During the close season the current SMiSA committee of 11 members have been involved in the continued promotion and attainment of the Trust principles and aims, and although we hope to have even more additions and achievements to report on later this month, you will see below that despite the close season and holiday period that as a Trust Board we have strived to maintain our efforts.
The Trust is continuing to grow in every sense of the word thanks to every member’s involvement and support which ultimately benefits St.Mirren, the fans and the community now, and for the future.
Over 200 members – from 65 members 6 of whom made up the committee, in January 2014, there has been a sustained and steady increase and just last week the membership passed the 200 mark, 11 of whom are actively recognised as the committee, or to use the legal term ‘board members’. This increase has allowed the initiatives below to be addressed with, so far, positive outcomes.
SMiSA Panda Club – has been rebranded for a second season at a cost of £2500 which ensures the concept remains open to young potential saints fans of the future allowing them to attend fully supervised coaching and match attendance for only £2 (zero cost if they are season ticket holders)
YD Academy Sponsorship – The Trust is recognised as the youth academy’s main sponsor and during the month of July a total of £1400 + £400 + £79 in sponsorship has been used to purchase vital equipment for the academy. (new balls, training software etc) which you will see photos of on the website promoting the sponsorship.
Player kit sponsorship – Last season the Trust sponsored two player kits (details in any match program), specifically James Marwood home kit and Mark Ridgers away kit. At the end of the season the relevant players shirts are passed to the sponsors and names of Trust members are drawn randomly. The Trust members who won these two tops were Alan Jones and Ian Smart who have both been contacted and collection of the shirts arranged. This season however it is only intended to sponsor one player kit at a cost of £350 and this will be arranged shortly with the clubs commercial department and again at the end of the season there will be a draw made within the membership.
St.Mirren General Manager – Regular monthly meetings have been taking place for some time now and have become a matter of routine engagement and are always attended by Brian Caldwell, at least one representative of the Youth Academy and two of the Trust committee. Although you will have read above about some of the items undertaken in support of the clubs youth academy it is also of benefit to SMiSA in that any projects or initiatives the Trust is undertaking will ensure we are supported and assistance is provided where required such as events, share purchase, facilities, promotion of the Trust etc etc and more importantly that dialogue is maintained between both parties.
As a member of SMiSA if you have any points you would like to be taken up with the general manager, or indeed anyone at the club, please do not hesitate to contact us and your point will be submitted for discussion at the the following meeting.
Fan ownership – As you will be aware, the trust board has been working with former St Mirren director Gordon Scott to investigate the feasibility of a joint offer for the majority shareholding in the club held by the consortium, and we made all members aware of this by email on 1 July
We were delighted by the feedback we had to the announcement, which was overwhelmingly positive, and that has encouraged us to keep pushing forward.
To recap, the model we are working on would see meaningful fan representation over the short and medium term, and majority fan ownership over the long term.
The idea is that Gordon will put up the majority of the cash for an offer to the consortium while the trust fundraise the rest.
If the offer was accepted, Gordon would become club chairman and SMiSA would receive a place on the board, but would continue to fundraise to buy Gordon’s shares at some point in the future.
We are doing this because we believe no one will take better care of our club than you, the fans. We also believe this model offers us the most viable and sustainable way of making that happen.
But as we made clear at the time, we are still at the early stages of a very long process.
There remains plenty work to be done before we could make a formal offer to the consortium, or be in a position run the sort of fundraising campaign required.
We are conscious this is the first communication on the subject since the initial statement, however we have been busy behind the scenes in the past month.
As we are sure you would understand, such a complex undertaking takes a lot of time and effort to do properly, and we are keen to ensure everything is carried out in a professional manner.
Among other things, we have been researching fundraising models, budget projections and legal considerations.
We are excited by the possibilities of what we are working on, but are determined to make sure our model is viable and robust before putting anything on the table.
We would ask that you bear with
us in the meantime as we will update members further once we have something more concrete to share.
And we would reiterate that any potential deal would require to be voted on by the SMiSA membership before it could be agreed.
Private Share Purchase – Before the potential for the Trust to consider pursuing the consortiums 51% shareholding it was public knowledge that the Trust was intending to buy St.Mirren shares from other shareholders and several offers were taken up. In light of the Fan Ownership initiative general purchase of privately owned shares will cease until further notice (pending the outcome of the 51%). The last of the pending purchases was completed recently and no further offers will be initiated.
At this point therefore the Trust shareholding in St.Mirren FC is as follows:
Original shares purchased from club = 3877 shares
Private shares purchased since Nov 2014 = 2465 shares at a total cost of £12,325
Total shareholding = 6342
This equates to 3.3% shareholding in St.Mirren
Acknowledgement – the Trust board would like to thank you for your continued involvement with SMiSA and we would hope that you help promote the Trust at every opportunity and encourage others to get involved and help ensure collectively we all continue to MAKE A DIFFERENCE to the club and the community.
Any feedback, questions or comments are always appreciated therefore please do not hesitate to get in touch at any time either by replying to this email address or on facebook.com/1877SocietyLtd or twitter.com/1877SocietyLtd
John White on behalf of SMiSA