In the January £2 ballot, members voted in favour of a proposal to have murals painted on the walls inside the stadium by local artist Mark Worst.
General SMiSA News
We emailed our members recently with an update that included the result of the April £2 ballot, a SMISA AGM report, a chance to play on the pitch for free in Saint For A Day, and details on the first St Mirren women's game due to take place at the Simple Digital Arena. Details are below.
April £2 spend ballot
We wrote to you a couple of weeks ago with details of the £2 spend option for this quarter. It was a single-issue ballot on this occasion with members given the option of supporting the purchase of Community Season Tickets for season 2019/20 to be used free-of-charge by local community, charity or other groups or keeping the money in the pot for possible future use.
We received a total of 885 votes. Thanks to everyone who voted. The results are as follows:
Option 1: Community Season Tickets – 707 votes (80%)
Option 2: Retaining money for possible future use – 178 votes (20%)
We will now move forward with buying the season tickets and invite any groups interested in using them to attend a match next season to email us via [email protected]
SMISA AGM report
We held our annual general meeting in Paisley town centre on March 30 and would like to thank all members who attended.
Member Graeme Aitken spoke about his proposed Special Resolution that would have included an option on the quarterly £2 ballot for the money to be banked to be used once SMISA becomes majority owners of the club.
The resolution was defeated by 25 votes (including nine by proxy) to 12 (one by proxy). We are grateful to Graeme for taking the time to travel from London to present his case.
At the meeting there was also confirmation of two new members to the SMISA board – Douglas McMahon and Lawrence McCabe – while Colin Orr was re-elected as per SMISA legislation.
Kevin Park and David Nicol have chosen to stand down from the SMISA board and we thank them both for their contribution in recent years. David will remain on the club board alongside David Riley, the SMISA-elected director.
Anyone interested in reading minutes from the AGM as well as the slides used in the presentations made by SMISA board members, can do so by clicking HERE.
Saint For A Day
Two teams of St Mirren fans will get the chance to "live the dream" by playing on the pitch at the Simple Digital Arena on Sunday May 19 and we have managed to secure places for two of our members to take part in the match for free.
Each of the 32 players involved (two squads of 16) will be given an official team strip that they will be allowed to keep after the match, while there will also be a medal presentation to all players followed by food and refreshments. The match will also be filmed by club staff.
Any SMISA member (aged 18 or over) who wishes to play in the match should email SMISA board member Kenny Docherty ([email protected]) with their details including a contact telephone number by Wednesday May 8th at 5pm. In the event of more than two members wishing to play, we will select two names at random. The winners will be notified shortly afterwards and must be available to play in the game that kicks off at noon on Sunday May 19. The prize is non-transferable.
St Mirren women's team
Immediately after Saint For A Day on May 19, the SMISA-sponsored St Mirren women's team will play their first ever game at the Simple Digital Arena, kick off 4pm. Entry is free and we would encourage all members to try to get along to give the team your support.
The SMISA committee
We held our annual general meeting in Paisley town centre on March 30 and would like to thank all members who came along. Here is a summary of what took place with a link to the slides used by board members in their presentation. Any questions please email [email protected]
Minutes of The 1877 Society Limited, (SMiSA) Annual General Meeting
Saturday 30th March 2019, University of West of Scotland
1. Introduction (George Adam)
George Adam, Society Chair, opened the meeting by presenting an overview of the agenda for the meeting, and remarking on the highs and lows of the past year for SMiSA and the football club.
In particular he spoke about the recent meeting concerning the behaviour of some fans at, and whilst travelling to, St Mirren games. He advised that Police Scotland had informed the meeting that St Mirren is currently ranked as the fifth most difficult club for them to police. This is not a league table we wish to be near the top of, and George highlighted that all at the meeting had agreed to work together to improve matters.
George also appealed to those present to help out by encouraging more member recruitment and/or assisting the committee with their ideas and time.
2. Highlights of the past year (Colin Orr)
Colin took the audience through a series of picture slides which highlighted some of the key events on the past year.
3. Membership & Finance (Alan Quinn)
Alan presented some key numbers regarding membership numbers and finances, together with an update on progress towards the implementation of a new administration platform for the membership database.
4. Objectives (Lawrence McCabe)
Lawrence updated the meeting regarding progress on last year’s objectives and introduced the committee’s intended objectives for the coming year.
The presentation slides for items 2, 3 and 4 can be viewed HERE
5. Club Director Update (David Riley)
David spoke briefly about his first few months on the Club board and about what the role entailed. He emphasised the fact that we have a wide range of knowledge, experience and skills within our membership and that these could be valuable assets on the Club board.
It's hoped that our members will consider their own particular attributes and think about joining the SMiSA board then possibly standing for election to the St Mirren board in 2020. David is also carrying out a review of all departmental processes to make sure that they are fit for purpose and help drive growth in the coming years. He is committed to ensuring that the Club is in the best possible shape when SMiSA assumes majority ownership by 2026.
6. Formal Resolutions
- The Society’s accounts for the year to 30th November 2018, which had been previously issued to members, were put forward for acceptance. The accounts were accepted unanimously.
- AQ outlined the Society’s responsibilities under the Community Benefit Act 2014 regarding audit of accounting records. No further questions were raised and votes were conducted by a show of hands to :
- Disapply the need to appoint an auditor
- Re-appoint the Independent Financial
Both votes were passed unanimously.
7. Election of Society Directors
GA introduced the election for directors to the Society Board. Each year a third of the elected board are required to stand down. This year three board members stood down but two (David Nicol and Kevin Park) did not wish to stand for re-election.
The third person standing down (Colin Orr) was wishing to be re-elected, along with Lawrence McCabe and Douglas McMahon who are standing for the first time.
Votes were held to approve the appointment of these three directors, all being passed unanimously.
8. Member Resolution
Member Graeme Aitken was then invited to address the meeting regarding his proposal that every quarterly £2 spend ballot should include the option to save the money for when SMISA becomes majority owners.
Graeme explained his reasons for this, and the advantages he believes this would bring.
Colin Orr responded on behalf of SMiSA, principally that it is not necessary to commit £2 spend funds in this way as the Society’s projections and plans are based on accumulating a sizeable cash surplus before completing the purchase of the majority shareholding.
Those present raised a number of questions which were answered by Graeme or members of the SMiSA Committee as appropriate
Q: A member commented that he did not think that adding an additional option in the ballot to save money would make the ballot more complicated.
A: CO explained that including the option Graeme wanted could create anomalies in the vote. If a ballot still included the current option to reject a project but keep the money available for future, it could split the vote - making it possible the option to spend on a project could win a ballot even if a majority of members had voted for one of the options not to do it. But if we didn't include the option to keep unspent money available, any money we choose not to spend would - under Graeme's resolution - be locked away until the buds were bought, even if we wanted to spend it. Thus we would lose flexibility to spend on a big ticket item at a later date.
Graeme admitted he could have worded the resolution differently but agreed members had to vote on the wording he had proposed.
Q: Graeme Aitken referred to the committee having “found some money down the back of the sofa” to donate to the Community Trust Festive Friends event.
A: AQ responded by clarifying that the sofa is actually the £2 spend bank account, that the quarterly ballots do not always spend the full amount available each quarter, and that any surplus is left in the account where it is available for future ballots if required.
There being no further questions, the meeting proceeded to a vote on Graeme’s resolution, after Graeme had received a warm round of applause for his contribution.
Voting on the resolution was as follows :
For : 11 in the room (plus 1 by proxy)
Against : 16 in the room (plus 9 by proxy)
The motion was therefore defeated. GA thanked Graeme Aitken for his contributions. Graeme responded by saying that he had learned from the experience and would be back next year to try again!
9. Questions & Answers
The meeting was opened for questions / comments from the members in attendance. A summary of these are listed below.
Q: How will SMiSA continue to raise money after the takeover, to pay unexpected or every day bills?
A: AQ and CO replied that the exact nature of how SMiSA will function post acquisition has not yet been determined, but a paper is currently being prepared by the committee which will propose various options and scenarios. This paper when finished will be sent to all members for their feedback. It is, however, envisaged that members will be able to continue paying subscriptions post acquisition in order to have reserve funds available should the Club need them. But it is not possible to say at this time what that rate might be.
Q: How many members was the original number of members required to make the buyout proposal viable?
Q: One member commented that he thought Graeme Aitken’s resolution was a great idea, because he doesn’t always approve of the items put forward for the ballots. How does the committee decide which items to include?
A: CO outlined how suggestions can come from the Club, SMiSA members, Community Trust, Youth Academy etc. All suggestions have to be assessed in terms of cost, feasibility, compliance with member priorities (as per the 2017 survey results). This can take time, but all ideas are recorded so not overlooked. He encouraged members if submitting ideas to provide as much information as possible.
Q: Why had the purchase of match balls for the first team, as requested by Jack Ross, been considered a suitable item for the £2 Spend?
A: CO replied that Jack had wanted the first team to be able to train with the new specification match balls which had been introduced for that season, but which had not been budgeted for in the Club budgets for that season.
There being no further questions, GA then concluded the meeting with a thank you to everyone, and enjoy the match!
We have emailed our members with details of the projects for the April £2 ballot. See below for details....
The pot this time is again £3,000 and, with the project we are putting forward for consideration taking up the entirety of our budget, on this occasion we are giving members the option of either voting in favour or electing to keep the sum in the pot for possible future use.
The project we are proposing is the purchase of Community Season Tickets. In each of the last two seasons, SMISA has bought from the club a block of season ticket seats at the Simple Digital Arena and made them available free-of-charge for use by community, charity and other local groups who otherwise might not be able to attend a match.
Given the positivity of the feedback we have received from groups who have used these tickets in the past, we are keen to offer the scheme again for season 2019/20. We believe such a project serves a number of purposes including supporting the club financially, fostering goodwill among the wider Renfrewshire community, and letting people experience a St Mirren game, often for the first time.
Groups that have benefited from the scheme so far are: Turning Point Scotland, Home Start Renfrewshire, Men's Shed Renfrewshire, Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland, Cairn Housing Association, Turnaround Scotland, Star Project, Crisis Counselling Erskine, Who Cares Scotland, Charleston Square Support Association, Renfrewshire Carers, Ralston Skills Centre, Renfrew Boys Club 05s, St Mirren Community Trust, Ralston Day Centre, Renfrew Day Centre and Active Schools Renfrewshire.
The Ralston Skills Centre took a group of young supporters along to the match against Hearts in November and enjoyed the experience: “We must be St Mirren’s lucky charm, first win for Oran Kearney today. Huge thanks to St Mirren Independent Supporters Association for the tickets, we had a great time.”
Last year this proposal was backed overwhelmingly by the majority of you (92%), although members will again have the option of banking the money for future possible use.
St Mirren amputee team
In October 2017 members voted in the £2 ballot to provide £1000 of funding towards the establishment of a St Mirren team that would play in a proposed Scottish amputee football league.
With the team, however, not going ahead for the foreseeable future, that sum will return to the pot for possible use in future spends, although we may put this project to members again if the situation changes.
We wrote to you our members a couple of weeks back with the options for the January ballot to choose where to spend the last three months worth of the £2 part of their SMISA membership.
We had a total of 917 votes – the most we’ve ever had in a quarterly ballot. Thanks to everyone who voted. The results are as follows:
Option 1 – Stadium murals – 526 votes (57%)
Option 2 – Maintenance equipment for Ralston pitch – 307 votes (34%)
Option 3 – Neither of the above – 82 votes (9%)
We will now take forward the murals project in partnership with local artist Mark Worst – as we outlined in the initial email, there will be up to six murals, each depicting a scene from one of the club’s 11 major trophy wins. We would like you to choose which of these you would most like to see brought to life on the walls of the stadium – you can do that via this link.
Once that is decided, Mark and the SMISA committee will choose a suitable image for each mural. On the advice of the artist, this will likely be a portrait of a relevant individual(s) (for example, winning goalscorer or captain/manager/player with trophy). If you have an iconic image in mind you would like us to consider we'd like to see it, so please get in touch via [email protected]
There will be two SMISA members playing for the fans, Ally Sharp and Neil Ramsay who won the draw to take part in the game. Playing for the legends are David Van Zanten, Junior Mendes, Burton O'Brien, Scott Walker, Barry McLaughlin, Barry Lavety and many more including current club staff.
As SMISA are now proud sponsors of the training academy our members are invited to attend and bring as many guests as they want to enjoy the match. However we need to restrict the tour of the Academy to one member and one guest.
We have emailed our members with details of the projects for the January £2 ballot. See below for details....
There is £3,000 available to spend this quarter and as both projects would take the whole budget, we are asking you to pick one of the below options.
1) Stadium murals - This is a project initially suggested by members in a previous survey which we have looked at on and off over the past couple of years before eventually settling on a format we think works. We are proposing to commission an artist to create six giant murals around the stadium – each commemorating an iconic scene from one of the club’s major trophy wins.
The murals would go on the walls on the inside of the stands (near the toilets and pie stalls) and we hope to have two murals in each of the three home stands (Main, West and Family). Not only would this be a permanent celebration of our greatest moments and bring the club’s history to life for future generations, but it would liven up the stadium’s grey breezeblock interior.
They would be painted by Paisley-based street artist Mark Worst whose eye-catching work round town will already be familiar to many – he painted the mural of the 1987 cup team in Brown’s Lane and the giant kingfisher on the gable end in Johnston Street.
We have scoped out the project with Mark and he has produced a mock-up of an example mural, pictured above to give you an idea what one might look like. If the mural project wins the vote, we would ask the members to pick which trophy wins you want to be commemorated, and to suggest/submit any iconic images which mean most to you. Mark and the SMISA committee will agree which ones he will paint. These will include an inscription/caption and SMISA logo.
For logistical reasons and on the advice of the artist these will work best as a portrait of a relevant individual(s) (for example, winning goalscorer or captain/manager/player with trophy) rather than a team shot or large-scale scene. The murals won’t work on the outside of the stands due to the texture of the surface, but Mark advises they will work well on the flat interior walls.
2) Maintenance equipment for Ralston pitch - As you know, SMISA has invested £50,000 towards the new 4G astrograss pitch at the club’s training ground at Ralston, believed to be one of the best surfaces in Scotland. You can see the club’s head of youth Allan McManus thanking SMISA members for your contribution in this video.
Given the surface is being heavily used by the club’s first and youth teams, and that these surfaces do wear down over time, the club are keen to keep it in good condition and prolong its life.
With that in mind, they have asked if SMISA could contribute towards equipment to help maintain the surface – in the form of a mini tractor with extendable brushes. Our £3,000 would pay for the bulk of the cost, and the club would make up the rest. You can see a similar machine in action in this video.
3) None of the above - Members can also vote for neither of the above, which means the money would stay in the pot for possible use in the future.
Members have been given their link to vote by secure online ballot. Voting will run until Friday 25 January.