SMiSA News

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]


SMISA December members update

The following news items were emailed to our members as part of their December update....

New 4G pitch at Ralston

In April you voted to commit £50,000 of our £2 pot money towards the cost of the club replacing the astrograss pitch at the club’s training ground and youth academy.
That work is now complete and the new pitch will soon be used by hundreds of young players from the club’s various youth teams, as well as the first team squad.

The £2 pot allows SMISA to invest in the future of the club and the assets we will one day be majority owners of – and this investment allowing the next generation of St Mirren players to develop is one you can be proud of your role in. In our October £2 spend you also chose to invest in a new set of moveable goals for the academy and these have now been ordered.

Ralston member benefits

As part of our investment in the new pitch it was agreed SMISA would become the sponsors of the youth academy for the next two seasons, with a series of benefits made available for members.

The club has already announced a chance to play on the new 4G pitch (rescheduled for Sunday 3 February due to a clash with the now-televised home game v Hibs) where fans can buy a place to play against a team of ex-players and club staff, with money reinvested back into the academy. And on that day the club will be thanking SMISA members for your contribution in two ways.

Firstly, there are two places in the legends/staff team for SMISA members, free of charge. Anyone interested should send their name to [email protected] by Sunday 9 December, and we will draw and notify the two lucky winners. Please note you must be aged 18 or over.

Secondly, all SMISA members are invited to an open day at Ralston on the day of the game. Not only can you watch the match but you will have the chance to get a short tour inside the facility itself. We will be in touch with more details nearer the time.

Academy Christmas dinner

This coming Friday (7 Dec) sees the Youth Academy Christmas dinner - a three-course meal and party at the stadium hospitality suite, with all proceeds to the academy.
SMISA has paid for a table as part of the ongoing benefits package offered to our plus and premium members, however there is one place left for a member and their guest, which we are offering to all members. If you would like to go, please email [email protected] by Tuesday 4 December and we will draw someone to be there on the night.

Community season tickets

Back in April you voted in favour of using £2 money to run a community season ticket scheme allowing SMISA to reach out to local good causes and help bring the club and community closer together.

Like last season we have 24 seats (four rows of six) in the South Stand for all home league fixtures in 2018-19, apart from Old Firm games – offered free to community groups, third sector organisations and local charities operating in Renfrewshire. So far this season we have helped Crisis Counselling in Erskine, Shelter, Home Start Renfrewshire and the Star Project to but name a few.

We have been working closely with Engage Renfrewshire to find suitable homes for the tickets but would like any members who know of or are involved with a group who would benefit from a free day out at the football to apply – which you can do online here

SMFC Community Trust Festive Friends event

As you know SMISA has donated money towards the SMFC Community Trust’s Festive Friends event – which will see a Christmas meal at the stadium on December 25 for people living locally who might otherwise have spent the day alone.

The organisers haven’t yet filled all the places and asked if any SMISA members would like to nominate anyone they know who would benefit from being there on the day. If so, please contact [email protected]