General SMiSA News

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

 

Alex

SMFC Director Applications

As you may be aware SMiSA need to appoint a new director to represent the society on the board of St Mirren Football Club as Gordon Scott has stepped down, meaning a position to be one of our four SMiSA nominated directors on the club board has become available. SMiSA would once again like to thank Gordon Scott for all he has done during his tenure for both SMiSA and St Mirren Football Club.

We are now calling for anyone interested in becoming a candidate for this position to apply.  You can do this by emailing [email protected] to declare your interest. Applicants who declare interest will receive an application pack containing informative documents about the process and role, they will also receive an application form. The closing date for applications to be submitted is July 31st at 5pm.

New SMISA appointments to the club board are subject to the formal recruitment process SMiSA has put in place through which John Needham, Alex White and Paul McNeil were appointed. This will see the SMiSA board shortlist and interview those who best fit the job description, and select a preferred candidate who the members will then be asked to approve. Ideally, they will already be a SMiSA member but all applications will be considered. Interview dates are scheduled for the week beginning August 7th and 14th; however timings will be further discussed with candidates who are successful in the sifting process relating to their application and progress to the interview stage.

The successful candidate will be expected to act as the link between the club and SMiSA boards, ensure member views are considered in club decisions and have the skills and experience to make a positive contribution to the running of the football club.

If you have any questions, please get in touch with: [email protected].

 

Regards,

The SMiSA Board

May Chairman's Update

Well unless you are planning a holiday away during the close season you can put the passport back in the drawer until next year. The fantastic effort from the team getting into the Top 6 just couldn't be maintained to finish in 5th and possibly get into Europe. We can still be proud of what the team achieved.

At the time of writing its been confirmed that Main, Shaughnessy, Tait and Dunne have finished their St Mirren careers and chose pastures new. Good luck to these guys and thanks for all you done in a Saints shirt.

Following full-time at the Rangers game SMiSA made a special presentation to Keanu Baccus in recognition of him being the first St Mirren player to play at a World Cup. SMISA member Murray Bryce won this one off opportunity to do so. It capped the end to a fantastic season for Keanu.

The end of May saw another successful St Mirren POTY dinner, and for the first time, a SMiSA member presented our player of the year trophy to Mark O'Hara. Well done to member Blair Connery for winning the opportunity.

We also hosted 2 SMiSA member tables for the POTY dinner and from the emails we have received it went down a storm. There were 100's who emailed looking for a seat at the sell out event but in the end only 20 could go. This is something we will try to do more of during next season to support the club by taking 1 or 2 tables at Hospitality and giving members the opportunity to win more places rather than taking a guest.

We do need your help in bringing on more members and we are trying to come up with different ways of achieving this. If you have any ideas on how we can actively grow our membership  please email [email protected].

The POTY event brings the Commercial year to a close (before season tickets take over) and it's worth mentioning the work Campbell Kennedy and his team put in throughout the year.

Hospitality at the club on a Saturday home game is a cracking occasion put on by Campbell and his team. Many of the games sold out in advance this season and next season looks like it's going the same way already. If you are celebrating special birthdays etc then book spaces, you wont be disappointed.

The middle of May brought our SMiSA AGM. It had the highest ever attendance according to longer serving members on the board and the feedback we have received for putting online, the presentations and content as well as the participation at the Q&A sessions have been most welcome.

There was the request for more information with regards background to the RCGF application, and we are underway with this with just a couple of parties to provide information. As we said in our statement we won't comment until all parties have had opportunity to present their information and you, our members will be informed as soon as possible.

The AGM also seen the election to the Board of myself, Jack McSkeane and Stuart Chawk. We would like to thank all members who took the time to vote for us and other candidates John Allison and Alan Wardrop.

Another landmark occasion was the decision by former Chairman, Gordon Scott, to step down from the St Mirren board.

Throughout his time on the Board Gordon delivered a Championship title, fan ownership and his personal ambition of having a St Mirren team for the first time ever finishing in the Top 6.

Gordons involvement with the club and SMiSA in particular can't be over played. From his early involvement with the SMiSA trust he was integral in getting us to where we are now.

We would like to thank him for everything he achieved for the club and know we can count on his support going forward.

May is as we know awards season and we are delighted to report the achievements of the Women's team Manager Kate cooper in picking up 2 awards. 1 for the Womens Division 1 Manager of the Year, and also collecting a “Circle of Inspiration award” in the sports category. A huge amount of work is done by Kate alone in the Womens team and its something SMiSA will look to further support where possible in future.

Womens football is the fastest growing sport and in May we seen 90,000 at the Womens FA cup final. We are a way off that in Scotland but the popularity is increasing and for community clubs like St Mirren that’s an untapped source of future St Mirren fans. The more we and the club can do to encourage more girls/women attending our games the better! Well done Kate.

I'm sure you would agree May has been an action packed month for many different reasons.

We look forward for us all to have a break and holiday before the new season gets under way.

Don`t forget the “early bird” season ticket renewals and i'm hoping on the back of this years performances that we can get near to 4,500 season ticket holders, that would be great. If we got 5,000 that would be stunning.

The more income we can pull in then the better transfer kitty Stephen Robinson has. Along with Martin Foyle they have been hugely successful in the players they have brought to the club and i'm sure we cant wait to see who pulls on the famous black and white stripes (no RED in the kit please!) come August.

 Keep an eye for the exclusive SMiSA competitons too over next couple of months. From a place at St Mirren summer camps to a SMiSA new season St Mirren top competiton too then if you know someone who is not a member maybe introduce them and you could win back the cost of your season ticket?.....

Enjoy your break

COYS

Alex

Thank You Gordon Scott

Yesterday the club announced that Gordon Scott was stepping down from his role on the St Mirren board.

Gordon epitomised the dream of many of us may had, from being a fan to being the owner of the club you love and support. Gordon has been a fervent supporter of SMiSA and all that it represents since the Trust was formed over 20 years ago. He was a regular participant of Saints Aid and always ensured he wore the No.9 jersey of the black and white stripes.

Gordon was an attendee at SMiSA events from day 1 and was instrumental in the 'Buy the Buds' campaign resulting in SMiSA becoming the majority owner of the club. This demonstrates how well Gordon understood what the club meant to the fans and more importantly how the club depends on the supporters.

It was Gordon who suggested "SMiSA" would be embedded in the lower level of the Caledonia stand at Love Street and along with another member of the then SMiSA committee re arranged the seats to achieve this, no mean feat!

Fast forward a few years to a Championship winning trophy, consolidation in the SPFL, transferring ownership of the club and ultimately a top 6 finish means Gordons legacy at St Mirren has been established.

All the SMISA members and the SMiSA board would like to thank Gordon for his lasting contribution.

The SMiSA Board will commence the process to elect a new director to the Club Board shortly, with more information on this published in due course.

SMiSA Present Special Recognition Award

Following yesterday's final game of the 2022/23 season against Rangers, SMiSA member Murray Bryce presented Keanu Baccus with a Special Recognition award for being the first Saint's player to play in a World Cup Finals.

Baccus was announced as part of Australia's World Cup squad in November 2022, and went on to feature off the bench in their first 3 Group Stage games. Australia managed to get past the group stage, where they were then up against a star-studded Argentina team in the round of sixteen. Baccus was announced in the starting line-up of this game, where he competed against the likes of Lionel Messi and Alexis Mac Allister. Despite losing the game 2-1, the Australia team caught the world's attention and showed real passion and Belief. 

Everyone at SMiSA and St. Mirren would like to congratulate Keanu on this milestone for the club, and thank him for his tremendous contribution to both club and country this season.

 

 

SMiSA Update on RCGF Application

Last week we presented our AGM which had the highest ever attendance of SMiSA members. We would like to thank all our members for taking the opportunity to engage with us. 

Also in attendance were 3 of our SMiSA nominated Club Board Directors; John Needham (Chairman), Alex White and Paul McNeil. We would like to thank all three for attending and for their participation on the night. Also in attendance was Academy Director Allan McManus who provided an update on our academy.  

For the first time ever, we recorded the event and made the footage available to all members via email in the days following the AGM. We hope this will make SMiSA meetings more inclusive to all members by allowing those not able to attend the chance to catch-up on the proceedings.  

So far, we have received great feedback on the night and questions posed within the Q&A. We have had several requests on SMiSA’s position with regard to information offered by Alan Wardrop concerning the Regeneration Capital Grant Fund (RCGF) application. Whilst Alan applied to become a SMiSA Director it was inappropriate to comment to allow the election process to follow its course.  

Having heard contents of information from the AGM, SMiSA will now approach the Directors of the St. Mirren Board and Alan Wardrop for their version of events and provision of supporting documented evidence before deciding the next course of action. We do note an overwhelming majority of SMiSA members at the AGM indicated the need for further clarity of the background to the funding application. 

SMiSA will make no further comment on this issue until this process is concluded, at which stage a follow-up statement will be provided to members. 

 

Regards, 

SMiSA Board 

SMiSA AGM 2023 Summary

The SMiSA Board would like to thank everyone who attended the 2023 1877 Society Ltd (SMISA) AGM on the evening of Wednesday 17th May at the SMiSA Stadium. A review of the past year was presented, along with an insight into what is planned for SMiSA over the next year. An update was also provided by Academy Director Allan McManus on progress at the Academy and the difference SMiSA funding has made. Club Chairman John Needham also gave an update regarding the progress made at the club over the past year and shared some plans the club have which they are looking to implement moving forward. Finally, the evening was closed with a member's Q&A which allowed attendees to ask questions to both SMiSA Board and SMiSA Club Board Representatives.

 

Results of AGM Voting

SMiSA Finance

The below diagram shows the voting results for the Finance Approvals, which took place online prior to the AGM:

 

Board Election

The below diagram shows the voting results for the SMiSA Board Election, which took place online prior to the AGM:

With 3 places available on the SMiSA Board, we would therefore like to congratulate Stuart Chawk, Alex Dillon and Jack McSkeane on being successful in being elected onto the SMiSA Board. We would also like to thank John Allison and Alan Wardrop for standing in this years election, who narrowly missed out this time round. 

 

Constitution Amendments

Two amendments to the SMiSA Constitution were proposed to members by the SMiSA Board.These were voted on in person at the AGM due to them being extraordinary resolutions, which require 75% of attendees to approve at the meeting. The proposed amendments were issued to all members via email prior to the AGM, and can also be viewed by clicking here. These were both approved by a vast majority of members who attended the AGM (>75% in attendance).

 

SMiSA Aims 2023/24

The aims and objectives of SMiSA for 2023/24 were presented during the AGM, with a summary of these provided below. These will also be made available to view in more detail on the website shortly.

 

AGM Minutes

Minutes of the 2023 SMiSA AGM can be viewed by clicking here.

 

AGM Video

Following our recent members survey where it was found that a large number of members would benefit if the AGM was streamed live or recorded, we are delighted to announce that for the first time ever this years SMiSA AGM was recorded on camera, and will be made available to members via. email over the coming days. We hope this will make SMiSA events more accessible to members who are unable to attend in person, and will be looking to continue to offer a live stream or recording for events in future.

 

SMiSA AGM Reminder

This is a reminder to all SMiSA Members that this years SMiSA AGM is taking place on Wednesday 17th May at the SMiSA Stadium Hospitality Suite, with a starting time of 7pm. 

Details on how to register to attend the AGM, along with voting information for accounts approval, Board election and constitution amendments were issued to all members via. email on 1st May, with a reminder email also issued on 8th May. If you did not receive these emails, please get in touch by emailing [email protected] and we will be more than happy to assist.


Proxy Voting

As has happened at all our previous AGM's, any member who cannot attend the evening will be able to put forward an individual as a proxy.

This can be to raise a question in your absence or to vote in your place. 

This may be especially important due to constitution amendments as per our rules requiring a vote to be passed by 75% of members attending a general meeting in person. SMiSA would like all our members to feel they have the opportunity to approve business or ask questions, this hopefully makes the AGM more inclusive to all. 

If you wish to put forward an individual to be used as a proxy for yourself, then please email [email protected] from the email linked to your SMiSA membership with the name of the person being used as a proxy so that they can be added to the AGM register.


We can also confirm that the AGM will be recorded and published in the days following the meeting. This decision has been made as part of our pledge to listen to members opinions in order to improve the SMiSA experience. In our recent members survey, an overwhelming majority of members expressed that it would benefit them if the AGM was broadcast live or recorded. 

We hope to see as many of you as possible on the night.

 

Best Regards,

The SMiSA Board