General SMiSA News

April £2 ballot

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.

AGM and committee election update

SMISA is due to hold its annual general meeting this spring and we have provisionally scheduled this for Saturday 30 March (before the Dundee game) at lunchtime in Paisley town centre.
The AGM will look back on what has been achieved in the past year, as well as ahead to what we hope to achieve in 2019/20. A running order for the day, including our annual accounts, will be issued not less than 14 days before the meeting.
It also means the election of members to the trust committee. As it stands, three of the nine places will be open for election. Six committee members previously elected will continue to serve for at least another year – Alan Quinn, Kenny Docherty, Graeme MacPherson, Janette Swanson, Jim Cumming and George Adam.
As it stands, two of the group – David Nicol and Kevin Park – are planning to step down from the committee at the AGM, although both will continue to play an active role in SMISA’s work. David remains a director of St Mirren FC, having been asked to stay on the club board after his two-year term as your elected fan representative ended last year, when David Riley was elected to replace him.
As the rules state one-third of SMISA’s elected committee members are required to step down each year, that means the member who has served the longest since last being elected – Colin Orr – is required to stand for re-election. There are other members who have been helping out over the past year who now plan to stand. However any other members who wish to put themselves forward can do so.
Committee members are expected to attend fortnightly meetings (these are usually held on Monday evenings in Paisley town centre) and be able to make a meaningful contribution to the trust, 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. To stand, you will need to be nominated by two members of the trust and to have been a member of SMISA for at least 90 days prior to the date nominations are due to close, which is Sunday 3 March.
You will also need to submit a 500-word statement explaining why you would like to be elected and to submit a photograph, both of which will be used on the election webpage on the SMISA website.
Voting will run for two weeks from Wednesday 13 March and will be concluded in time for the AGM. The election will be administered by an election management group made up of committee members not up for election, who will verify all nominations.

Smisa January £2 ballot results

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]

Members invited to open day at Ralston

SMISA members are being invited to a behind-the-scenes look at the club's training ground at Ralston - as a thank-you for their £50k contribution towards the new 4G surface and sponsorship of the club's youth academy.
The open day is on Sunday 3rd February for an open day - and includes the chance to watch some St Mirren legends taking on a team of fans. Gates open 12 noon, the game starts at 1pm and day finishes at 3pm
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.
The tour will include a chance to see the facilities at the academy. The changing rooms might not be available to see as they will be in use. However the gym, canteen, youth facilities etc will all be available. Please advise us if you would like to have a tour with a guest while visiting the academy by signing up here.
Pies, homemade peas, hot rolls and sausage, teas and coffee will be available to everyone attending the event, at the Ralston Day Centre opposite the training complex. The centre's dining area will be open for sitting in or you can take the food away to watch the match.
The Day Centre at Ralston provides day care to older people who have been assessed as requiring a service to help them remain in their community and be as independent as possible, so by purchasing food you will be helping them and in turn helping the local community.

January £2 ballot options

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.

Festive Friends video

St Mirren Community Trust hosted their first ever Festive Friends event this Christmas - with a free meal at the stadium from the Salvation Army for members of the community who might otherwise have been alone.

SMISA was one of the of the organisations which helped fund the event, with St Mirren WFC also helping on the day. See the video to find out what it meant to those who were there.

Click this link for video


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]