July Chairman's Update

July Chairman's Update

It hardly seems like yesterday when I last wrote and we were celebrating our first top 6 finish in decades. Due to the World Cup this years close season has been one of the shortest on record meaning players have had less of a break than normal.

Spare a thought too for all those working hard behind the scenes that have had a shorter break. From Keith Lasley to the admin staff and volunteers trying to sort out season tickets etc etc.

It’s great to see that the club have had a record breaking sales performance for season tickets, over 3800 as we type and heading for 4000. It really does show the impact made by the team’s performance on the park with results helping attract new fans or those deciding to re-join.

It was also brilliant to see SMiSA’s purchase of Community season tickets getting us over the 3500 milestone, thanks again to you for supporting this fantastic initiative. If you know of any kids, youth or community organisations etc that would like to take up the offer of using the tickets please complete the application form at www.smisa.net/community-season-tickets and we will happily consider your request.

To grow our fan base , especially in our younger supporters, the match day experience plays a huge role and it was great to see Colin Bright receive an overwhelming show of support from SMiSA members to be funded to provide this. I’ve long said that football fans are short changed by clubs. Who else would sit in the weather we had for the Forfar game, not fully under cover, and pay upwards of £15 to do so, then come back for more the following week?

 SMiSA never take for granted what our members do, especially in current financial times, so your support for this initiative is greatly appreciated by us as a board and Colin himself.

The win against Forfar ensured we finished top of our league cup group after the traditional shaky start and the home games and performances only give greater belief that we are building a fortress at the SMiSA stadium and all credit to the team and coaching staff for achieving that. Let’s hope that continues into the League campaign.

We have seen a few players move on and some new faces around club and already some are making a very positive impact. As any Manager will tell you though its keeping players fit that is a huge challenge on playing resources. To support the club in the turnaround times for injuries SMiSA was asked to make a contribution, if possible, to new medical equipment that would help with this. Again, thanks to you as members we made more than a contribution, we bought the equipment outright. This will make a huge difference not only to the first team but to the Academy teams and the St Mirren FC Women and girls teams also. It will also save the club £10,000's in medical bills so a huge benefit to the team, with SMiSA leading the way in supporting.

Mentioning the St Mirren FC Women’s team brings me to the support they have received from SMiSA. From the recent vote, we had maybe not surprisingly, the largest “No” response to a funding poll. Attracting both new members to SMiSA and new fans to the club would always be one of our key aims. You will have seen from the Women’s World Cup and the attendances in most of the matches how popular football amongst women has become, and we must support that at St Mirren.

 An interesting fact, the Australian WOMENS team sold MORE world cup tops than the Australian MENS team, could we ever see that happen with Scotland?  I do see more and more girls with St Mirren tops around Paisley out with match days so something is changing and we need to embrace that change, especially if there are commercial benefits to be had.

SMiSA funding of the Women’s team will be more than that by SMFC and Kibble and given our resources versus theirs that’s something we again should be proud of leading the way on.

Our recruitment process to replace Gordon Scott will be underway as you read this. This is an area where as a SMiSA board we have to broaden our horizons with regards board candidates on both boards.

We have set up an account on LinkedIn and would encourage those who currently use this platform to follow us. We need to widen our networks to encourage as many people as possible to consider joining either board at some point in the future, whenever that may be. It would be great to see a time when we are “spoilt for choice” with numbers applying, this can only be good for both boards strength.

Currently many of the SMiSA Directors have full time jobs and so much of our work is done in spare time, days off.

Whilst some of the SMFC board have retired I’m sure both Alex and John would agree it is not a role that can be done on 1 day a week popping in to the ground, these roles need full commitment from the SMiSA appointed directors and that means daily presence at the ground where possible.

With the season underway a SMiSA member will have the opportunity to DESIGN the St Mirren 3rd kit which will hopefully be released before Christmas. More information on this will be released towards the end of this week, so please keep your eyes peeled!

Finally, I was humbled to attend last week, a Volunteer recognition night at the ground organised by Keith Lasley, who deserves great credit for doing.

There were around 30-40 volunteers in attendance. From Josh Magennis and some of the W7 guys, the 'Marching On' volunteers who have done an amazing job revitalizing the West Stand, Jim Crawford and his team who work so hard on cleaning the stadium and sorting season tickets, to the “Doorknobs” of Stewart McIntosh, brother Norrie who are the face of St Mirren at the front door, ably assisted by Eddie and Roddy MacMillan.

It struck me that without the effort from these St Mirren die hards just how difficult it would be to operate our clubs and that much of what goes on behind the scenes is taken for granted by many.

Thank you to all, you’re are a real credit to our club and SMiSA are grateful for the efforts you put in.

Well all that remains is to wish Stephen Robinson and his team all the very best for the coming season. Already with League Cup group winners we are ahead of last season.

Get behind the team and enjoy the game