As we are now into April, it’s time for the next quarterly spend from the members £2 discretionary pot.
The SMISA committee have been busy behind the scenes looking into a number of projects.
As we have explained in previous emails to members we follow a process before we put options forward to be voted on, intended to make sure your money is well spent.
Part of that is in making sure any money spent on St Mirren is on a project the club actually needs and wants, but also to ensure proposed projects are fully thought through, costed and financially viable, and consistent with the spending priorities you collectively expressed in our last members survey. Indeed some of the projects proposed below have been down to suggestions made by members at that time.
The amount available from the January to March subscriptions is £8,249.01. This quarter, we are putting forward three suggested projects which total £8,200 when added together.
However these are three separate projects and we are asking members to cast three votes – yes or no – for each one, with results decided by simple majority.
So rather than asking you to vote for Project A or Project B with the result one must happen and one doesn’t, this gives greater flexibility, as – depending on how you vote – all, none, or some of the proposed options could be passed.
If members vote against any of the projects, the sum of money allocated to it it will stay in the pot for future use. The projects we are asking you to vote on – along with proposed spend – are as follows –
1) Community season tickets (£6,000)
Over the years the club have run many free-tickets-for-kids schemes to get more young fans along to games. A couple of our members had suggested SMISA subsidise the cost of this and it was one the committee were keen to look into, although we felt it shouldn’t just be restricted to kids.
Our research uncovered a simple scheme initially run by the Portsmouth Supporters Trust – where the trust buys a block of season tickets and invites community or youth groups to apply to use them, with a different group getting the block of tickets, free of charge, for each game.
We propose setting aside £6,000 for this scheme, which would buy a block of 24 adult season tickets for 2017/18 (we negotiated a bulk discount with the club).
We chose adult season tickets so we could open up the scheme to other groups, for example, charities working with disabled or elderly adults. Even if the tickets were being used by a youth group, a number of adult tickets would be needed for helpers, so this keeps the arithmetic simple.
We see this as an all-round win – SMISA benefits the Renfrewshire community, up to 19 community or youth groups get a free day out at the football, and the club gets guaranteed income and people through the gate who may come back as paying customers.
If members voted in favour, we would produce a more detailed application process and criteria, but as a general principle we would open the scheme up to any local charity, youth or school group.
2) Hall of Fame boards (£1,500)
As members will know, the Hall of Fame boards around the ground have not been updated in some time. Also, they still carry JD Sports branding, who will no longer supply club kits after this season.
We have costed the replacement of these boards at £1,500 and would ask members to vote for or against that spend.
If approved, the new boards would include players added to the Hall of Fame since the boards first went up and would carry SMISA branding, meaning less JD Sports presence around the stadium.
3) Youth team sponsorship (£700)
We have also been looking into various ways SMISA could bring the club and local youth football community closer together. While we weren’t able to make all our ideas happen in the timescale we had, there is one we think will work.
We are proposing SMISA sponsors a local youth team for next season. We would set aside a £700 budget for the team to buy a set of new kit – which would carry SMISA’s logo as the main sponsor.
If the spend is approved by members, interested youth clubs could put their names forward and we would draw the winner from a hat.
We would then keep members up to date with our adopted team’s progress over the season – and would involve St Mirren’s staff and players with the youth team where their commitments allowed.
Voting and next steps
We are asking members to consider each project and vote yes or no to each. Members have been emailed with a link to the secure online ballot, which will run until Wednesday 12 April.
The next spend will be in July and there are a few ideas we are already looking into but which weren’t fully developed in time to be included here.
As always, if there are any suggestions, send them to us via [email protected]