General SMiSA News

Kyle Gunn interviews SMISA director David Nicol

Saints fan and budding journalist Kyle Gunn recently caught up with David Nicol, SMISA’s representatives on the St Mirren board, and wrote this article for us. Thanks to Kyle for taking the time to do so...

I began the interview by asking David how it feels to be on the board of directors as the SMiSA representative. He told me: “I'm very proud to be the first fans board representative. It's still quite surreal to be in the boardroom. 

“I have been a Saints fan since I was a boy, but sadly was never good enough to make it as a player, so this is definitely the next best thing!”

So what ideas does David have club going forward? “I think the most crucial thing we have to do is ensure stability while we transition from the old board to the new board. 

“I believe we can do a lot more to take advantage of our location and proximity to the airport, and this is something we are actively pursuing.

“Given the recent issues, I would also like to see the club review the kit supply options when the current contract expires. It's important to balance the commercial aspects of the deal with the service and quality that the fans get.” 

David couldn't comment any further on the strip situation, apart from to say “the board is aware that this is not a good experience for the fans and will be picking up with JD”

David then went on to explain what his role on the board will be. He said: ”More generally my role is to be the link between the fans and the board, so if fans have ideas for revenue generation I can bring these to the board for consideration. 

“Not every idea will be taken forward, but Gordon and the board are ready to try new approaches and are open to new ideas.”

In terms of what David hopes he can bring to the the role “Short term, I will establish the relationship between SMiSA and the board, and develop the role of the supporters board rep. 

“I need to work out exactly how the club and SMiSA will interact and manage any areas of disagreement/crossover. We want SMiSA and the club working hand in hand and working towards common goals.

“We will need to outline the process for electing the fans director and agree this with the club. We also have to finalise the process for how the discretionary funds will be spent. 

“As the first supporters board rep I also want to write the 'job description' for my successors. The club expects (and needs!) the supporters elected director to actively contribute to the club’s operations and strategic goals, over the next few months I will outline what the expectations are to give potential future representatives an idea of what will be expected of them.

As a time scale for the above goals David said “Ideally I would like to have the above in place over the next three to four months.”

David ended the interview with this message for the Saints fans “I think the most important thing is for the fans to get behind the new owners. The old board did a great job, but by their admission, the club needed a change.

“We have given fans a real voice in the new ownership structure. It will take a bit of time to get things right, but the guys on the board are working hard to make things better.”

Thank you to David for his honesty throughout the interview.

August Membership Update

Welcome to the latest update from the trust committee.

It’s now been around six weeks since our joint bid for the club with Gordon Scott went through and we’ve continued to be busy behind the scenes.

It’s been a massive transition for us, with our member numbers going from 200 to nearly 1,400 and our annual income from four figures to six, but we feel we now have the back-end admin and financial processes we need in place to deal with that increase in workload.

Our member numbers have held pretty steady throughout August and as of the end of the month were sitting at 1,370.

Along the way we have lost a few and gained a few and we expect that is how it will be – we know from our discussions with friends at the Foundation of Hearts that numbers will vary.

Obviously it is important we maintain our numbers as the years go on and we aim to do that by showing members the benefit their money is having on St Mirren and the local community.

The £2 per month members pot

With that in mind, we will soon be in a position to start investing your cash in the club.

As we told you last month, the plan is to spend the £2 ringfenced from each member’s monthly subscription on a quarterly basis.

The September subscriptions will be the third tranche of #BuyTheBuds money, meaning we will have in the region of £8,000 to invest in the club as the members choose at some point soon.

The plan is for the SMISA committee to speak to the club about their priorities for investment, to survey members over their priorities and ideas, and compile all of that into several costed spending options through which members will vote via secure online ballot.

We are still finalising the details of the exact procedure through which we will do this, but will be in touch with members soon regarding the next steps.

SMISA director and club matters

As you know, SMISA committee member David Nicol is now on the board of the club. Dave’s feedback from the first of the board meetings is that they have been really positive and that Gordon Scott in particular has lots of ideas he wants to implement at the club.

On club matters, it is important to again stress that SMISA is not directly responsible for club business – the club board control club operations, as has always been the case.

But the benefit to having a SMISA rep on the board is that we have a man in the room who can raise issues which matter to our members.

If there is something you wish Dave to raise for possible consideration at a club board meeting then let us know via [email protected]

We would also remind you that Dave’s appointment is only temporary for the time being – we plan to hold an election before the end of the year where members will choose who will do the job over the longer-term.

Open meeting – 5 September

To give members a chance to speak directly with the SMISA committee and to raise any issues they wish to discuss, we will be having a drop-in session during one of our regular meetings.

We will be in the back room at Saporito Coffee in Gauze Street, Paisley, on Monday 5 September between 7 and 8pm.

If there is anything you want to talk to us about, please pop by.

Events and benefits update

We ran our first public event since #BuyTheBuds became reality when more than 100 fans joined us for a fan party in the library cafe at the University of the West of Scotland after the Morton game.

Gordon Scott, Alex Rae and Tony Fitzpatrick joined us and addressed the crowd, as did SMISA chair George Adam and director Dave Nicol.

We want to thank everybody for coming along, as well as UWS for hosting and Billy Gray for being DJ on the night.

We have also started to roll out the benefits due to those who signed up the #BuyTheBuds through the £2,500 premium package – with some of those members joining the squad during the official team photo last week.

Some of the £25 per month members have also been picked to enjoy directors guest lounge access at the Paisley 2021 Stadium for home games.

Paul Wycherley was the man chosen from the hat for the Hibs game and we'll announce the winner for the the Queen of the South game on Saturday 10th shortly.

We are also working on plans for the first of the exclusive £25 per month members events, and hope to have more free events for all members at some point too.

In the meantime, you can contact us via [email protected] if there are any queries.

The SMISA Committee


July Membership Update

Member numbers
We are conscious we haven't updated you on member numbers since our joint bid for the majority stake in the club with Gordon Scott was completed last month.
As of 3 August we had 1,373 members of the trust - numbers have actually crept up slightly since the deal was completed. Of that, around 12% are on the £25 per month membership, which is slightly ahead of our initial target of 10%. 
We had always said 1,000 was the minimum we needed to hit to trigger the deal - we are thrilled to have smashed that and want to thank every one of you for signing up.
The more members the trust has, the stronger we are financially and the greater our ability to benefit the club.
There is no upper limit on members, so please keep spreading the word to fellow fans that anybody can still sign up now at
Spending trust income
As you know, the bulk of our income is going towards the share purchase and saving up the cash ultimately needed to buy out Gordon and achieve fan ownership.
But £2 per month from each member will be ring-fenced to be spent on the club as you choose, and at current membership levels, that is just over £8,000 per quarter. 
We are still finalising the details of the procedure for spending this but the plan is for us to survey members on where they want to see the money spent, speak to club about where they need investment, and compile the results into a shortlist of options for members to vote on via secure online ballot.
We hope to repeat this process every three months, meaning members will get four votes per year. We feel this will be a really good way to keep the membership engaged, while deciding how their money will help the club.
SMISA director
As has already been announced, Gordon Scott has asked SMISA committee member Dave Nicol to join the board of St Mirren as the SMISA representative.
Gordon was keen there be some continuity with the guys who had worked with him over the past year, and Dave - who had led on the financial and legal aspects of the deal from SMISA's side - was the obvious choice.

However Dave's appointment was only ever intended to be temporary, as one of the key points of the #BuyTheBuds campaign was that SMISA members elect their own director.
We are still working on a procedure through which this will happen, but the plan is to hold an election for members to elect one of their own on to the board before the end of the year.
It is important to stress that as things stand SMISA are only the part-owners of the club - ultimately Gordon controls the majority stake.
In practice, the club will be run by the board, as it always has been. But the key difference is that board now contains a SMISA rep, who can raise issues on your behalf for potential discussion.
If you wish to raise an issue with the SMISA director, you can do so by emailing [email protected]
Events and member benefits
We will have a number of events this coming season - the first being a fan party to celebrate the success of the bid after the Morton game on Saturday in the library at UWS. Entry is free but tickets are required. To sign up and for full details see our Eventbrite page
There will also be a number of events for those of you on the £25 per month and £2,500 premium packages - we are still working on these but will be in touch with details as soon as they are confirmed.
We will also be running a draw for each home game this season for a £25 per month member and a guest to watch that game from the director's guest lounge.
Cameron Sanderson was the lucky winner for the Morton game. The rest of you in that membership category have around a one in ten chance of winning at some point - we will be in touch if you do!
Football Pink Magazine Article
The Football Pink Magazine are writing a piece about St Mirren's Scottish Cup win from 1987 and along with some interviews from players from the team they're looking for fans' views and memories of the occasion. If you were there that day and don't mind answering a few questions about the game please drop as an email and we'll forward them on.
Contact details

Finally, we want to ask members to keep us updated with any change in your details using our contact page.
If you've changed your email address or phone number, we want to make sure you don't miss out on any events or benefits due to you.
All our updates will come from [email protected] so please add this to your address book to ensure our emails to you don't end up in junk mail.
The SMISA Committee

SMISA sponsors Panda Club for another year

SMISA has continued its sponsorship of the Panda Club for another season

The Edinburgh City game saw some of the SMISA committee present a cheque to the club for £2,500 as part of our ongoing commitment to the club.

The Panda Club is open to boys and girls aged between five and 12 and membership is free. Kids can go along to home games, get one hour of football coaching in the Airdome and a ticket for the match.

We are delighted to help support the next generation of Saints fans and look forward to helping the club with more of this type of community work in the future.

More info on how to join the Panda Club is on the Official Website.

Sponsored Shirt Raffle Winners

Last season SMiSA sponsored four youth players kits and at the end of the season we were given each of their jerseys, we then picked four members names out the hat to receive these jerseys.

This years winners were Gareth Toop, Eric Balfour, Ian McLaren (pictured) and Barry Johnston.

This is something the Trust has been doing for a number of years now as it provides income for St.Mirren and at the same time gives the members of The Trust an opportunity to gain something in return. 

The club's commercial department are currently taking orders for next seasons sponsored kits.

Saint for a Day 2016

Yesterday marked the annual Saint for a Day competition hosted by the club at the ground. Our two raffle winners were Mark Syme and Ian Walker. Unfortunately Iain couldn't play due to an injury so his son Dean duly stepped up to the plate. 

Saint For A Day

Saint for a Day 2016 is now on Sunday the 24th April at the Paisley 2021 Stadium and SMiSA have the No. 5 Home & Away strips to raffle off!

The day will consist of:
* Playing the game on the pitch at St Mirren Park.
* Wearing an official team strip which you will also get to keep after the game.
* The teams will be managed by St Mirren assistant manager David Farrell and first team player Jim Goodwin.
* Man of the Match Award for a player from each team.
The rules are as follows:
* Entries for our raffle will close on 2pm at Tuesday 19th and we'll announce winners that evening.
* You must be 18 years of age or over to both bid and take part in ‘Saint for a Day’.
* By bidding in the auction you are declaring that you (or the person you are bidding for) are fit and well to take part in this event. For even more info please see the official St Mirren site here

Fill in your details below and you'll be entered in to the raffle, please also complete the verification email you receive.

Saints Aid 2016

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SMiSA Special General Meeting: Joint Offer For Club Approved

This statement is to inform you of important developments at the special general meeting of the trust tonight (Wednesday 30 March) after members voted to approve the terms of SMISA’s joint offer with former club director Gordon Scott for the majority shareholding in St Mirren.

Those terms had already been agreed in principle with the selling consortium, but the offer was conditional on SMISA members voting in favour of a number of clauses.

Tonight, members agreed to the following:

- To approve the terms of the joint Gordon Scott/SMISA conditional offer to the consortium for the majority shareholding of St Mirren, and authorise the SMISA committee to formalise that offer;

- For £20,000 of trust funds to be lodged with the selling consortium as part of a deposit on the deal in order for Gordon Scott/SMISA to secure a period of exclusivity as sole bidders. This deposit will be refundable should the deal not be completed;

- To authorise the SMISA committee to spend the necessary amount on legal fees (up to a maximum of £20,000) to ensure the trust’s interests are fully protected as part of the deal;

- To authorise the SMISA committee to progress a subscription-based fundraising model and to reach an agreement to secure the finance needed to complete the deal, conditional on the requisite number of pledges being reached.

The key points of the proposed deal are as follows:

- Gordon Scott and SMISA have offered to buy a 68% shareholding in the club from the selling consortium (made up of the shares held by the original consortium of five, plus those of several other shareholders with whom they are tied into legal agreements);

- If the deal is completed, Gordon will own a 50.1% shareholding in the club (including his current shareholding of 8%) and SMISA would own 29% (including the trust’s current shareholding of 3.4%);

- Gordon would become chairman of the club and the membership of SMISA will be able to elect a director on to the board of St Mirren;

- The two parties would have a legal agreement in place giving the trust exclusive option to buy Gordon’s shares within ten years at the price he pays now, creating a majority fan-owned St Mirren. The trust does not have to buy Gordon’s current 8% shareholding, only the shares bought now.

SMISA plans to borrow the money needed to complete stage one of the deal, to be paid back using a subscription model similar to the one successfully used by the Foundation of Hearts.

The committee now needs to finalise this model and produce a detailed business plan for lenders before any fundraising scheme can be launched. It was necessary to get approval from members before progressing this any further.

The next hurdle is for us to submit a loan application. If that is approved, we will start fundraising as soon as possible with a target of completing the takeover during the summer.

Members tonight approved in principle an outline of the model where the deal would only happen if at least 1,000 people join SMISA and pay a monthly direct debit at £12 per month.

Of that, £10 would be ring-fenced for the share purchase and £2 would be for the benefit of St Mirren, to be spent however the members wanted.

Our survey of fans last year showed 96% believed fan ownership would be a good model for St Mirren and 92% would consider contributing to it financially. That gave us the confidence to go forward with these plans.

The monthly subscription model will allow us to pay off the money needed for the initial purchase, then allow us to reach the total needed to buy out Gordon, while also building on the good work SMISA has done over the years to help financially support the club and its youth academy.

While we understand the prospect of the trust going into debt to finance the deal does raise legitimate questions, we would not do anything which would put the club at risk.

The finalised fundraising model will be designed in a way where the deal will only go ahead if we get enough pledges to give us a substantial built-in safety net over and above the loan repayments

We should be clear the proposed model does not deliver full fan ownership at the first stage – instead the club would be run by a board led by Gordon, albeit one containing representatives elected by the fans.

But by going into partnership with Gordon – a lifelong St Mirren fan, successful businessman and former club director – we believe we have found a sustainable way to take the club forward in the short term and deliver a healthy St Mirren into the hands of the fans over the long term.

The bottom line is if we don’t do this, someone else will, and nobody wants to see St Mirren fall into the hands of unscrupulous owners, as has happened elsewhere.

We want to be taking over the club now while it is in relative good health and not as other trusts have been – scrabbling to raise funds after it has all gone wrong.

When we entered this process a year ago our aim was to secure the best possible deal for the fans and let the fans decide if they want it, and that is all we are doing.

Tonight could be a momentous night in the long and proud 139-year-history of our club. We have just taken a major step closer to St Mirren being able to stay forever in the hands of the people who will care about it, the fans.

Ultimately, the fans are the people who now have it in their power to decide whether that happens or not. All St Mirren fans will get the chance to make up their mind on the full detail before anything goes any further.

SMISA chairman George Adam said:

The current board deserve a huge amount of credit for the job they have done over the years but they have made it clear they want to move on, and one way or another, the club will be sold.

We have seen too many other Scottish clubs fall into the hands of owners who haven’t had the best interest of the club at heart over the years – if the fans back this deal and stay the distance they guarantee that could never happen to St Mirren.

Gordon Scott added:

My desire is to see us back where we belong at the top table of Scottish football and I firmly believe I can help achieve that, and then successfully deliver this club into the hands of the supporters.

St Mirren is a community club and if we take over we would continue to run it in the same prudent way it has been for the last 20 years.

It is also important, however, that we bring a new business dynamic to the club and fully empower the supporters to help take the club forward.

But this won't happen without the support of the fans. We have a wonderful chance to preserve the history and then form the future of our football club together. Let's not let the opportunity pass us by.