General SMiSA News

Community Season Tickets - applications open

SMISA members recently voted overwhelmingly in favour of reintroducing the Community Season ticket initiative to provide match tickets free of charge to those who may otherwise not be able to attend a game.

It means we now have 30 season tickets for the Tony Fitzpatrick Family Stand available for use by community groups for every home league game.

We are working in conjunction with Engage Renfrewshire to help facilitate this scheme but groups are also welcome to apply directly to use the tickets via this link: https://www.smisa.net/community-season-tickets

Anyone with any additional questions or requests should contact SMISA board member Jim Cumming on [email protected]

SMISA members quarterly meeting

Summary of the SMISA members meeting held on July 21, 2022 at the SMISA Stadium

 

In attendance from the club: John Needham (JN), Jim Gillespie (JG), Keith Lasley (KL), Alex White (AW), and Mark Macmillan

 

In attendance from the SMISA committee: George Adam (GA), Alan Quinn (AQ), Kenny Docherty (KD), Janette Swanson, Dougie McMahon, Eddie Devine and Graeme Macpherson

 

The latest quarterly meeting – attended by 22 members – began with a welcome from host GA who pointed out that, while everything is still not perfect, vast improvements have been made at the club since the turmoil of last summer.

 

JN followed on a similar theme, revealing that season ticket sales to date (3339) had now exceeded last year’s total, before KL spoke about the positive start he has enjoyed in his role as chief operating officer.

 

Members’ Q&A section

 

The first question centred on increased ticket prices for the visit of Rangers and Celtic and whether this would also disadvantage the home support. JN said St Mirren supporters would be encouraged to take up the offer of a two-match package with the subsequent home game offered at a discount, thus averaging out the price. 

 

JN also said the long-term hope was to create a positive matchday experience so that parents who might be unwilling to take their kids to Ibrox or Parkhead would instead bring them more regularly to St Mirren matches.

 

The next question was about whether the team would wear the black and white stripes more often at home than has happened in recent years. KL said that the team would wear the home strip at home at all times unless there was a very good reason not to.

 

There was a question about the situation with Dylan Reid and how the club can either hold on to academy talent for longer or maximise the club’s earning potential. JG answered that it was a difficult situation with many variances, pointed out that Dylan is in the last year of his contract and the club have engaged with the player’s mum and agent. Celtic came in with an offer that reflected the compensation on offer that included a 30 percent sell-on clause. Dylan was allowed to speak to Celtic but was always made aware that St Mirren wanted him to stay to continue his development here. The situation will now be reassessed in November and the hope is at that time Dylan could be persuaded to sign a contract extension. What will be key is ensuring that players like him and others in the academy can see a viable pathway to first-team football. JG also admitted that as a club St Mirren needs to do more to maximise the financial returns of any young player that does move on.

 

There was a point raised about a supporter who had been displaced from their season ticket seat during the Covid “red zone” period and unable to get it back and also about cars making unauthorised use of the club’s car park on a Sunday morning. KL said he will look into both.

 

A question was asked about whether Old Firm fans would be kept behind after those matches. KL will address operational matters with the stadium manager. But he reiterated that the three-stands programme was not about denying the Old Firm supporters, but about getting as many St Mirren fans into the stadium as possible for every match.

 

There was another question on whether the club would be pursuing Premier Sports for the fee due after they chose not to broadcast the Airdrie game live. KL confirmed that would be the case.

 

One member wanted to know what the situation was with one of the sponsors following media reports about the firm reneging on deals with a number of organisations including St Mirren. KL said he has held positive meetings with the company with a view to getting them to fulfil their contractual obligations.

 

There was a question about whether the Ralston training ground work was now complete. KL said there had been a series of upgrades and the pitches were looking fantastic. The building construction work is also almost complete and the players will then get full use of it.

 

One member wanted to know about the plans to introduce additional hospitality boxes and whether that would be additional revenue or taking away from current hospitality arrangements. JN confirmed it would be the former. He revealed there’s a capacity requirement as hospitality regularly sells out plus the club doesn’t have a private box offering. There has been a lot of interest in it so far. The cost will be paid back in just over a year after which point it will be generating profit.

 

There was then a lengthy discussion about the club’s finances and cashflow position. JN revealed the board get management accounts every month from the club accountant and examine them at board meetings and take action where needed. JG explained that there is an audit committee and a finance committee and the club now has the necessary financial and fiscal policies in place. He added that the club is in a better position today than this time last year but that, along with cutting their cloth, the club also has to scale the business to try to generate income. So alongside looking at what happened last year in terms of finances, the club is also continually looking at different ways to also grow the business. AQ added that a lot of recommendations have been made from the finance committee to the board on how to tighten up and improve procedures and that matters are being addressed.

 

There was a suggestion of providing quarterly or interim financial updates and the board members agreed this was something they may be able to do but would have to look into the best way to do that.

 

There was a follow-up question about SMISA’s representatives to the club board and their suitability. GA revealed that KD has drafted a paper on behalf of the SMISA board looking at all of that in detail that will now be considered by the club directors at their next board meeting. JN added he is a supporter of a rotation policy so directors don’t outstay their welcome. He felt it was good governance to bring in fresh names every so often.

 

A member asked about why the club has never looked into the viability of running car boot sales within the stadium car park. AW said the club was looking at ways of maximising the use of the facilities, including the possibility of an outdoor cinema, and would take this idea into account too.

 

The meeting was concluded with one member thanking the St Mirren and SMISA committee, and other club staff, for being willing to meet face-to-face with supporters on a regular basis to discuss these issues, something that doesn’t happen at too many other clubs.


The next meeting will be held on October 27.

Community Season Tickets

Community Season Tickets 

As a board we are fully supportive of the club’s ongoing efforts to make the SMISA Stadium as full as possible with St Mirren supporters for every game and are keen to play our part in making that a reality.

With that in mind, after a gap of two seasons we are delighted to have the opportunity to re-introduce the Community Season ticket initiative. In the past we have worked with Engage Renfrewshire to reach out to social enterprises, community development trusts, charitable groups and mutual aid groups in and around Renfrewshire to provide match tickets free of charge to those who may otherwise not be able to attend a game.

With the club retaining three stands going forward, getting more home fans to every game and also supporting the club financially through these difficult times is really a WIN-WIN-WIN situation for SMISA, the football club and the local community.

The price for 30 season tickets, that will give access to all home league games this season, is £5000 and we are asking SMISA members to vote on whether to approve this or not via the Very Connect portal. The deadline for casting your vote is Friday July 1.

St Mirren women’s team ballot 

We recently provided members with the opportunity to vote on whether to support the St Mirren women’s team who are heading to Germany next month to take part in a tournament as part of their pre-season preparations. They had asked if SMISA members could help cover the cost of their flights which, for 15 players and coaches, amounts to around £2700.

The ballot was approved by a majority of those who voted, with 373 members in favour and 57 against.  

We would also like to take the opportunity to pass on our congratulations to the St Mirren under-16s girls team who defeated Pollok United recently to lift the League Cup. Well done girls!

St Mirren home strip 2022/23

In November we gave SMISA members the chance to vote for the home kit for the forthcoming season 2022/23.

Manufacturers Joma presented three options, all of which incorporated the globally-recognised Paisley Pattern, the iconic fashion design which took our town's name around the world.

In total 566 members voted and it was strip number two that was the clear winner, polling 346 votes. Design number one received 112 votes and design number three 103. 

The team will wear the new strip for the first time this evening in their first pre-season friendly away to Crusaders.

And the kit has now been officially launched, with legends Tony Fitzpatrick, Steven Thompson and Hugh Murray joining players from the men's, women's and youth teams to model the chosen design.

SMISA would like to thank Joma and Provan Sports for giving our members this opportunity and also our members for taking the time to vote.

We are already in discussions about carrying out a similar exercise next season and also looking at the possibility of inviting members to design their own kits at a future date too. 

The new home kit can be pre-ordered now via www.stmirrendirect.co.uk and members can find out more about the kit launch and see more photos at the club website www.stmirren.com.

 

 

Annual Report and AGM update

The following annual report is a summary based on the AGM of the 1877 Society Ltd (SMISA) which took place on Thursday April 21 at the SMISA Stadium.

The AGM saw us look back over the past year and ahead to the next one, while members also heard from St Mirren’s Head of Youth, Allan McManus, and St Mirren Charitable Foundation’s chief executive, Gayle Brannigan, about how SMISA funding has helped them. A Q&A session then followed the presentations.

Results of AGM voting

The slide below shows the results of the formal business, as voted on by members in the run-up to this year’s meeting:

 

 Finance and membership update

Key points relating to finance and membership include:

  • SMISA completed the buy-out of Gordon Scott’s shares to take majority ownership which led to the creation of a new funding structure that was approved by members in August 2021. 
  • The £2 Spend ballot was discontinued and replaced with a model that now sees 50% of revenue banked to create a cash reserve, 30% going to support the youth academy, 10% going to the charitable foundation and 10% going to a club pot for particular projects.
  • Currently the cash reserve fund stands at £197,049 while the club pot is at £23,048.
  • We introduced a new £5 membership tier that now has 48 members.
  • Despite the financial effects of the pandemic and other rising living costs, total membership numbers rose over the past year from 1181 to 1226.
  • The vast majority of SMISA members are aged over 40 and there will be a push towards attracting younger members throughout the year ahead.

Highlights of the year

  • The undoubted highlight of the past 12 months was delivering fan ownership last July, five years ahead of the original scheduled date and for half the original cost.
  • Member certificates to mark the milestone can now be downloaded from Very Connect. The two signatories on it are George Adam, SMISA chair, and Jim Cumming, the longest-serving SMISA committee member.
  • We also donated funds to help the SLOs and the Paisley Panda provide goodies for kids pre match and also partially funded the cost of a new panda suit.
  • We hosted another successful ‘Meet the Manager’ night on Zoom that allowed members from all over the world to join the call.
  • We introduced new benefits packages for all categories of members including places for members at club dinners and at corporate hospitality.
  • For the second successive year members were able to vote for next season’s home shirt and work is already in progress for this to continue next year.
  • We appointed Alex White as a SMISA representative on the St Mirren club board, replacing David Riley. Alex is a former chief operating officer of ScotRail with many years’ experience working at senior board level and a lifelong supporter who was brought up next to the current stadium. 
  • We thank David for his hard work and commitment during his time on the board and express a similar degree of appreciation and gratitude to Colin Orr who has stepped down from the SMISA committee after seven years.

Annual objectives

Our objectives for 2021/22, and how we performed against them, were as follows:

  • Complete the shares buyout from Gordon Scott by July 27, 2021 (this was completed on time).
  • Work closely with our partners Kibble and demonstrate to our members how our partnership has brought benefits to the club and the wider community (some progress has been made but there is more work to be done).
  • SMISA to be more inclusive and available to more supporters (new £5 membership tier created).

 The objectives we have set for 2022/23 are:

  • Improve SMISA engagement with members and wider fanbase to include creating a dedicated fan engagement role on the SMISA Board, and by holding regular meetings with members, other fan groups and the club SLOs. This will be an ongoing objective.
  • Conduct a review of SMISA board functions (essential and desirable), formalise board member designated roles, and identify and address any gaps. Target Completion: May 2022.
  • Work with the SMFC board representatives to agree a set of key club operational matters that will be reported to the SMISA board on a regular basis. Target Completion: July 2022.

Fan Engagement

To help support our first objective for next year, SMISA director Kenny Lang will take on the role of Fan Engagement Officer to help build and strengthen relationships with the club, the SLOs and other key stakeholders in a bid to improve supporter relations and to ensure any matters that arise are dealt with in an efficient and timely fashion.

Fan-related projects that are ongoing or are in the pipeline include:

  1. Improving the atmosphere at home matches.
  2. Releasing St Mirren-themed songs by fan Al Mitchell to raise funds for the charitable foundation.
  3. A competition to allow fans to design future strips.
  4. Attending fan engagement meetings with the club, SLOs, police, supporters buses, stewards etc.
  5. Finding ways to gain more younger members of SMISA.
  6. A potential renaming of some of the stands at the SMISA Stadium to reflect the club’s history.
  7. Another member survey to ensure SMISA continues to be guided by what the members want.

Youth Academy

Allan McManus spoke about the growth of the academy and how SMISA’s ongoing support, through the £2 ballot initially and now through the new funding model, has been key to that, allowing the club to reach SFA elite status.

When Allan joined the academy six years ago there were only two members of full-time staff and now there are seven full-time staff, 30 part-time staff and 160 players in total from the pre-academy right up.

We were the first football club to appoint a well-being and protection officer who works across the academy and first team, with SMISA funding helping to pay for part of their salary.

The academy has also benefited from an additional games programme that has allowed young players to travel to play teams from Leeds United, Preston, Shrewsbury, Sunderland and Newcastle, experiences that help with their development and drive standards.

Allan believes the first-team management team will give young players plenty of opportunity and expects several of them to be a big part of the first-team squad next year.

Allan also reiterated that it’s an open-door policy at Ralston and members are always welcome to get in touch with any questions about the academy and how it operates.

St Mirren Charitable Foundation

Gayle Brannigan spoke about the work undertaken by the charitable foundation that is now into its fourth year after being resurrected from its dormant state in late 2018. Gayle pointed out that the bulk of their income comes from grant funding and applications which are classed as restricted funds.

SMISA’s support, though, is classed as unrestricted and the 10 percent now going direct to the foundation from SMISA has been invaluable to help the foundation grow and allow Gayle to recruit additional staff.

She explained all about the many different projects being run by the foundation that tackle different areas including physical wellbeing, poverty, employability, mental health and children’s events, with a view to expanding on that in the years ahead.

St Mirren Club Directors’ Update

Alex White spoke on behalf of the SMISA club directors, initially thanking the members for endorsing his candidacy to join the St Mirren board at the end of last year. Alex underlined that there is no division on the board and everyone is fully aligned in trying to drive the club forward.

There has been a move to strengthen links between different sections of the club including the academy and the first team. Stephen Robinson is well on in his planning for next year and the club will support him in that process.

Alex admits there are financial challenges, some off the back of the pandemic, that the club is trying to manage as well as they can.

The board directors have all been tasked with dealing with certain areas and Alex’s responsibility lies in corporate contracts and how to push for better deals or to drive extra revenue. He expects the new COO, Keith Lasley, will bring a lot of fresh energy to the club when he starts next month.

Q&A

A number of members asked about the situation with the Old Firm fans being given the Tony Fitzpatrick Stand and what the club’s stance on it will be going forward. John Needham replied that he is as unhappy about that scenario as any supporter and is currently chairing a working group who have been examining alternative ways to recoup that revenue if the decision is taken to only give Celtic and Rangers one stand in future seasons.

The working group is expected to deliver their recommendations in the coming days. John admits the club may need to take a financial hit in the short term but appreciates it has become a “toxic” matter in the eyes of many supporters and so it is about arriving at the best possible solution to a difficult problem.

Another member asked about the SMISA snap VAR poll and if the club has budgeted for its introduction midway through next season. Alan Quinn explained there had been a problem with the initial email but that the result had been sent out earlier in the day at the second time of asking. Of the 211 members who voted, 143 were for VAR and 68 against.

Alex White said St Mirren went back to challenge the original proposal from the SPFL which led to a different deal being put on the table with a sliding scale on costs. The club reluctantly supported that and now they will need to factor the cost of VAR implementation into next year’s budget.

Allan McManus was asked what the next thing would be for the academy in an ideal world. Allan said ideally it would be to have a team in the Lowland League but that needs a substantial amount of money. St Mirren has taken its time and grown gradually as there’s not a bottomless pit of money. Allan feels our academy is in the top four or five in the country.

There was also a question about whether SMISA-appointed club directors should stand for re-election every two or three years rather than staying on the board indefinitely. There was a feeling that it would give St Mirren problems under the club’s Articles of Association, while SMISA’s club director appointment policy is also not currently set up to deal with this matter. But it was acknowledged that directors being put up for re-election is commonplace in other companies so it is perhaps something that could be looked at for further down the line, although the process would need to be carefully managed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AGM reminder and VAR poll

Annual General Meeting

Don't forget that if you wish to attend our AGM on Thursday 21st April you need to register for it by logging in here to your account on VeryConnect and going to the Events page to make a booking.

In addition to the standard AGM business, Allan McManus and Gayle Brannigan will also be there to talk about how SMiSA funding is helping the Academy and the Foundation.

Voting on the AGM business will be open until Tuesday 19th April. To place your votes you need to use the link in the email you received direct from ElectionRunner. A reminder email was issued by them yesterday.

You can see more detail about each item when you access the ballot form. Copies of all relevant documents are attached to it.

VAR

All 42 Scottish Professional Football League clubs are currently being consulted about the implementation of VAR, and will vote on the proposal on Tuesday, 19 April. If approved, VAR will be used in Scottish domestic games for the first time after December's World Cup finals.

Scottish Premiership clubs will bear the cost of Video Assistant Referee technology on a sliding scale depending on their finishing positions. 

SMiSA, and the club board, are keen to hear ahead of this vote whether our members are for or against VAR being introduced. You can give us your view by voting for or against it in this quick ballot here. The ballot will be open until midnight on Sunday 17th April. 

Please note that although the result of this vote will be shared with the club board, it is for informational purposes only, and will not be binding. The board will need to consider costs and logistics as well as fans' views before making their final decision.

 

SMISA Special General Meeting March 2022

SMISA Special General Meeting

March 1, 2022

SMISA Stadium

In attendance: John Needham (JN) (St Mirren chairman), Jim Gillespie (JG) (St Mirren vice-chairman), Gordon Scott (GS), Alex White (AW), Mark McMillan (MM) (all St Mirren directors), George Adam (SMISA chairman), Colin Orr (CO), Kenny Docherty, Kenny Lang, Jim Cumming, Janette Swanson, Dougie McMahon, Graeme Macpherson, Alan Quinn (all SMISA directors)

 A Special General Meeting was called by a section of the membership to discuss the following three topics:

1: The engagement process between the SMISA Board and the membership

2: The current St. Mirren / Kibble relationship

3: The current financial forecast for St. Mirren FC

 

A summary of the key discussion points and proposed actions from each section are listed below.

1: The engagement process between the SMISA Board and the membership

The point was raised that there had been no members meeting held in January prior to the St Mirren AGM to canvas members’ input. This fell short of the prior agreement to hold quarterly meetings with members, although the SMISA board felt it would have overlapped with the club AGM to have held a members meeting at that point. Members were also invited to submit issues/questions ahead of the club AGM and all were passed to the club board to be answered on the night. 

 Action: SMISA will now hold quarterly meetings with members each year, with one being the SMISA AGM. Members will be asked to email suggested agenda items in advance. Members from both the St Mirren and SMISA boards will attend to try to address those topics in an open and transparent manner.

A member raised a point about the way that SMISA appoints directors to the St Mirren board, believing that it ought to return to an open nomination process. Other members felt that the SMISA board should present their shortlist of suitable candidates and ask members to vote for their preferred candidate from that shortlist.

CO explained that the process was put in place to ensure we delivered the best candidate who would not only adequately represent the members but who could also make a telling contribution to the running of a multi-million pound business. He also explained that the way directors are appointed to the board was backed overwhelmingly by the members as part of a wider vote in February 2020. For our last two appointments, SMISA has orchestrated a thorough, professional recruitment process which has helped us attract a very high calibre of director to the club.

In a reply to the way and how often SMISA communicates with the membership, CO pointed out that many of SMISA’s actions are based on the results of the extensive survey of members carried out in 2020.

Action: SMISA to consider issuing a new survey to gauge member opinion on different issues.

2: The current St. Mirren / Kibble relationship

JN said all the different parties coming together has been like an arranged marriage at times but revealed things had settled down a lot over the last few months at board level, with effective discussions and planning taking place about how best to take the club forward.

JG agreed there had been difficulties as all parties adjusted to a new way of working together but there had also been a lot of success achieved over the past two years since Kibble’s involvement.

Action: JN to issue a regular chairman’s statement to keep fans appraised of what is happening at the club. But he warned it would be unrealistic for supporters to expect a running commentary on what is happening in the background at the club, especially on any commercially or legally sensitive matters. Better to announce decisions to the fans once things are finalised.

JN announced that each board member would be assuming responsibility for a particular operational matter, with all working closely with the incoming chief operational officer (COO).

JG would be responsible for the football side, in particular improving the link between the academy and first team and ensuring the club receives more substantial financial return from the sale of academy graduates.

MM will look at income generation over the short to medium term and other corporate agreements.

AW will deal with procurement and contracts to ensure the club is not overpaying for anything.

GS will take charge of infrastructure, both at the SMISA Stadium and at Ralston, staying on top of any maintenance issues. He will work alongside the new facilities manager.

Alan Wardrop, who was on holiday and couldn’t make the meeting, will look at high-level sponsorship and income opportunities, including stadium naming rights and shirt sponsorship.

JN will work in tandem with the COO across all areas, with a particular focus on communication and fan engagement. There is an understanding that the club needs to become more supporter-focused in all that it does.

JG explained again why Kibble got involved with St Mirren, mainly the opportunity to provide the young people in their care with the chance to gain experience of hospitality and leisure roles to set them up for going into the marketplace. Seven or eight of them are currently gaining experience working at the club but the intention was never to replace existing staff but to support them.

Said Kibble only had the same veto as the SMISA directors, and that he has never – and never would – support the installation of an artificial pitch.

MM conceded that Kibble needed to do more to tell people of their involvement at St Mirren and what they have delivered so far. Also stressed the need for people not to take social media gossip as fact.

JN said a subset of the board would interview for and appoint the COO who will replace Tony but who will be more operational rather than strategic. Looking for someone business-minded and entrepreneurial, ideally with a background in sport.

MM explained Lynsey McLean (general manager) was only listed on the job advert as a point of contact to help with the recruitment process.

3: The current financial forecast for St. Mirren FC

Question was asked why the club didn’t have a finance director. JN replied that, to the best of his knowledge, there has never been one on the board. Added that the club have an accountant who provides all the information as required, supported by David Biggart from Kibble.

JG confirmed that the club had a £400,000 cash loss in the last financial year, and not £700,000 as had been claimed by a member at the club AGM.

JN underlined that anyone with questions on finance had been asked to submit them in advance of the club AGM. The BoD had answers to those questions. Unfortunately the auditors Azets couldn’t attend the meeting, something that was only communicated at short notice. JN also reiterated that any additional questions on the club’s finances would be taken to Azets after the meeting. The club remains open to any questions shareholders may have on their finances.

JN confirmed there are financial checks in place with the CEO which will also continue with COO. Currently CEO can spend only up to a certain limit without having to consult the board. JN and GS have current responsibility for overheads and will sit down with COO to discuss their limits and authority.

GS says JN will work with the COO and will be at the club one day a week to ensure everything is running smoothly including on finances.

JN confirmed Jim Goodwin had to adhere to a budget and the same applies to Stephen Robinson. In May 2020 the directors decided on an increased playing budget and Jim Goodwin delivered the club’s most successful season on the park for three decades but not off the park as no fans could attend the two semi-finals. Decision was taken in May 2021 to continue that playing budget. The only adjustment was that they encouraged Jim Goodwin and Tony Fitzpatrick to do their business in the summer so they got the benefit of the investment throughout the whole season rather than keeping money back for January. There are budgets in place for every single line but had to spend money on Covid recovery and an upgrade of facilities at Ralston. Plus there had been an agreement to sell Jamie McGrath to Hibs for a good fee but that fell through. Believe as a club we should budget for transfer fees and set targets how to generate money from playing squad and academy.  

JN added that they are trying to take prudent steps to expand the club and move into the top six but they are not taking undue risks with the financial future of the club.

Last year our net loss was £50,000, one of the lowest in the league. Will probably make a larger loss this year but we are using the rainy day reserves to cover for it, Covid being the reason for the rainy day. Took steps to move on players in January who were being paid well but on the bench. Aim for 22/23 financial year to break even again. Been spending £20,000 a month for Covid testing, hard to absorb that within normal budget. But club are well on top of the things they can control and manage and confident things will improve moving forward.

 

St Mirren AGM 2022 - report

Below are some notes summarizing the discussion at the St Mirren FC annual general meeting, held on Thursday 27 January, via Zoom call.

Directors present: John Needham, chair (JN), Gordon Scott (GS), Alex White (ACW), Alan Wardrop (AW), Tony Fitzpatrick (TF), Mark MacMillan (MM), Jim Gillespie (JG)

Meeting Opened - Formal Business.

JN opened the meeting explaining the format. He said they would cover questions relating to the audited accounts first, then go through the other questions and end with 30 minutes for open questions.

Q1 Loss of £49K but profit of £449K. JN explained that the confusion was due to the way the Scottish Government loan had been included. The actual cash loss was £45K, depreciation £263K (£303K) but an investment gain of £33K had reduced figure to £275K. Grant conversion £1.7M present day discounted by 20 years value £729K

Agreed not very transparent but presented as required to meet accounting regulations.

Q2 Note 4 - £920K grants- again related back to £729K plus £170K in furlough payments plus £22K in miscellaneous grants.

Q3 Note 18 other loans, what are repayments? A: £7,300 pm

Q4 Regarding where ex gratia and signing-on fees were in accounts. These sums are included in players remuneration and it is not practice to list separately due to confidential nature.

JN asked if there were any further questions or clarification required. None

JN announced David Riley and Chris Stewart (CS) had stepped down from their positions on the board and thanked them both on behalf of the board for their commitment and hard work over the past few years. Their effort was much appreciated. JN was delighted to announce CS had agreed to remain as company secretary.

Question over why the auditors were not present at the meeting. JN said they couldn’t make it but had helped answer the questions provided and would do again if further questions required clarification. They had sent apologies.

Comment that auditors had been present at every AGM. JN pointed out this wasn’t the case as they had not been at the previous year’s AGM.

JN asked for a resolution the chairman’s report and accounts be accepted and asked if there were any objections. The resolution was passed without any objections.

Major Announcement.

JN made an announcement that TF is to retire at end March where he would be age 66. He thanked him for his time with the club.

TF said it had been a pleasure and that he had always acted in St Mirren’s best interest. He thanked the fans and wished the club all the best for the future. He also thanked the previous board and GS for the opportunity to be CEO. On reaching the age of 66, it was now time to step aside and retire. There were numerous notes of support and good wishes from most people at the meeting.

Jim Goodwin (JG) was asked to answer some footballing questions.

Q1 Team top heavy on playing side. JG disagreed, saying the squad was of comparable size to other clubs outwith the old firm. 25/26 players with six young players at various clubs, a couple  of whom should feature next season.

COVID had made it difficult to gauge what size of squad to have, as many players can be affected at one time as was shown a few months ago.

Q2 This year’s player budget – Don’t usually divulge but felt it was fair. Managers will always want bigger budgets but JG was realistic reflecting on the size of the club. The board have been supportive and budget has increased year on year.

Q3 What is the cost of the Youth Academy? JG unsure of the exact figures but the club deserved a lot of credit for the investment. He is extremely proud of the youth academy and the pathway it provides for youngsters to find their way into the team. JN said roughly £550k per annum was invested in the youth academy – great investment in youth.

Q4 Is there a replacement for Junior Mendes? Yes someone has been approached and is going to accept the position. The person is currently working their notice at another Premiership club. The timing was recognised as not great but it was also felt Junior got a good offer and since he had moved home to Edinburgh logistically it made sense too. Programs under JM will continue. Still great medical team at the club.

Submitted Questions.

AGM - how it was conducted

Why does SMiSA have only one representative? Why is CEO also a member of the board? Why no rotation of directors for election last year or this?

Q1. There is only one SMiSA rep at the meeting. This rep has 51% of any vote that takes place. Having more than one rep could split the vote. Has been discussed with CS. How would it operate if a selection of members disagreed?

JN suggested looking at holding a SMiSA members meeting around the same time as the club AGM to provide an opportunity to ask directors questions.

Q2 JN explained not unusual for CEO to be a board member, it was the case when he worked in RBS. The arrangement was in place previous to JN being appointed. Will look at again.

Q3 Rotation/election of directors stopped with fan ownership, as directors now appointed by one of SMiSA or Kibble.

Staffing

Q1 – Level of staff turnover. Q2 Ali De Foy role and replacement. Q3 Are all proper HR procedures followed when dealing with staff leaving? Q4 – Job roles for directors. Q5 What is TF role in transfers?

TF was given the opportunity to answer.

Q1 Can’t disclose individual cases. High turnover – like other organisations. Normal if there is change in the organisation.

Q2 TF didn’t answer the Ali Defoy question.

Q3 Yes all correct procedures were followed. Updating policies at the moment.

Q4 The structure of the board is that all directors are non-executive directors so do not have individual responsibilities. Business decisions left to CEO.

Q5 TF has a great deal of experience and uses the contacts he has with agents.

Suppliers and Contracts

Q1 is there a procurement policy? Yes, signed off. Three quotes obtained, due diligence carried out. Contracts up to a certain level are agreed with CEO, above that come to board for approval after discussion.

Partnership with Kibble

These questions were passed to MM to answer. MM started by thanking Tony Fitzpatrick for his service and hard work over a long number of years.

Q1 Were Kibble aware of negative comments circulating

Q2 Report of a letter sent to Club, directors and SMiSA

Q3 How many people currently working at club are Kibble staff

Q4 Who undertakes performance reviews of Kibble staff

Q5 What is Kibbles contribution to date

Q6 What is the benefit to Kibble so far.

Q7 Why don’t Kibble hold a meeting with supporters.

Q1 Not answered

Q2 Kibble exercised their right to ensure procedures were followed – matters dealt with satisfactorily, and we can now move on.

Q3 One member of staff is remunerated by Kibble and seconded to the Club

Q4 TF is responsible for this

Q5/6 Beginning of any partnership takes time, COVID tested best of organisations. Kibble are here to support, not interested in control. Tangible benefits – helped achieve fan ownership in half time for half cost. He sees them as St Mirren directors not 'Kibble and SMiSA directors'.

Q7 Not answered.

Supporter Issues

These were addressed by TF. He thinks communication has not been a problem. Loads of channels to get information from club website to social media

The safety issue that resulted in the reduction of fans being allowed in will not be disclosed Regular check threw up issue.

Was the Red zone being used for hospitality? Hospitality were in the amber zone.

Club are considering options for OF fans having both ends.

Board - Strategic Goals.

Top six has to be aim / Increase community engagement / Youth Development. KPIs in annual report

COVID interrupted income streams - refocusing now. The only director to get remuneration is the CEO. The reason for the increase in the remuneration was due to the CEO taking on additional responsibilities and activities after GS stepped back.

Training Ground

Q over how the works at Ralston are progressing? TF took these questions.

Kibble helping with refurbishment of Academy. Required separate build to accommodate more spacious facilities with kitchen, changing rooms. Fencing and lights also required work. Building Warrant now in place. Completion expected end of March. TF invited those on the call to go and see the work.

A member asked if the work had been tendered for. MM said club did not tender as Kibble were providing for free.

Random questions through Chat

Question on consideration of individual shareholders. JN conscious of the issue. Around 1,000 people hold shares and he thanked them all for their contributions.

How many Kibble kids are employed – none

Question saying Kibble weren’t clear who employs the general manager. Confirmed this employee is paid by Kibble but answerable to TF.

Electronic advertising - Considering at the moment. Hope to achieve

Jamie McGrath likely to be sold by Monday? There is interest, but no offers have met valuation. Players were signed in the summer with McGrath departure anticipated. Club is talking to those whose contracts are up in the summer.

Why was the ticketing system replaced? JN explained it was replaced as fans were complaining about the old system. We ended up being the only club using that system and and the company running the old system couldn’t invest in the required improvements. There is no fee due to be paid to the previous company.

Question over wage ratio - claimed it was 75% where 60% is usual. JN said he would get the answers to this and report back.

TF answered a question about the partnership we have with Birkenhead of New Zealand. This was something the club hoped to further develop and were talking with the New Zealand and Australian tourist boards.

JG is looking to move a couple of players on to other clubs with a view to bring in other players. We are back in contention for a top six finish and we have a reasonably good but very tough cup draw. The budget needs to be balanced.

Is there a replacement for Tony? No replacement for Tony as yet, discussions on his retirement have only recently been concluded.

Question over the six-month management accounts. JN stated they were running at a loss but we hope to claw back in the second half of the year.

There are ideas on how to increase our income but they need significant development investment. However various options are under consideration.

Is Campbell Kennedy still running the commercial side of the business. JN yes.

Have JN tweets damaged the relationship with other clubs? JN repeated his regret at making the comments he made in jest. There is no evidence of any damage in relationships with other clubs, other than perhaps Rangers.

Would it be possible to have an AGM for members of the 1877 club? AW responded saying that there was no constitution for the 1877 and no need for an AGM however he was happy to answer any questions from members who contact him. He was keen to point out the 1877 club had brought in 18k per annum during the pandemic and both he and everyone at the club were very appreciative of the members sticking with it during these difficult times.

Is cash in the bank a cause for concern? JN said the cash in the bank is not a concern and we hope to have a good cup run.

The club invested 250k in the stock market. How are these funds doing and what are the management fees? AW said there are no management fees, the stock is doing well and is currently worth 285k.

Can we improve and lengthen St Mirren TV? JN said any investment in St Mirren TV needs to yield a return. Now that fans are returning to the stadium there is less demand. Overseas fans commented that St Mirren TV was terrific for them.

Are there other players other than McGrath being sought after? JG said other players are being looked at but will only move on at the right price.

When will Connor McCarthy be fit again? JG said he should be ready in 7-10 days, and resumed training today. However he will have a fight to get back in the team.

JN gave a commitment to do everything possible to have the auditors present at the next meeting.

No other questions, JN thanked everyone responsible for their efforts in setting up the meeting JN ended the meeting at 9:30pm.