Statement on Provan Sports

The news that Provan Sports are severing ties with the club for a second time was received by the Supporters Trust with much sadness and great disappointment. Prior to Provan Sports returning our club had at best a minimal offering of club merchandise. Alan and his team quickly rectified this and continued where they had left off with an excellent service given to the St Mirren supporters.

We would like to thank Alan, John and all the Provan Sports staff for their service to the fans and their support of the Trust over the seasons. Based on the experience during their last absence they are going to be badly missed by the St Mirren supporters.

We understand that due to the replica kit deal and the merchandising being separate contracts Provan Sports have concluded that without the kit deal the merchandise side alone is not viable and therefore, sadly they have no choice but to sever the current arrangement with the club. No news has been forthcoming from St Mirren in relation to how this service is to be supplied moving forward and we fear that losing Provan Sports will take us back to the position where there will be no professional supply of this service, which for fans of a top Scottish professional football club is unacceptable.

Football clubs should never under estimate the importance of merchandise in particular the value this has to young supporters. Not everything can be measured in pounds and pence and while we appreciate that football is a business we would hope that given the deal with JD Sports is apparently such a fantastic one the upside of that contract would balance any potential deficit on the merchandising side.

Many Saints supporters have in recent seasons had issues with the supply of the replica kit from JD Sports which is very disappointing given the size of their retail operation. They do however possess Paisley town centre premises that could be utilized to supply Saints merchandise alongside the replica kit if they had the will to do so. It would make sense in so many ways if the replica kit and club merchandise could be purchased at the same location. It would be even better if this could also be replicated at the stadium outlet. If this is the plan we would welcome it even given our past experience with availability of the kit as it would be a vast improvement of having no St Mirren scarves available at the start of the season or only ice scrapers in the shop in July.

We call on the Directors at the club to ensure that the importance of this service is recognised and a suitable solution is sought to avoid the issues of seasons past either by JD Sports taking ownership of this or by way of appointing another professional retailer to supply this service.

SMiSA – The St Mirren Supporters Trust.