General SMiSA News

Download The Saint winter 2017 edition

SMISA recently pulled together the Winter 2017 issue of The Saint newspaper - and many of you will already have seen a copy.

The 16-page paper was produced in partnership with Saints fan and SMISA member Jack Paterson of Saltire Graphics, and is packed with articles promoting SMISA and the club.

We wanted to make sure members and fans further afield had the chance to see it for themselves, so have uploaded a copy to this website.

You can download a copy here.

Enjoy!

January £2 pot vote results

We can now reveal the results of the January ballot to decide where the latest contributions to SMISA’s £2 members pot will be spent – and can confirm all three projects were voted through comfortably.

Vote 1 – proposal to continue funding wage of St Mirren sports scientist and extra hours for club analyst until end of season (£3,200):
Yes – 769 votes (95%) / NO – 42 votes (5%)

Vote 2 – proposal to support new St Mirren Women’s Section by funding new SMISA-sponsored strips, plus other costs (£2,055):
YES – 650 votes (80%) / NO – 161 votes (20%)

Vote 3 – proposal to fund pre-match entertainment in and around Family Stand to help attract more young fans to games (£1,750):
YES – 580 votes (72%) / NO – 231 votes (28%)

Thank you to the 811 of you who voted. As always, any feedback can be sent to [email protected]

Some other snippets of SMISA news….

Next meet-the-committee date: One of SMISA’s objectives for 2017/18 was to create regular meeting places for members to meet the committee.

Some of our committee will be in the Court Bar in St James St before the QotS game on Saturday 3 February between 1 and 2.30pm, so if anybody wants to pop in to give us feedback or raise any issues, we look forward to seeing you.

Women’s team fundraising: Although SMISA is now making a contribution towards the club’s new women’s team, they still have fundraising to do to meet their start-up costs ahead of the season starting in March.

They now have a JustGiving page, so if any of our members wanted to contribute to that, you can do so via the link here.

January £2 spend options

It’s now time for the latest quarterly spend from the members pot – formed from the £2 portion of your monthly memberships. This is of course separate from the £10 portion of your memberships, which is currently being used to fund the share purchase

The committee has considered a number of ideas and costed and put forward a handful of projects we feel are a good use of the money and in line with our objectives – but as always the members will decide if they happen.

As in previous months, we are asking members to vote yes or no to three options, to be decided by simple majority. Should an option be rejected, the money will stay in the pot.

The £2s add up to just over £8,000 per quarter. The three projects suggested here total just over £7,000, meaning a minimum of £1,000 will be left over in this vote for future use.

Vote 1) – club sports scientist and analyst (£3,200)

Members will remember voting in July to fund a sports scientist to work with St Mirren’s first-team and academy squads, plus extra hours for the club’s analyst to work with data from a GPS tracking system measuring player performance in training.

This was not something the club had budgeted for at the start of the season but SMISA put it to our members after we were approached by Jack Ross, who felt this additional investment would hugely benefit him and the players.

Results to date would back that up and suggest SMISA’s investment has really helped boost the team.

In the summer we agreed to pay £5,200 to fund the £200 per week cost (£150pw for the sports scientist and £50pw for the analyst) for 26 weeks from August until the end of January.

We would now like to give members the option to keep funding this post until the end of the season – another 13 weeks would cover us from February until late May, covering the potential play-off dates.

Vote 2) – St Mirren Women’s section (£2,055)

Members will also be aware St Mirren have now launched a women’s section, who will take to the field for the 2018 SWFL Division 2 West season in the next couple of months.

SMISA helped bring the individuals together with St Mirren and are keen to play a role in helping grow this new section of the club and with it, the St Mirren family.

However the ladies have a large fundraising burden to meet their significant start-up costs, and we believe SMISA can help with some of that. We are asking members to vote on £2,055 funding for the team, broken down as follows:

- a set of away kits and other teamwear (£1,200). These will be the same Joma strips as the men’s team but will carry a SMISA logo as shirt sponsors, helping promote the trust;

- our investment would also cover the team’s registration fees for the season (£455), training equipment (£300), and coach’s tracksuit and training kit (£100).

The ladies are looking for other sources of funds and anybody who could help can contact them via Twitter on @stmirrenwfc.

Vote 3) – funding for pre-match family entertainment (£1,750)

St Mirren’s two Supporter Liasion Officers – SMISA’s John White and Fans Council member John Allison – have been working with Paisley Panda himself on a new initiative aimed at adding to the matchday experience for young fans.

They would like to bring children’s performers and other live entertainment into the Family Stand and stadium grounds from 2pm on matchdays and encourage families to get there early to enjoy the atmosphere and make a day of it. We believe having more young fans at games can only be good for the club in the short and long term.

This would include the following – two children’s entertainers per game (ie puppet  show, magic show, face painting, balloon modelling or a clown), live musicians, and 500 cardboard clappers per game (similar to the ones Leicester City use) to be handed out to let the kids create some noise.

The two Johns have costed this and proposed SMISA fund the above for five home league games between now and the end of the season. We are asking members to approve a spend of £1,750 to cover the costs.

SMISA members are being asked to vote via secure online ballot. Voting will run until Sunday 21 January. As always, we welcome any ideas and feedback on [email protected]

SMISA January update

Welcome to the first update of 2018 from SMISA and the committee would like to wish a happy new year to all our members. Here's an udate on a few things we've been working on.

Supporters Direct podcast

SMISA’s man on the St Mirren board David Nicol recently gave an in-depth interview to Supporters Direct Scotland – of which SMISA is a member – for their new Behind the Goals podcast.

Dave chatted with the head of SD Scotland Andrew Jenkin about the #BuyTheBuds campaign and what has happened over the 18 months since SMISA’s joint purchase of the club with Gordon Scott.

He also talked about how SMISA’s £2 pot has worked to date – with Andrew describing the scheme as ‘brilliant’ and the first of its kind he'd seen from a supporters trust. You can listen to the full thing here.

Community Season Tickets

In the summer, SMISA members agreed to fund the purchase of 24 season tickets in the main stand for the use of local community groups.

Women’s Aid, Men Shed Renfrewshire, Crisis Counselling and Good Community Project Renfrewshire are just a small number of the groups that have taken up the offer to tickets to get along and see our team during the first half of the season.

Not only is this scheme giving the opportunity to people who may not be able to afford a day out at the football, it is letting people who are new to the area see what supporting St Mirren is all about.

If you know a local community group who would be interested in the scheme, they can apply online here.

Club AGM update

SMISA was represented at the St Mirren AGM in December by Kenny Morrison and Louise Swanson.  

The evening itself went very well, each of the club’s directors were voted back into position, the accounts were approved and the amended Articles of Association were adopted.

There were various points of discussion around the room, with the volume of the PA system being highlighted as an issue for some and baby-changing facilities were raised as being not sufficient. It was agreed the club would look in to both of these.

Another major topic of discussion was parking provision adjacent to the ground, with Gordon Scott highlighting the club have to act under direction of the council.

Away from the off-field matters, Jack Ross covered his intention to loan some players out as we progress through January. Alongside this, Jack also stated he is looking to strengthen a few areas of the squad.

Saint newspaper

At the end of 2017, SMISA partnered up with Saints fan Jack Paterson and his firm Saltire Graphics to produce another edition of The Saint newspaper, which has 16 pages of Saints-related articles.

We’ve handed out printed copies at recent home games, and left bundles at many supermarkets and businesses around the area to help spread the word.

Volunteer squad update

Last year SMISA helped bring together a volunteer squad of members to help keep the Paisley 2021 Stadium look at its best and the group continues to do an amazing job in all weathers.

The group is led by SMISA’s Jim Crawford and recently completed a litter pick of the stadium ahead of the recent round of festive fixtures. Jim was joined by Ken Docherty, Gordon Black, Bert Downie and Ian MacLaren and we are sure members will join us in applauding the guys for their work.

If you could spare a few hours and would like to help, email [email protected]

 

SMISA and St Mirren Ladies update

 

Many fans will have spotted that St Mirren are launching a new women’s team for the 2018 season – SMISA is proud to be part of that and can provide an update on what our role may be.

 

SMiSA initially brought the club together with the individuals making up the women’s team and were involved in various discussions behind the scenes before the club’s official announcement last week.

 

The team will be managed by Kate Cooper, who has experience of playing and coached Glasgow City for a few years, and will start at the lowest tier within the Scottish Women’s Football (SWF) structure (SWFL Division 2 – West), with fixtures starting in late February/early March 2018. You can learn more about the Scottish women’s football structure on their website.

 

The women’s team still have some work to do to be ready for the start of their season and there are still some aspects of their operation to be agreed, for example where they will train and play. It is also currently planned for the players to pay monthly subs to cover rental and match day fees, a practice the team hope to move away from as they progress – hopefully up the leagues.

 

SMISA believe the new women’s team will benefit St Mirren and the wider community by promoting the club’s name and creating an obvious route through which to bring more people into the club structure. We will be working with the women’s team to help them in various ways, which will likely include giving members the option to provide support as part of the next or future £2 spend ballots.

 

In the short term, anyone interested in making donations or providing sponsorship, for example team or player sponsorship, can get in touch with SMISA committee member Kenny Morrison via [email protected]

 

The SMISA committee

 

October £2 spend vote results

We recently asked members to vote on where they would like to spend the £2 portion of your membership fees for the last quarter. We put five projects on the ballot and the results were as follows:

1. Equipment for St Mirren Youth Academy (£3,000)

YES: 724 (86%) / NO: 115 (14%)

2. quipment for St Mirren in the Community (£1,325)

YES: 652 (78%) / NO: 187 (22%)

3. Funding to subsidise youth coaching sessions run by Glenvale FC (£1,820)

YES: 444 (53%) / NO: 395 (47%)

4. Donation towards running costs of St Mirren FC amputee football team (£1,000)

YES: 656 (78%) / NO 183 (22%)

5. Matchday-quality footballs for St Mirren first team (£855)

YES: 613 (73%) / NO: 226 (27%)

All projects were approved by members and we thank the 839 of you who took the time to vote.

Some members will have noticed that the Glenvale BC project stimulated a bit of debate, with concerns raised this could be seen as in competition with the club's own community programme.

To explain how this came about, SMISA were approached by Glenvale weeks ago with a good presentation on their plans to provide coaching for youngsters who may not otherwise have been able to afford it.

As a community benefit society, SMISA felt this was in keeping with our purpose and agreed to put the project to members as part of the ballot. The club's concerns were put to us and taken on board, however it was decided we should let our members choose if they wanted to support the project or not.

We have talked it through with Gordon Scott and the club, and all parties have agreed to work together to minimise any impact on the club's community sessions. Part of Glenvale's proposal is to host sessions in the Airdome, meaning there will be rental income for the club.

SMISA is very supportive of the excellent work done by the club's own community team, who we are pleased our members also this month agreed to support through the purchase of new equipment.

SMISA remains proud of the investments our members have made and are making in support of the good work the board are doing to take St Mirren forward, and we will continue to work in partnership around all future £2 spends.

As always, if there are any questions for the committee, we can be reached on [email protected]

The SMISA committee

 

 

 

July £2 Results

As you know we ran a ballot over the past week to decide where the last three months worth of the £2 portions of your membership should be spent.

You can see the full descriptions for each option here. A total of 780 members cast their vote. Our thanks go to everyone who did so. We can now reveal the results below.

Tier One (£6,500 total)

- Extra hours for the club’s sports scientist and analyst (£5,200) – 432 votes (55%)

- Keep £6,500 in the pot for a future spend – 163 votes (21%)

- Balls for youth academy and Panda club sponsorship (£5,000) – 135 votes (17%)

- Put £6,500 towards share purchase – 50 votes (6%)

Tier Two (£1,500 total)

- Gym equipment for Ralston (£927) - 273 votes (35%)

- Donation to Johnstone Burgh crowdfunding appeal (£500) - 151 votes (19%)

- Training equipment for St Mirren in the Community (£1,350) – 135 votes (17%)

- Donation to St Mirren Warriors wheelchair basketball team (£500) – 104 votes (13%)

- Keep £1,500 in the pot for a future spend – 75 votes (10%)

- Put £1,500 towards the share purchase – 42 votes (5%)

The top project in each tier will be funded, meaning SMISA will now cover the cost of extra hours for the club’s sports scientist and analyst for the next six months (until the end of January), and buy 11 pieces of new gym and other equipment for the club’s training base at Ralston, for the use of the first team and academy.

We said any leftover cash would stay in the pot for future spends, so an extra £1,863 will roll over to the next vote, and be added to the £2 portions of the August to October subscriptions.

The SMISA committee welcome all ideas from members for club-related projects we could look into over the next few months for possible inclusion in the next ballot (which will be at the start of October). Please send yours to [email protected]

#BuyTheBuds members board

We are sure most of you will by now have spotted the massive black and white members board between the main and family stands, which – as promised during the #BuyTheBuds campaign last summer – contains the names of everyone who signed up by 1 July last year.

Some of the committee got our first chance to see it close up when we had our fortnightly meeting on Monday night, and below is a pic of us, and some posted on Twitter by members.

If you are down at the stadium this week or for the Falkirk game on Saturday, please post your pics, on here or on Twitter, and we will keep an eye out for them.

The board took longer than we hoped for to arrange and produce but it seems to be a popular addition so far and hopefully it was worth the wait.

The men to thank are Barry Mitchell of the SMISA committee, who diligently sorted through the names, and member Jack Paterson, who designed and produced the board via his company Saltire Print and Graphics.

Everything SMISA achieved during and since last summer – the new era of the supporters trust and club working closely together, new ways for members to choose how their money can benefit the club, the election of a fan rep to the club board, and the fact we are on the path to majority fan ownership – is only possible because of the backing of one group...YOU. And now you have your name on the wall to prove it!

Volunteer squad

Over the past two months, a squad of volunteers from the SMISA membership have been hard at work cleaning the stadium in preparation for the new season.

In that time they have cleaned the tops, backs and undersides of the seats in all stands, and swept the stairs in preparation for the painting of the hazard lines.

More recently, the group cleaned the two corner fences beside the family stand, before one was painted ahead of the installation of the SMISA members board.



This week the group are turning their attentions to the two corner fences at the away end of the ground, and putting reserved stickers on the backs of seats to welcome new season ticket holders.

The group are led by SMISA’s Jim Crawford, who had been an elected committee member until earlier this year, and still plays a very active role in the trust.

Jim’s regular colleagues include Gordon Black, Bert Downie, Ian McLaren, Margaret Tweedly, Tommy Stirling and SMISA committee members David Riley and Ken Docherty, while fellow committee members Kenny Morrison and Barry Mitchell have also chipped in.

Jim had this to say: “The volunteer team have put in many hours for the stadium to meet our expectations but each and every one of us has done it with pride and passion.

“This is our second home and we are proud to be in a position to use our time to make the St Mirren experience more pleasurable for our supporters. We welcome anyone else who feels they can contribute to the stadium upkeep.”

We are sure all our members would join us in giving a massive thanks to all involved for going above and beyond to create a better match-day experience for their fellow fans.

The volunteer squad usually meet on weekdays – if you could spare a few hours and want to help, get in touch via email to [email protected]

Chance for members to meet committee 

At our last AGM we committed to five objectives for the next year – one of which was to create a regular meeting place for members to speak to the committee.

Some of the SMISA board members will be in the Bull Inn in New Street on Saturday before the Falkirk game between 1 and 2.30pm (in one of the booths near the back).

If anyone who wants to pop in to meet us and give your feedback on how you think we're doing, we would be delighted to hear from you.

We will also be handing out leaflets and engaging with fellow fans. So if you have anything you would like to discuss with us, just pop in.

We will be available in other meeting places in future. If you can’t make it along on Saturday but want to get in touch, we can be contacted via [email protected]

Fingers crossed for the start of the new league season and let’s hope it’s one to remember.

The SMISA committee

July £2 Spend

Welcome to the latest update from the SMISA committee – we have a few things to update you on but the most important is it’s now time for a vote on the July quarterly spend.

As you know, your £12 monthly membership, £10 goes into a pot which will over the long term be used to buy Gordon Scott’s majority shareholding in St Mirren, while the £2s can be spent every three months on club-related projects as members decide.

In response to feedback from previous votes we are this time offering more choice – projects are split into two tiers, of higher and lower value. Members will be asked to pick one option from each tier, and the one with the most votes from each will happen.

Again, in response to feedback, each tier has two options not to spend – members can either keep the money in the £2 pot for future use, or save it and add to the shares pot.

We would point out the £2 pot is money we had always budgeted to spend, and the trust financial position remains healthy.

At the same time a key part of the #BuyTheBuds deal was to spend the £2s as we go – one of our objectives as a trust is to help the club be successful, and any money we put in is investment in an asset we are due to buy.

But it’s your money – you decide what it goes on, or not.

To briefly explain how projects on the ballot were selected, we see the role of the committee as a filter – the club and our members can suggest ideas, and for each ballot we will explore the logistics, decide what we think is a viable use of the money, and allow the members to pick from there.

We will only put forward those which have been thought-through and costed – so we won’t end up bound to spend money on something which doesn’t work. And, if the money is going into the club, there’s no point spending it on something they don’t need or want.

The projects in this round are a mix direct funding of club activity, and some community projects loosely related to the club, as we wanted to offer a variety.

It’s important to remember the SMISA £2 spend is an original idea of ours – we not aware of another trust doing this in the same way. So there is no template to follow. We are learning as we go, accept all feeedback, and the process will evolve over time.

We welcome all suggestions for the next ballot, which will be in October – please get in touch via [email protected] if you have an idea in mind.

To vote, pick one option from Tier One and one option from Tier Two below. The one in each tier with the most votes wins. Your link to vote in the secure ballot will follow in a separate email. Please remember to check your spam folder for this email. The ballot will run for one week.
 

Tier One (total value - £6,500)

NOTE - if the chosen project is one listed as being less than the sum above, any leftover will stay in the pot for the next vote.

1) Extra hours for the club’s sports scientist and analyst (£5,200)

Earlier in the summer, the club asked if SMISA could help fund the cost of a sports scientist to work with the first-team squad and under-20s, at a cost of £150 per week.

They also asked if we could fund additional hours for the club’s analyst, to work with data from a GPS tracking system the club uses to measure player performance in training, which the sports scientist will be using.

Jack Ross is of the view both would be of great benefit to him and the players.

We agreed to put it on the July ballot, but as the season had started by the time we were able to hold this vote, the club have already brought the sports scientist in.

This led to a bit of confusion at the club’s recent open day when Jack said SMISA had agreed to fund this position. To clarify, we only agreed to put it on the ballot - our members will choose whether it gets funded or not.

We are still putting forward the option for SMISA to meet the costs, which would in turn let the club free up extra budget for the manager. Otherwise, if the club want the arrangement to continue they will need to meet this cost themselves.

The suggested sum of £5,200 will pay for the sports scientist, and the extra hours for the analyst, until January (£200 per week for 26 weeks).

If all involved wanted the arrangement to continue, we would have the option of asking members to support it for the second half of the season in the January ballot.

2) Balls for youth academy and Panda club (£5,000 total - £2,500 for balls, £2,500 for Panda club)

The second option is a combined spend of £5,000 on two separate projects packaged together for the purposes of the vote.

Allan McManus from the club’s youth academy asked if we could fund the £2,500 purchase of a new set of 110 footballs for the club’s youth teams to use in training.

The other £2,500 would allow SMISA to continue to sponsor the Panda Club, where young fans go to the Airdome for an hour of football coaching before getting entry to a home game. The money would allow St Mirren’s Community Department to meet the cost of running the club as they see fit.

SMISA has in previous years spent money on both of the above, but given our spending now comes from the £2 pot, it is now subject to the ballot.

3) Keep £6,500 in pot for future spend

The sum above would roll over to the next vote, meaning we could afford a larger spend next time if we wanted.

4) Put £6,500 towards share purchase

The sum above would be banked towards the eventual share purchase.
 

Tier Two (total - £1,500)

NOTE - if the chosen project is one listed as being less than the sum above, any leftover will stay in the pot for the next vote.

1) Training equipment for St Mirren in the Community (£1,350)

We also had a request from Stevie Gallacher, who runs the club’s community programme, who needs new equipment for he and his coaches to run sessions for youngsters across Renfrewshire.

He gave us a list of items they could benefit from, which total £1,350. The list is as follows – 50 x size 3 balls, 100 x size 4 balls, 20 x 50-piece sets of round markers, 5 x 10-piece set of flat markers, and 4 x 10-piece sets of dome markers.

2) Donation to Johnstone Burgh crowdfunding appeal (£500)

Members may well have seen the crowdfunding appeal run over the summer by the committee of Johnstone Burgh FC, who are in need of money to ensure their short-term survival.

Given the historic links between St Mirren and Johnstone Burgh (with a few well-known Saints of yesteryear having started their careers at Keanie Park), we wanted to give our members the option of a one-off donation of funds to help Burgh meet their operating costs.

3) St Mirren Warriors wheelchair basketball team (£500)

We had a suggestion from a member to consider offering support to the St Mirren Warriors wheelchair basketball team.

It costs the Warriors around £10,000 a year to run the club and they are reliant on fundraising and grant applications, with members paying some of the costs from their own pockets.

Again, members have the option to make a one-off donation to support this club with their running costs.

4) Gym equipment for Ralston (£927)

This is a request from management to support the first-team by donating additional items not budgeted for - including new gym and other equipment at the training ground at Ralston, to help first-team and academy players with strength and conditioning work and match preparation.

The items are: Wall-mounted pull-up station (£70), Olympic bar holder (£50), weight tree (£50), stability ball and storage rack (£293), 2 x swiss balls (£30 each), 2 x tactics board (£102 each) and 2 x goal nets (£100 each).

5) Keep £1,500 in the £2 pot for future spend

6) Put £1,500 towards share purchase
 


Other SMISA News

Community season tickets

As members will remember, part of the April £2 spend saw us buy 24 season tickets to distribute to Renfrewshire community groups, as a way of SMiSA and St Mirren bringing the club closer to the everyone.

We now have four rows of six in the main stand for all home league fixtures during season 2017-18 and these seats are being offered free to community groups, third-sector organisations and local charities operating in Renfrewshire.

We have been working closely with Engage Renfrewshire to make contact with groups they already work with, but if any of our members know of or are involved with any local groups who would like to use the tickets please put them forward. 

Notifications of interest for the new season must be made online here. For more information, email [email protected]

#BuyTheBuds one-year anniversary

This week marked the one-year anniversary of the #BuyTheBuds campaign being concluded, meaning the future ownership of St Mirren will lie in the hands of the people who will care for it most – you.

It's been a busy year and we've pulled together a list of what SMISA has achieved in that time, which you can read here.

You can also view a video of our social media highlights which retells the story of how the Buds were bought here.