General SMiSA News

SMISA thanked for pitch investment

SMISA members have been thanked for their contribution to help St Mirren develop the next generation of John McGinns and Lewis Morgans by the club’s academy director.

Our members agreed to invest £50,000 towards relaying the 4G astrograss surface at the club’s training ground at Ralston – massively improving the facilities for first team and young players alike.

And the club’s head of youth Allan McManus has sent a special video message for SMISA members in which he talks about the difference the new surface will make – not just in terms of the quality of facility, but in allowing the club’s youth teams to develop an attractive style of play.

In it, he said: “We are delighted with the help and investment from SMISA. It’s a massive improvement on the facility we had previously and something that’s been needed to be upgraded for a while.

“The first team are using it, as are the reserves and the academy players and over the long term it will improve the standard of player at this football club.”

You can see the full video here

SMISA’s investment in the pitch made up around one-third of the total, and comes on the back of other investment in academy equipment over the years. As part of the deal, SMISA will be the main sponsor of the youth academy – meaning we feature on new signage around the complex.

The £50,000 will be paid up over two years from the members £2 pot – the first of its kind in Scotland and an initiative designed to allow SMISA members to invest in the future of the club while they save up to buy the majority shareholding.

SMISA members will get the chance to see the new pitch for themselves with an open day for our members planned as part of the club’s play on the pitch day on February 3.

Allan has also filmed longer video for the club’s channels in which he talks in more detail about the ongoing work of the academy. You can see that here.

The picture above shows SMISA's Kenny Docherty and David Riley with Allan McManus, youth coach Andy Webster, and some of the club's under-20 team on the new pitch. Picture was taken by Allan Picken.

 

 

 

David Riley chosen as next SMISA club director

SMISA has now elected its next representative on the St Mirren board. As only one eligible candidate – David Riley – came forward, we asked you to vote on whether to approve his appointment. The results were as follows:

YES – 734 votes (95%) / NO – 36 votes (5%).

This means David will be SMISA’s man in the St Mirren boardroom and the link between the club and the trust for the next two years. We on the committee are looking forward to working with him and believe he would have been a strong candidate regardless of how many others were on the ballot. David's appointment will be confirmed at the club's upcoming AGM.

David Nicol – who has been SMISA’s board rep for the past two years – will stay on the St Mirren board temporarily to help the transition and ensure continuity, at the agreement of all parties. However David Riley is now the nominated SMISA rep and your point of contact – should any member wish to discuss a club-related issue with him, he can be contacted on [email protected]

 

SMISA December members update

The following news items were emailed to our members as part of their December update....

New 4G pitch at Ralston

In April you voted to commit £50,000 of our £2 pot money towards the cost of the club replacing the astrograss pitch at the club’s training ground and youth academy.
That work is now complete and the new pitch will soon be used by hundreds of young players from the club’s various youth teams, as well as the first team squad.

The £2 pot allows SMISA to invest in the future of the club and the assets we will one day be majority owners of – and this investment allowing the next generation of St Mirren players to develop is one you can be proud of your role in. In our October £2 spend you also chose to invest in a new set of moveable goals for the academy and these have now been ordered.

Ralston member benefits

As part of our investment in the new pitch it was agreed SMISA would become the sponsors of the youth academy for the next two seasons, with a series of benefits made available for members.

The club has already announced a chance to play on the new 4G pitch (rescheduled for Sunday 3 February due to a clash with the now-televised home game v Hibs) where fans can buy a place to play against a team of ex-players and club staff, with money reinvested back into the academy. And on that day the club will be thanking SMISA members for your contribution in two ways.

Firstly, there are two places in the legends/staff team for SMISA members, free of charge. Anyone interested should send their name to [email protected] by Sunday 9 December, and we will draw and notify the two lucky winners. Please note you must be aged 18 or over.

Secondly, all SMISA members are invited to an open day at Ralston on the day of the game. Not only can you watch the match but you will have the chance to get a short tour inside the facility itself. We will be in touch with more details nearer the time.

Academy Christmas dinner

This coming Friday (7 Dec) sees the Youth Academy Christmas dinner - a three-course meal and party at the stadium hospitality suite, with all proceeds to the academy.
SMISA has paid for a table as part of the ongoing benefits package offered to our plus and premium members, however there is one place left for a member and their guest, which we are offering to all members. If you would like to go, please email [email protected] by Tuesday 4 December and we will draw someone to be there on the night.

Community season tickets

Back in April you voted in favour of using £2 money to run a community season ticket scheme allowing SMISA to reach out to local good causes and help bring the club and community closer together.

Like last season we have 24 seats (four rows of six) in the South Stand for all home league fixtures in 2018-19, apart from Old Firm games – offered free to community groups, third sector organisations and local charities operating in Renfrewshire. So far this season we have helped Crisis Counselling in Erskine, Shelter, Home Start Renfrewshire and the Star Project to but name a few.

We have been working closely with Engage Renfrewshire to find suitable homes for the tickets but would like any members who know of or are involved with a group who would benefit from a free day out at the football to apply – which you can do online here

SMFC Community Trust Festive Friends event

As you know SMISA has donated money towards the SMFC Community Trust’s Festive Friends event – which will see a Christmas meal at the stadium on December 25 for people living locally who might otherwise have spent the day alone.

The organisers haven’t yet filled all the places and asked if any SMISA members would like to nominate anyone they know who would benefit from being there on the day. If so, please contact [email protected]

Festive Friends charity donation

When we announced the results of the October £2 spend ballot we invited you to take part in a follow-up vote over whether to donate £500 towards the SMFC Community Trust’s Festive Friends scheme – which will see a Christmas meal at the stadium for elderly members of the community who might otherwise spend Christmas alone.

The results are as follows: Yes – 577 votes (94.3%) / No – 35 votes (5.7%)

Thanks to all who voted. The SMFC Community Trust still have some fundraising to do to cover all their costs for the day – if any of our members wanted to make a personal donation, they can do so via the SMFC Community Trust's JustGiving page.

October £2 pot spend results

 

 

All votes are now in for the October £2 spend ballot, and we can reveal the results as follows:

 

Option 1 – new goals for the St Mirren youth academy – 334 votes (40%)

 

Option 3 – SMFC Community Trust (Xmas meal and Fit Fans) – 310 votes (37%)

 

Option 4 – none of the above – 100 votes (12%)

 

Option 2 – stadium hand-driers – 88 votes (11%)

 

Members were voting on where to spend the £3,000 available in this quarter and a reminder of the initial options is here.

 

That means the £3,000 will go to the youth academy for a new set of moveable 11-a-side goals.

 

However, while the SMFC community trust projects narrowly missed out in the vote, we would like to give SMISA members the option to still make a £500 donation towards the Christmas meal element.

 

This planned event will offer a festive feed at the stadium on December 25 to up to 120 elderly people from the local community who may be suffering from isolation and might not otherwise have anywhere to go.

 

Having a ‘follow-up’ vote is not something we have done before and we do not plan to make a habit of in future, but we considered the following as reasons to make an exception here:

 

- this was the closest-run £2 spend we’ve had and the most votes ever received by a project which didn’t win;

 

- feedback from members suggested the festive meal was the most popular of the two community trust projects, and the one the organisers were most keen for help with;

 

- we have over the past two years accumulated a small sum of unspent money from previous £2 ballots and has never been assigned to any project. If approved, the £500 will come from that;

 

- the next scheduled spend isn’t until January, so it can’t be an option in a future vote.

 

In order to have a simple yes/no vote and a clear outcome, we need to define a sum for you to vote on. In this instance, we chose against asking you to fully fund an option which didn’t win.

 

But while £500 leaves the SMFC community trust with some fundraising still to do, we felt it would be an appropriate level of support for a worthy cause. Members have been emailed with a link allowing them to vote.

 

October £2 pot spend details

 

We this week emailed members with details of the projects in the October £2 pot spend ballot. Here's what it said:

As with the past couple of spends, the pot for this quarter is less than the usual £8,000 – as £5,000 from this and the next few quarters has already been committed to the project to relay the astroturf at the club’s Ralston training ground, which members voted for earlier this year.

 

However we have recently costed a few projects which we think are suitable uses for the remaining £3,000 and which give you a breadth of choice. When we last surveyed our members over where you wanted your money to go, the top three categories were the club’s youth academy, improving the stadium facilities/matchday experience, and bringing the club and community closer together.

 

In line with that, we present the following options and ask you to pick your favourite:

 

Option 1 (youth academy goals) –The work to relay the pitch at Ralston is finally now under way and will be ongoing over the next few weeks. As part of that the club would like to upgrade the near-decade-old goals on the new pitch if they can, and head of youth Allan McManus asked if SMISA members would be willing to fund a set of professional-standard goals. The goals would be moveable, which are more expensive than fixed ones, but which would give our various youth teams flexibility in pitch set-up.

 

Option 2 (stadium hand-driers) – A suggestion we received a while back from a member was whether SMISA could pay to replace the hand-driers in the stadium, which we are sure many of you will have noticed are of poor quality.

 

This work has now been costed and the club installed one new test drier (its silver if you want to try it) in the men’s toilets in the West Stand (under W2 and W3), which – although it only blows cold air – is stronger than the existing ones. £3,000 would allow us to replace 20 of the 26 hand-driers around the stadium (£100 per drier plus £1,000 install). The priority would be the ones in the home stands.

 

Option 3 (SMFC Community Trust – Xmas meal and Fit Fans) – a few years ago the club set up the SMFC Community Trust as a charitable organisation aimed at helping the local community. While the trust has been largely dormant, the club have now hired Gayle Brannigan to get it up and running, and she gave us a proposal for how £3,000 from SMISA’s £2 pot could help two of her projects.

 

The first is Festive Friends – a free Christmas dinner for local elderly residents who are isolated and might otherwise spend Christmas alone, in the 1877 Club at the stadium on December 25, in partnership with the Salvation Army. Gayle is currently £1,750 short of what she needs to run this event.

 

The remaining £1,250 would go towards a programme of Football Fans in Training (FFIT) for Saints fans (Link to https://dev.ffit.org.uk/). This is a Scotland-wide scheme intended to promote healthy living and weight loss, targeted at footfall fans, and using club facilities. Our money would go on marketing costs, fitness equipment, coaches tracksuits and FFIT t-shirts for the 40 participants.

 

Option 4 (none of the above) – This would keep the full £3,000 in the £2 pot, meaning it would be available for future projects if needed.

 

SMISA club director election - nominations open

Any SMISA members interested in being the voice of St Mirren fans in the club boardroom are being invited to come forward.

Under the terms of the #BuyTheBuds deal, SMISA members are able to elect one of their own to serve as a fan representative on the club board.

SMISA committee member David Nicol was elected to this role in November 2016, but as his two-year term is coming to an end, we are now inviting members to put themselves forward to run for election to serve on the board for the next two years.

The successful candidate will have a key role in the running of the club, as well as being vital to the operation of SMISA - both as the voice of the fans within the boardroom and as the link between the club and the trust.

Full information – including a job description and election rules – are available for download now, and we would advise anyone interested to read and consider them fully.

The timetable is as follows:
- Tuesday 16 October – nomination period opens
- Sunday 4 November – nomination period closes
- Monday 12 November – voting opens
- Monday 26 November – voting closes

Of course if there are questions you can contact us via [email protected]

July £2 spend results

Voting has now closed for SMISA's July £2 spend ballot and we can reveal the results below. For a reminder of the two projects, follow this link. Thanks to the 815 of you who voted. Votes were as follows:

Project one - funding for St Mirren to run two new community programmes (£1,500)
YES - 619 votes (76%) / NO - 196 (24%)

Project two - funding for pre-match entertainment around family stand (£1,500)
YES - 708 (87%) / NO - 107 (13%)