Letter to SMISA members from Kibble’s Jim Gillespie

Kibble's Jim Gillespie explains why he believes the partnership between SMISA, Kibble and St Mirren will be good for all involved....
Here at Kibble we are excited about our proposed partnership with SMISA to ensure St Mirren Football Club is owned by the fans and the opportunity to create an environment that can bring meaningful change, to the lives of young people in care at Kibble, to St Mirren Football Club and to the wider Paisley community.
This new partnership will allow us to grow the business of St Mirren and at the same time increase Kibble’s opportunities for employment, training and education as well as access to sport, health and wellbeing support.
Kibble will bring our commercial expertise to St Mirren, creating a dynamic partnership and complementing the existing set up by offering the support and expertise that a large charity has in areas such as HR, finance, marketing and communications. The strength in this partnership will help bring in new income to be reinvested in the team, which in turn will generate more non-footballing income to create a sustainable business model for the Club going forward.
This pioneering venture could also help address local deprivation and exclusion through youth employment, community engagement, initiatives and activities bringing significant benefits to the young people in Kibble and in the community.
We will strengthen Kibble’s young workforce development including employability programmes, volunteering support, traineeships and apprenticeships to provide wider opportunities between local schools and businesses.  It will offer young people from Kibble and the wider community support, tuition, training and confidence that they need to get a job.
If this proposal receives the support of the members of SMISA, this will be an incredibly exciting time for our charity as we combine the youth-centred, educational and commercial expertise of Kibble, with St. Mirren’s first-class sporting facilities and national profile to develop a dynamic partnership. At the centre of this will be a young workforce development model that will continue to thrive, with increased job prospects for our young people, and young people in the community aligned with the current job market.
At the heart of this proposal is the SMISA-Kibble partnership. This brings together two organisations with shared values, a not-for-profit ethos and the belief in the model of community ownership. We have worked hard with SMISA to create a deal that preserves those principles and we hope the SMISA members vote in favour to make a reality the exciting possibilities this creates for us all.
I look forward to hearing what SMISA members think
Jim Gillespie
Chief Executive

St Mirren director election - voting open

SMISA members are being asked to elect their next representative on the St Mirren board.

This role is of crucial importance for St Mirren and SMISA – the successful candidate will be the key link between the club and the trust, will represent SMISA in major boardroom decisions and play a role in helping take the club forward.

Last month we invited any members interested in the role to come forward. The deadline has now passed and we only received one eligible application, from David Riley, which means we are holding a confirmation ballot for members to approve David’s election.

Members were emailed earlier today with their link to the secure online ballot. Before voting we have asked members to read our election webpage, where we have printed David’s election statement in which he details why he wants the job and believes he is qualified for it.

One-year anniversary of #BuyTheBuds

This week marked the one-year anniversary of the #BuyTheBuds campaign being concluded, meaning the future ownership of St Mirren will lie in the hands of the people who will care for it most – you.

In that time the SMISA committee have been busy. Sometimes it’s easy to forget what has been achieved, so we thought it was worth recapping on what SMISA has done in that time.

- created a process where member vote on where to spend the £2 portions of your membership, a scheme unlike anything else we know of at other Scottish clubs;

- part-funded the club’s wheelchair platform, helping bring back gold status to the Paisley 2021 Stadium, and giving St MIrren disabled facilities rated among the best in the country;

- made additional funds available to the manager when the club was teetering on the brink of relegation in January, helping fuel an incredible last three months of the season;

- had the first-ever election for a SMISA member to sit on the St Mirren board. David Nicol has done a great job over the last year as the link between the club and SMISA, while making sure fan issues are considered in club decision-making. He can be reached via [email protected];

- held events including a party for the fans to celebrate the buyout, a Millennium champions night with Tom Hendrie and the 1999/2000 squad, and a quiz night with Jack Ross and some of his players.

- helped set up a volunteer squad which has cleaned every seat in the stadium ahead of the new season;

- loaned the club money to repair the undersoil heating;

- helped get an issue of The Saint newspaper up and running and distributed it to fans;

- purchased 24 season tickets to invite local community groups along to games free of charge;

- sponsored a local youth football team (Renfrew Juniors 2005s) for a year, and donated money to Renfrewshire Foodbank;

- set a series of objectives for the next year which include increasing our member numbers, creating a regular place for members to meet the committee, setting up more regular meetings with club directors, and increasing the diversity of the committee to include more female members.

There is still much to be done but we start our second year in a strong position and have high hopes for the future of SMISA and St Mirren, on and off the park.

Of course to see through the long-term goal of fan ownership we need as many members as possible.

If you have Saints-supporting friends or relatives who haven’t yet signed up, tell them what we have achieved and be proud of your role in making it happen.

You can check out our video of our social media highlights from 2016/7 which tells the story of #BuyTheBuds, at the top of the article.


Fan Party - Sat 6th August

Saturday, August 6, 2016 from 5:00 PM - 8:30 PM

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]



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.

SMiSA Committee

#BuyTheBuds July Update

Dear members,

This post is to give you a brief update on the latest status of #BuyTheBuds, SMISA’s joint bid with Gordon Scott for the majority shareholding of the club.

In our last update two weeks ago we said we would be taking the first set of your payments in the first week of July, and we hoped to complete the legal formalities needed to conclude the deal by the start of the season.

While we haven’t quite managed to get that over the line in time for Saturday’s game against Livingston, the good news is we expect to do so in the next week or so.

Obviously a deal of this complexity has required a fair bit of legal input and we are sure you appreciate the importance of all parties taking the time needed to get things right.

The first set of member payments are safely in the bank and will allow us to make the first of our monthly repayments to the consortium.

Should everything go to plan, by the time the league season kicks off with the Renfrewshire derby on 6 August, Gordon will have assembled a new board for the start of a new era for our club.

As it stands member numbers are sitting at around 1,300 but we would remind you there is no upper limit and we don’t want it to stop there – if you meet other fans at the games who haven’t yet signed up to have a say in how their club is run they can still do so at smisa.net now.

In the meantime, the SMISA committee has been busy behind the scenes working on a new set of processes and structures for how the trust will organise its affairs and involve our vastly-increased membership in trust decisions.

Should the deal be completed as planned, we hope to be able to put details of that work to you in the near future, once it is fully developed.

We are also looking forward to getting back to watching some football again, and hopefully we’ll see as many of you as possible at Livingston tomorrow.

Things are looking good for the club on and off the park right now and under the new regime we will have the power to keep that going.

‘Mon the Saints
The SMISA committee

Deposit for #BuyTheBuds now paid

SMISA took another small step towards fan ownership for St Mirren earlier today when ourselves and Gordon Scott deposited a £100,000 deposit with lawyers - who will now secure a one-month exclusivity period as sole bidders for the majority shareholding in the club held by the selling consortium. That gives time for due diligence and for us to complete the legal formalities, and - while the deal is not yet done - we are still on track for Gordon to have a new board in place for the start of the new season and the start of a new era for the club. SMISA chair George Adam is pictured outside TSB in Paisley High Street after arranging for SMISA's £20,000 share of the deposit to be transferred.

#BuyTheBuds Target Reached

Congratulations St Mirren fans, you did it – your club can now be yours. Today is a landmark day in the history of our club – the people who care about it most now have the chance to help shape its future, and make sure St Mirren stays where it belongs – at the heart of the Paisley and Renfrewshire community.

With 1,000+ members, SMISA has now met our own target to finalise our joint offer for the majority shareholding in the club with Gordon Scott, and – subject to due diligence – the sale should be concluded in the next few weeks. If all goes to plan, the new season will see Gordon put a new board in place and kick off a new era for our club.

We would like to pay tribute to the current board for everything they have done for St Mirren over the past two decades – they can walk away with their heads held high in the knowledge they left the club in a far better position than they found it, and to know that it will be in safe hands.

But we won’t stop at 1,000 members – we want as many St Mirren fans as possible to sign up and be part of this new era, so if you haven’t yet, please do so at smisa.net any time. There is no upper ceiling on membership – the more paying members we have, the less financial risk on the trust, the greater the pool of talent we can draw on, and the more money we can spend on the club and community, while working towards the long-term goal of majority fan ownership.

Of course, new challenges will lie ahead and SMISA has a lot of work to do behind the scenes to put new structures and procedures in place for our vastly-expanded membership. We are sure you understand this won’t happen overnight and appreciate your patience. But today is one for every Saints fan to celebrate. You did it. You ‪#‎BoughtTheBuds‬.