely hoped to make a real contribution.

Unfortunately I had to step down for personal reasons but I am now able to commit the time and energy required for the role. 

However, upon reflection I now feel that with this election of new SMISA board members, I can now play a part in creating a board that properly represents and regularly reports back to SMISA members and gives them a real voice in how St Mirren FC is run.

SMiSA must provide positive direction to the St Mirren board and ensure our wishes are acted upon, while fairly overseeing the board’s good management. This is essential to sustain a strong, stable and successful St Mirren. The club board, SMISA board and supporters must always work collaboratively with the good of the club at heart.

I recently helped establish the Marching On group with like-minded supporters blessed with the passion and drive to deliver positive improvements for us all.

In the short time frame to date we have achieved fantastic results at no cost to the club, including work in the West Stand and the improved match day atmosphere – both fine examples of what can be achieved when we all work together.

It is imperative that SMiSA’s voice and all our voices are heard and that the St Mirren family continues to make a major contribution to the wider community. The club must always place the fans at the heart of everything we do.

St Mirren Football Club must always be protected for future generations.

Jack McSkeane

Jack McSkeane

I’m a buddie born and bred, there is nothing I love more than following our club up and down the country. Fan ownership brings about opportunities that most fans of football clubs across the world would ever be able to experience, which is why I am eager to put myself forward for this role. Our football club means everything to us and it would be an honour to represent our fanbase on the SMiSA board, something that I would not take lightly.

I’ve followed the club since I can remember, beginning with when my father would take me to Love Street to now at the SMiSA Stadium, experiencing the rollercoaster of being a St Mirren fan that we all wouldn’t trade for the world. My time at games and other club related events have led to me meeting many new people or building stronger pre-existing relationships through St Mirren another reason as to why I am so passionate about the club and would commit my absolute best efforts to this role.

A little about myself, I’m 22 years old currently studying an honours degree in criminal justice as well as being employed in retail for the last 6 years. Outside of studying and work I have found myself in a few volunteering roles, most notably and proudly my role within a Glasgow youth group who care for many sick and severely disabled people as they take a yearly pilgrimage to Lourdes. My experience through all of this gives me full confidence that I am capable of the responsibilities that are tied into this position and I would be effective at helping to maintain the good foundations already put in place by SMiSA and move the club forward through the communication with my fellow fans and working with the current board members.

The main aim for me is to keep our club fan owned for as long as possible so that in the distant future St Mirren is still being run by the people who care for it most. This is why it is important to me that some youth representation is added to the SMiSA board and is something I very much think I can bring to the table. Diverse opinions are key to gaining the right solutions at our club and being able to cover a different angle that is from the perspective of a younger fan I feel would benefit us and maybe lead the club into beneficial areas that previously may not have been considered.

As well as continuing the fantastic work being carried out by the charitable foundation, at the youth academy and the club as a whole I would like to try increase the number of young SMiSA members. I feel the £5 membership is ideal for younger people and would push this a lot more than what is being done in order to gain an uptake in members.

John White

John White

Having been a member of SMiSA since day one, when the members collective aspirations were to ''make a difference'' I later volunteered to serve on the committee. During that time with a membership of around 200, The Supporters Trust was working hard to achieve recognition, providing funds for the club and buying shares to allow our collective ambitions to be realised.

With the 'Buy the Buds' deal done, I later stepped down from the committee in 2017 for two reasons;

1) Having taken up the role of one of two Supporter Liaison Officers it required a focused approach.

2) To allow a new enthusiastic member to join the committee and bring fresh ideas to The Trust.

As a volunteer SLO along with John Allison and latterly Karin Pointon we feel the role and objectives of SLO have been firmly established and recognised (after a lot of hard work) and much of what we do has become more manageable and between us we tend to deal with different aspects of Fan Engagement such as, being available to fans on match day and on social media, requesting feedback, encouraging engagement, regularly meeting with club Operations Management, attending and holding regular meetings at the stadium both with club and fan group representatives, as well as engaging with other clubs SLOs at a national level, and ultimately being on target to achieving our own stated Goals and Objectives.

The area of Fan Engagement and communication is something I feel it’s fair to say could be improved by both the Trust and the Club Board.

Therefore, I am submitting my application based on bringing the practices already developed and successful in the SLO role, to and for the benefit of SMiSA members and provide a constructive role to the committee in achieving their stated objectives for this year (published 24/04/22).

  • Improve SMISA engagement with members and wider fan base
  • Conduct a review of SMISA board functions and formalise board member designated roles
  • Work with the SMFC board representatives to agree a set of key club operational matters

Beyond working to achieve these shared objectives, as a committee member I would intend to publish a report every three or four months on exactly what I have been doing or working on as part of the group which I will be happy for the members to regularly judge me on as to whether my actions are actually ''making a difference''.

This idea of providing feedback on exactly what SMiSA representatives are personally doing may well become standard practice with the other members of the SMiSA Committee and indeed the Club Board, which would undoubtedly help alleviate and in the future prevent the current disconnect with the Trust Committee and Club Board with the membership as well as the wider fan base.

I also possess a healthy disrespect for authority and I am proud to have been accused by a club board member some years ago of ''always taking the fans side''.