This summer we ran a comprehensive survey of SMISA members – the biggest we’ve ever done.
With SMISA set to take on the majority ownership of St Mirren by the end of next year, the committee are currently planning ahead to prepare for our fan-owned future.
But it is important whatever SMISA does next is shaped by what our members want – and the feedback from the survey has given us a huge amount of invaluable insight into that.
It covered a range of issues – from what you think SMISA’s future role and priorities should be, to where member money should be spent, to what our membership fees and benefits should be in future.
Nearly 500 of you took the time to fill it out and we thank you for your views. All of the feedback we received was reviewed and all of it was useful.
Given much of the feedback was text-based, it was a time-consuming job to analyse, however we have now completed this – and the key findings are summarised below:
The survey is now closed, however if anyone has any additional comments for us, we are always happy to receive it via [email protected]
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- 33% of respondents live in Paisley and 52% in Renfrewshire. However we are a far-flung group – 14% live outwith Scotland and 4% outwith the UK.
- when we asked you why you joined SMISA, the two top answers by a distance were ‘to deliver majority fan ownership’ and ‘protect the club from unsuitable owners’ – each cited by more than 70% of respondents;
- we asked you to rate a series of possible priorities for SMISA over the next year from 1 to 5 (5 being the most important). Three things were rated as essential (5/5) by more than 50% of respondents. In order of preference, they were: ‘investing in the long-term future of club’, ‘helping the club mitigate the financial impact of Covid19’ and ‘raising the final funds for the share purchase’;
- we used the same question format to ask you what SMISA’s top priorities should be once we own the club. Your top three answers (each rated essential by more than half of respondents) were: ‘help ensure the club is as well-run as possible’, ‘keep the club in hands of the fans’ and ‘invest in the long-term future of the club’;
- across both of the previous two questions, the answer with by some distance the lowest average score was ‘community work unconnected to the club’ – only 8% saw this as essential;
- we asked you to define SMISA’s future role and purpose in your own words, and you gave some great answers. We analysed every comment and grouped them into themes. The three most common were, in order: 1) protecting the future ownership (a lot of you talked about ‘safeguarding’ it), 2) helping ensure the club is well-run (common words used included ‘stable’, ‘sustainable’ and ‘professional’, with a focus on living within its means and healthy and prudent finances), and 3) being a voice for the fans/ensuring fan views are represented;
- we asked if you would be happy for SMISA to keep investing member money in the club once we own it - 89% of respondents said yes, and only 2% said no (the rest said ‘maybe’);
- when we asked you to rate a series of options for where future SMISA money could be spent, two things were well out in front. The top priority was the youth academy (with an average score of 4.44 out of 5), followed by ‘facilities that can generate revenue for the club’ (average 4.25 out of 5).
- we asked several questions around what you want from the club. Our analysis and the full results have been shared with our two directors on the club board (David Riley and John Needham) for them to ensure your views are considered in future boardroom discussion;
- when asked what you thought the club’s top three priorities should be, the top answers were ‘ensure the club is well-run and financially healthy’ (86%), ‘develop young players’ (64%), and ‘deliver success on the park’ (62%);
- we asked what one thing you wanted the club to change or improve on, and grouped the most common answers into themes. The top three were around improving the matchday fan experience, improving the ticketing system, and being more professional;
- when asked to define success for the club, most answers were around footballing performance (staying in the Premier League was the most common, but top-six finishes and European football also featured), but many of you also cited financial security and living within its means;
SMISA’s future membership and operations
- we offered a multiple-choice question on what would make you stay a SMISA member in future, and the top answer by a distance was ‘to protect the ownership of the club’, cited by 93% of you;
- we presented some options around future membership fees – the answers suggest the vast majority of you would not only continue as members, but would maintain your current subscription level;
- we sampled interest in offering a junior membership category for under-16s (which wouldn’t carry voting rights but would offer some benefits for younger fans). At least 30% of you would be interested in buying one for a family member or friend;
- in terms of SMISA’s communications, 82% of you said you were happy with the current content and frequency of our members emails.