General SMiSA News
Welcome to the latest update from the SMiSA Board.
We were notified on Monday 5th by our SMiSA board chairman Kenny Docherty that he was stepping down from his role as chairman and also from the SMiSA Board.
We would like to take this opportunity thank Kenny for all his hard work and dedication he has shown for a great number of years and he will be sorely missed at board level.
There was a vote at the SMiSA Board meeting on the evening of Monday 5th December and Eddie Devine was confirmed as the new SMiSA Chairman.
Eddie I’m sure will be well known to many of you and we would like to wish him all the best in his new role.
SMISA Board election
Since our AGM in April two of our Board members, Kenny Lang and George Adam, have chosen to step down. Rather than waiting until our next AGM in the spring, we are looking for candidates to fill those two vacancies now from within the SMISA membership.
Board members are expected to attend regular meetings (usually held fortnightly on Monday evenings) and make a meaningful contribution, both in terms of their time and the quality of their input.
Anybody who would like to stand should email [email protected] and request an application form.
You will need to be nominated by two other SMISA members and have been a member for at least 90 days prior to the date nominations close which is this Sunday October 23.
You will also need to submit a 500-word statement explaining why you would like to be elected and to submit a photo for the election webpage on the SMISA website.
Voting will then run from Monday October 24 until Friday October 28, with the results announced shortly afterwards.
Quarterly Members Meeting
Our latest quarterly members meeting will take place on Thursday October 27 at 7pm in the 1877 Club within the SMISA Stadium.
All members are invited to attend but must book a place in advance using this link to log in to the VeryConnect platform and going to the Events page.
Following the recent decision by George Adam to stand from the Board, the SMISA directors have chosen Kenny Docherty as the new SMISA chair. Kenny has been on the SMISA Board since 2017 and will look to continue the good work done by George over the past six years.
As many of you will have seen, Alan Wardrop has decided to stand down as a St Mirren director. Alan first joined the board in 2016 and became one of SMISA’s four representatives in July 2021 after we became majority shareholders. We are sorry to see him move on but thank him again for his service during those six years.
Alan will formally finish up on November 19 and, if possible, we would like to have his successor in post by then. We are, therefore, now starting the recruitment process and are looking for expressions of interest in the role.
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.
New SMISA appointments to the club board are subject to the formal recruitment process we put in place two years ago through which both John Needham and Alex White were appointed.
That will see the SMISA board invite applications, shortlist and interview those who best fit the job description, and select a preferred candidate, who the members will be asked to approve. Ideally they will already be a SMISA member but we will consider all applications.
Anyone interested should contact [email protected] and we will send you an application pack.
Given the time constraints, the closing date for applications is October 17 with interviews scheduled to take place the following week subject to availability.
Alan Wardrop, one of SMISA’s four representatives on the St Mirren board, has decided to stand down as a club director.
Alan was asked to join the board in July 2016 by then chairman Gordon Scott shortly after he concluded his takeover, in conjunction with SMISA, to buy the club.
The lifelong Buddie then got to savour the Championship-winning celebrations in 2018 when former boss Jack Ross led the team into the Premiership.
Alan’s brilliant photo of ex-captain Stephen McGinn waiting to go down the tunnel to lift the trophy quickly became a fans’ favourite.
The picture was then immortalised in stone when SMISA commissioned local artist Mark Worst to produce six murals of trophy-winning moments in the club’s history that are now dotted around the concourses of the SMISA stadium.
When SMISA then became majority shareholders of the club in July 2021, we asked Alan to remain on the St Mirren board as one of our representatives and he willingly agreed.
Alan also had the brainwave to create the 1877 Club in the void in the Main Stand and oversaw the project from start to finish. He is now the proud matchday host, welcoming in managers, coaches and players before and after each game.
Many of the items in the mini-museum inside the club come from Alan’s vast personal collection of St Mirren memorabilia.
The recently-retired financial advisor will formally step down as a director on November 19 and everyone at SMISA would like to thank him for all his time and effort on the board, both before and after he agreed to become one of our representatives. Everything he ever did was undoubtedly with the best interests of St Mirren at heart.
Alan confirmed: “After six and a half years on the board, it is with a heavy heart that I have made the very difficult decision to stand down as a St Mirren director.
“I remain and always will be a St Mirren man and will continue to support our club as best I can in the future.
“As a long time SMISA member I would like to express my sincere thanks to SMISA for their endorsement and support.
“I would also like to thank former chairman Gordon Scott for his original invitation to join the board which fulfilled a lifetime ambition and made an ordinary supporter and his family very proud.”
SMISA chair George Adam has decided to stand down from his position due to increased work commitments.
The Paisley MSP took up the role in 2015 and played a key role in both phases of fan ownership, helping Gordon Scott take over in 2016 and then being at the forefront of SMISA becoming majority shareholder in 2021.
George has been a popular and well-kent face at SMISA events over the past seven years but felt he could not longer commit the time required.
He said: "It has been a really difficult decision for me to take as St Mirren Football Club means so much to me.
"It has been too difficult for me to balance my work as Paisley’s MSP and now Minister for Parliamentary Business in the Scottish Government and still have the time to commit to SMISA and St Mirren.
"I have just had to admit that there is not enough hours in the day to do all of these roles and I began to think it would be better for colleagues on the SMISA board to get someone who could make that commitment.
"The trusts board members asked me to continue as they appreciated all the work I was doing but I felt I was not doing as much as I had been previously.
"It was difficult enough balancing the time as Paisley’s MSP but adding the responsibility of becoming a Scottish Government Minister just made it impossible for me to find the time.
"I tried for at least a year to make it work but I’ve had to now admit it is now time for another fan to move forward with SMISA.
"The SMISA fans' trust is in good hands at the moment as there are many people I have worked with over the years who I trust and believe in.
"I am happy that during my tenure as chair of the fans' trust, St Mirren FC has moved from the bottom of the Championship to sitting in third place in our country’s top tier.”
West Stand project
Marching On is a group of like-minded Buddies who want to make the whole St Mirren stadium experience better, with the aim of attracting and retaining fans and ultimately trying to make a positive impact on the players on the park.
The group has an array of plans to make the stadium and surrounding area a real St Mirren fortress. Their initial phase involves adding colour and character to the concourses of the stands, starting with the West Stand. The group hope that fans will be able to see the difference this initial phase has made.
This project is 100% volunteer-led and funded and has received support from Sanctuary Housing Group who have provided two days’ worth of free labour and £500 for materials. Marching On is now asking SMISA members to match that funding of £500 to enable the work in the West Stand to be completed before the group moves on to the rest of the stadium.
Members can now vote via Very Connect on whether to support this proposal or not, with the poll closing on Friday September 16 at 5pm to give the group time to start the next phase next week. The funds would be taken from the Club Pot that currently sits at around £20,000.
Cast your vote HERE
Community Season Tickets
SMISA’s Community Season Ticket scheme is proving so far to be very well received. Thanks to the support of our members we were able to buy 30 season tickets for the Tony Fitzpatrick Family Stand which allows us to support the club financially while also providing tickets to matches to those who may not otherwise be able to attend, especially during this cost of living crisis.
Our community liaison officer Jim Cumming has been working closely with Engage Renfrewshire and other local groups to dispense the tickets and the feedback has been terrific.
Home Start Renfrewshire and Inverclyde were able to provide tickets to a family to attend their first match together and meet Paisley Panda and they were very grateful.
“It was great to be able to take our kids out to watch our local football team we support and bond as a family. My kids are so excited to go again. They have been telling everyone. Thanks so much to Homestart and SMISA for our great day out.”
Another Renfrewshire charitable organisation, Pachedu, took tickets for the Hibs match and their operations manager Johannes Gonani wrote to us to say: "Most of the people we took had never been to a football match of that magnitude and they were highly appreciative. As a direct result of this event, we now have one young person who attended who has signed up for the St Mirren junior teams and two more who are in the process of seeking opportunities."
It's great to see so many people from our community and beyond taking the chance to get along to a game at the SMISA Stadium and it’s all down to the members’ willingness to support this scheme.
Quarterly Members Meeting
A reminder that we will hold our next quarterly members meeting on Thursday October 27 at the SMISA Stadium at 7pm.
We will send details on how to register nearer the time. Members are also asked to log in to Very Connect to ensure their contact information and other details are all up to date.
While the first team are playing Celtic at home this Sunday, the St Mirren Kiltwalk team will be taking on the streets of Edinburgh, walking 24 miles to raise money for St Mirren FC Charitable Foundation.
Anyone not attending the match who would like to join them still has time to do so – and those who can’t can still donate to a very worthy cause!
To donate to the Saints Come Marching in Team, please follow this link here.
To join the Saints Come Marching In Team free of charge, please follow this link here.
Gayle Brannigan, the foundation’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “The Kiltwalk is one of the most impactful fundraising events that anyone can take part in!
“The fact that the Hunter Foundation adds 50% to our total fundraising amount makes a huge difference, particularly within this financial climate.
“Everyone looks forward to the day because of the camaraderie. The atmosphere is brilliant and it’s so well organised.”