SMiSA News

Member Update – March 2017

Welcome to the March update from the trust. We are conscious this has been the first update in a while but things have been busy behind the scenes and there will be a few key dates coming up over the next couple of months.

AGM and committee election

The trust is due to hold its annual general meeting this spring and we plan to hold this on Saturday 29 April, before the Raith Rovers home game (time and venue to be confirmed).

The AGM will look back on what has been an historic year for the trust as it was the one we we set St Mirren supporters on the route to owning their own club.

We will also look ahead to what we hope to achieve in 2017/18. Papers, including our annual accounts, will be issued not less than 14 days in advance of the meeting.

It also means there will be an election for new members to the trust committee. Currently there are seven places on the 12-member board open for election.

Five committee members elected in previous years will continue to serve for at least another year - George Adam, Peter Black, Jim Cumming, David Nicol and Colin Orr. The board is supplemented by John White, who was appointed to serve as secretary.

As one third of the elected board members each year must stand down and apply for re-election, three previously-elected committee members will have to stand again – Jim Crawford, Tony Dorris and Barry Mitchell.

There are other members who have either been co-opted on to the committee or who have been helping the board over the past year who may now also run for election.

However any other members who wish to stand can now put themselves forward.

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 9 April 2017.

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 Thursday 13 April and will be concluded in time for the AGM.

The election will be administered by an election management group made up of the six members of the SMISA committee who are not up for election, who will verify all nominations.

Latest member updates

Our membership numbers at end February stood at 1,300. So while our numbers have declined from the peak of 1,374 last summer, we had always factored in we would lose some in the first year. In that time some people have left or stopped paying, but new people have joined too.

We remain ahead of our initial target and our finances are healthy but as always, we would remind you the long-term goal of fan ownership can only be realised if we retain a large number of members over the years ahead.

April £2 spend

We are soon due to ask our members what they would like to do with the contents of the £2 discretionary pot from the first three months of the year.

The committee have been working away behind the scenes on a number of projects to put before you in the next couple of weeks, which we are finalising the details of now.

We have a varied selection of projects in mind, some of which were inspired by member suggestions, and we will get the ballot and voting link out to you soon.

Member benefits update

We are continuing to deliver the member benefits promised when people signed up to #BuyThe Buds last year.

A group of our Premium members enjoyed a meal at the stadium in the company of some former players before getting boardroom access for the recent game against Dunfermline.

A number of our Plus (£25 per month) members have been able to watch a game from the directors guest lounge, with a different member drawn for each home league game.

And we are currently planning our next Plus member event, which has been pencilled in for near the end of the season. More details will follow once we have them

The Saint newspaper and match giveaways

Some of the SMISA committee have been out before recent games handing out plastic hand clappers to young fans as a way of helping them generate a bit more noise around the ground.

We have also been handing out copies of the Saint newspaper which was published at Christmas-time with major contribution from SMISA.

While those of you based locally or who come to games will likely have seen the paper by now, any members based further afield can read a pdf copy on our website.

Next two games

It has been a grim season at times but the transformation in the team since January has been remarkable and the momentum is there now.

We would like to think the money our members chose to put into the playing budget at that time has made a real difference – certainly none of our rivals had that sort of direct financial backing from their supporters.

The next two games, against Ayr and Dumbarton, are massive – two of the biggest the club has faced in years.

The club have reduced prices for those games and we would appeal to all members to get down to the Paisley 2021 Stadium, bring a friend, and make some noise.

That’s all for now and as always, if there are any issues you want to raise with us, you can do so via [email protected]

The SMISA committee

The Saint newspaper - online now

SMISA recently teamed up with Saints fan Jack Paterson of Saltire Graphics to produce an edition of The Saint newspaper.

The 12-page publication has a range of SMISA and Saints-related content and is intended to help promote the club to the wider community.

Copies were handed out at recent home games but to make sure fans in further-flung locations are able to see it, we have added a pdf copy here - we hope you enjoy the read.

January 2017 Member's Update

Welcome to our first update of 2017. The committee would like to wish a belated happy new year to all our members.

The start of the new year is a chance to look back on the last one. And while we (sadly) can’t control what happens on the park, 2016 was hugely significant for St Mirren off it.

It will forever be the year where Saints fans gave themselves the chance to take the club’s future into their own hands, when the #BuyTheBuds campaign succeeded in the summer.

SMISA started 2016 with less than 200 members, a 3% shareholding in the club and an annual income of a few thousands pounds.

By the end of it we had more than 1,300 members, a 29% stake in St Mirren, a seat on the board, income of more than £200k a year – and crucially, an exclusive option to buy the majority shareholding from Gordon Scott at a to-be-decided point within the next decade.

The process of getting there was a bit of a roller-coaster ride and a huge amount of work. You can read a detailed account of how that came together on our website.

But while majority fan ownership remains on track over the long term, the few months since the deal completed have been busy. The highlights include:

- creating a procedure to spend the £2 portions of your monthly membership, which helped fund the club’s new disabled platform, and given Jack Ross the chance to strengthen his squad in the January transfer window;

- organising the first-ever election of a director to the club board, with David Nicol chosen to serve as SMISA’s representative for the next two years;

- pulling together a squad of volunteers which has now cleaned up all four stands in the Paisley 2021 Stadium;

- loaning the club the money to fix the broken under-soil heating at the club, which should prevent any winter-related postponements;

- continuing to help support the local community through our sponsorship of the SMISA Panda Club, and a £500 Christmas donation to the local Foodbank;

- running the successful Evening with the Millennium Champions Night in December, looking back on the iconic 1999/2000 title-winning season;

- helped produce an issue of The Saint newspaper, which aims to promote St Mirren-related activity to the fanbase and wider community;

There was also a lot of work behind the scenes to put new processes in place to cope with the influx of new members and money.

Next year will see more of the same as we build on what has been achieved so far. There will be more member events, more opportunities to invest in club-related projects, and hopefully more opportunity to give our members a say in key issues relating to the running of St Mirren.

None of this has been easy – the SMISA committee is a small group of volunteers, most of whom have day jobs, and pulling off a million-pound share purchase and subsequent work in our spare time has been a mammoth effort.

We do it because we care about the club and are excited by the potential of what St Mirren fans can achieve by working together.

We are in the process of building something new here, and are proud to be doing things never done before at St Mirren.

But being in uncharted territory means we may not get everything right, which is why your continued understanding and support will be crucial over the months and years ahead.

The long-term goal of keeping St Mirren in the hands of the people who care about it most can only be achieved if we all stay with it, and we thank you for your support now and in the future.

£2 spend plans

As you know, just before Christmas our members voted to make the October to December income to the £2 pot available to the club to add to the player budget.

We are conscious this sparked a bit of discussion and that future £2 pot spends may do so again, so would like to clear up a few points and explain how we see things working in future.

Firstly, some questioned why we are spending £8,000 every quarter. Remember, #BuyTheBuds was based on the £2s going on club-related projects – so that spending was always budgeted for.

As it stands we are banking a five-figure sum each month for the eventual share purchase, which remains on track. And bear in mind investment in the club is investment in an asset we plan to buy.

However, we don’t have to spend the money each quarter. Leaving it in the pot is an option we can and will offer – as that opens the possibility of a one-off big spend at a future date.

In terms of ballot contents, we ran a member survey in September on your priorities for investment, the results of which are here. While we may do another survey in future, the results of this one will inform our decisions for the time being.

We felt – given the club’s precarious league position – spending on the playing budget would be the best use of the January money, but the survey results suggested this would split opinion.

So part of the reason there was only one option on the ballot is we knew a straight yes-or-no question would give a clear result on a potentially-divisive issue, where multiple options could have diluted the answer.

In the end, there was overwhelming support (88%) for investing the money in the playing budget.

We understand the argument made by some this maybe wasn’t ideal as a long-term use of trust funds– but if there was ever a time for short-term thinking, this was it.

The playing budget remains a possible option for future ballots – but you the members will again have the final say.

There is one other crucial point to consider when it comes to deciding what goes on the ballot – and that is the SMISA committee’s responsibility to make sure your money is well spent.

While SMISA’s money will only be spent as SMISA decides, it would be daft to spend money on St Mirren if it wasn't going on something the club actually needs and wants – thus the club’s investment priorities will remain a key factor in future ballots.

At the same time, we will only put forward projects which have been fully costed and thought through – otherwise we risk committing the trust to something that isn’t viable, or even wasting your money, which we certainly don’t intend to do.

In other words, we aren’t going to put half-baked ideas to a vote just for the sake of offering a choice. We will only ask you to vote on things we are confident will be useful.

And considering all of the above, if in future we feel there is one project which for whatever reason stands out above all others at that time, we will again put it forward as a straight yes-or-no question.

However the September survey saw a number of specific ideas which could be viable options but which due to workload pressures we haven’t yet managed to fully explore.

We are revisiting that list and hopefully will be able to present some of those ideas in the April and/or July ballots. Any further feedback or suggestions can be emailed to [email protected]

Lastly, it’s important to remember this is a new process and – like the director election – we’ve had to create our own path here. The way we spend the £2 pot will probably evolve over time and will be dictated by circumstances.

We don’t know of another trust in Scotland giving their members the chance to directly influence spending on the club in this way – we are proud of that and you should be too.

Hopefully this email makes clear the number of factors we have to consider as we continue to try to do what is right for all involved, as well as the level of thought which has gone into this.

We would ask members to trust the committee to balance all of the above and to be assured we will always make the decisions we feel are best for the organisation. As always, we are grateful for your support and understanding.

The SMISA Committee

How the Buds were bought

This article was written by SMISA committeee member Colin Orr and originally appeared in The Saint newspaper edition of December 2016

It’s watched by millions worldwide, their source of 24-hour updates from the multi-billion-pound world of Mourinho, Guardiola, Wenger and all.

And there, surrounded by the familiar blue and red of the Sky Sports News ticker, was us.

The first of three messages read: Former director Gordon Scott and independent supporters group finalise takeover at St Mirren

I hit pause on the remote and took a picture of the TV on my phone. And that was the point it hit home – not only had we just bought a football club, but the world had noticed.

For myself and a small group of others, it had taken a year to get the #BuyTheBuds campaign to that point, an incalculable number of hours spent in meetings, emails, and painstaking negotiations.

That included a two-month fundraising campaign that saw a trickle turn into a tsunami as nearly 1,400 of you played your part in helping create a landmark moment in the history of our club.

And here – in a level of detail never revealed before – is the inside story of how we did it.

Back in the beginning...

It all started back in May 2015 when then-chairman Stewart Gilmour – with the club facing a relegation from which it is yet to recover – contacted long-serving SMISA secretary John White to ask if we would consider making a bid for the majority shareholding in the club.

At that time, the trust had less than 200 members, most of whom were paying £2 a month, and the sum we had in the bank was a fraction of the club’s price tag.

Those of us on the committee didn’t dismiss the idea. But we didn’t see how we could pull it off on our own either.

Initially we saw our role as facilitating a group of St Mirren-minded businessmen to come together and provide the expertise and financial muscle needed.

At that point – whether by coincidence or not – we were contacted by Gordon Scott, who had twice tried and failed to buy St Mirren, but in spite of his success in business, had never lost his burning ambition to be chairman of his home-town club.

We met in the back room of Paisley’s Saporito coffee shop – and soon formed a plan that would ultimately consume a big chunk of our lives yet also change the path of the club we love.

Gordon’s negotiation style is up front. He was willing to commit a six-figure sum towards the buyout but couldn’t stretch to the whole purchase.

Instead, he wanted to partner up with us – we would part-fund the buyout then buy him out over the long-term and the fans would become majority owners.

But this could only work if St Mirren fans wanted it. So we did an online survey, where 92% told us they would make a financial contribution to a scheme which would see the fans own the club.

More than 1,000 had signed up to the 10,000 Hours bid a few years before – a flawed scheme but one which had laid the foundations for ours – and we knew the demand was there to be captured.

We tested the waters by going public on our intentions – to a good reaction from our fellow fans – but the hard work still lay ahead.

Tense negotiations

While it might have seemed from the outside like all went quiet after that, it was anything but behind the scenes.

Something we got right was the decision not to show our working in public – we needed a deal and fundraising model robust enough to withstand the inevitable intense public scrutiny, and weren’t going to expose it to that until it was ready.

Advice was sought from various people – Supporters Direct, the Foundation of Hearts, fundraising consultants, lawyers. We commissioned a report on the finances of the club written by the former finance director of West Ham.

Various fundraising models were investigated – community shares, up-front donations, crowdfunding and credit-union loans were all pursued.

But while we were better educated and making progress on that front, it would be in vain if we couldn’t agree the structure of the deal. And the first discussions didn’t go well.

The negotiation was happening on two fronts via three different parties with different concerns – Gordon, the selling consortium and ourselves.

Gordon had his personal fortune on the line and understandably needed to protect his own interests, while the consortium had sums of money in mind they weren’t leaving the building without.

At the same time, we were negotiating hard to get a deal which wasn’t just good for the fans but which we could gamble the trust’s future on them signing up to.

The legal agreements the consortium had with various other shareholders added another layer of complexity and progress was slow, frustratingly so for Gordon.

Every time the figures shifted, the financial planning underpinning it was knocked – literally – off balance.

As spreadsheets were edited and re-edited we thought the numbers might never add up. All parties refused to budge and we were ready to walk away more than once.

But deep down everybody involved knew there wasn’t a better option out there for St Mirren – and it was up to us to find a way through.

New year, new breakthrough

That arrived in the new year of 2016 and all of a sudden, the pace moved to a different level, of the Lewis-Morgan-accelerating-away-from-a-full-back variety.

Concessions had been made on all sides and we now had agreement, not only on a price with the consortium but on some of the sticky points regarding the set-up between ourselves and Gordon.

Out of those negotiations came a mutual respect and strong working relationship with our soon-to-be club chairman, and it felt like getting a new team member – his input was crucial as we finally settled on a fundraising model we knew could work.

With other bidders circling, the consortium were piling on the pressure to show we could deliver on our promises.

This was the point where the late nights kicked in and the pressure really told – we were trying to pull off a near-million-pound share purchase in our spare time, while holding down day jobs.

Personally, I was getting set for a wedding which I was told more than once might not happen if I didn’t stop spending all my time on SMISA (she did marry me in the end).

We remain grateful to David MacDonald of Black and White Army for revamping the trust website while the rest of us went into full-on logistics mode to plan the fundraising period.

The full detail of the deal went before members for the first time at a special general meeting on 30 March and they gave a unanimous thumbs-up to the plans.

#BuyTheBuds

The #BuyTheBuds campaign was launched with a mass leaflet handout at the traditional derby-day spanking of Morton on 16 April – timescales were being compressed but we knew it had to start while the season was still going.

We gave ourselves two months to sign up 1,000 fans at a minimum of £12 per month – the number we needed to make the deal not just viable but robust.

There was a communications and fundraising strategy in place to help us do that – including public meetings, social media activity, frenzied online debate, more leaflet handouts, and a series of media stories designed to keep us in the public eye.

The pattern of sign-ups went more or less as we expected – a spike at the start (we had 250 within three days) followed by a slowing-down, followed by a late rush.

With a week to go we were 150 short and well aware some doubted we would make it – but we were always confident the inherent human tendency to only do things when needed would carry us over the line.

And as people realised it was now or never the sign-ups took on a new momentum and we smashed the target with days to spare, with numbers climbing further in the days that followed.

The finishing line

But while there was euphoria at reaching the target, a lot of work remained and the deal was far from done.

On the basis of financial advice received, our plan was to borrow the £360,000 needed for our share of deal.

After starting the fundraising campaign it became clear that was not going to work within the timescales we had hoped for.

With time running out there was no option but to ask the consortium to accept staged payment rather than all their money up front, as they had been promised.

To their credit, they were willing to accept that but it meant we were soon back at the negotiating table as the final details of the share purchase agreement were pored over, revised and agreed.

Those on the outside wouldn’t have known it, but it could easily have fallen apart at that point.

SMISA’s soon-to-be-club director David Nicol was the man leading on the financial and legal elements from our side, and the last week saw him put in some long days in a final stand-off with the consortium, as three sets of lawyers had their say.

But 21 July 2016 was the landmark date in the history of St Mirren as – following a vote to approve the legal documentation by the 11-man SMISA board – the final documents were signed.

As the SMISA board member in charge of the group’s communications, that evening I literally ran home from our meeting at Saporito, where we by now practically had season tickets.

Once home I pushed the button on a pre-written statement letting everybody know that at last, the deal was done. You had #BoughtTheBuds.

The reaction and good wishes were overwhelming. That night, my phone buzzed incessantly with every retweet, comment and message on the SMISA social media accounts.

The Facebook post announcing the deal has now been seen by close to 100,000 people.

The hard graft was never going to stop there of course. We very quickly had to move from campaign mode into running-a-mass-member-organisation mode and the work involved in that is covered elsewhere in this publication.

But for those of us involved, finally pulling off a deal which means our club can forever stay in the hands of the people who care about it most – you – remains a moment of absolute triumph.

Personally, it was one of the proudest moments of my life. And I’ve got the pictures from Sky Sports News to prove it.

SMISA £2 Spend / Undersoil Heating / Club AGM

We are now approaching six months since the #BuyTheBuds campaign completed in the summer (how time flies!), which means the second instalment of our quarterly £2 members discretionary pot spend is now due.

As you know, for every individual #BuyTheBuds monthly membership fee, £2 goes into a pot to be spent on club-related projects each quarter, with the rest set aside for the eventual purchase of the majority shareholding in the club from Gordon Scott.

The first batch of money went towards the building of the new wheelchair platform in the main stand – which means St Mirren’s disabled facilities are now among the best in Scotland.

We are delighted our members were able to help make this very worthwhile project happen and look forward to more similar projects which will make a difference to the club and community in the future.

January spend

We anticipate the total amount due to go into the £2 pot from the Oct to Dec memberships will be around £8,000.

The pot also currently contains £1,252.88 left over from the July to Sept memberships (as the final bill for our contribution to the disabled platform came out around £7,200).

Having taken the views of the St Mirren board on where the club would like extra investment, we are proposing the contents of the £2 pot be added to the club’s playing budget for the January transfer window, to be spent as the manager sees fit.

We are asking members to vote on whether they are happy to endorse this proposal, and if so, how much they want to make available. In doing so, we considered the following -

- clearly the club’s league position remains perilous. Only a sustained improvement in results will stop St Mirren slipping into the third tier and the lowest point in its history, the financial impact of which would be disastrous;

- the sums involved would make a clear difference – they could potentially fund all or at least most of a player’s wage between January and the end of the season;

- we surveyed our members in September over your spending priorities, the results of which can be seen here. At that time, 44% of you ranked the first-team playing budget as an important or very important use of the money, while 30% of you said it wasn’t a suitable use.

There are other types of project we want to and will put before you in future – but we feel if there was ever a time to prioritise investment in the playing budget, it is now.

We appreciate opinions will vary, but members have the option to reject these proposals. Should a majority of members vote not to spend the money, it will stay in the pot for potential future use.

There will be two questions, both of which will run on a yes or no basis. The first will ask whether members are happy to spend the £8,000 from the last three months worth of £2s in this way.

The second question only applies if a majority of members say yes to question 1, and that is whether you wish to top the total up with the additional £1,252.88 brought forward from the last quarter.

You can vote now via secure online ballot in the email which will follow this one. Please junk check your junk mail for this email. Voting will run until midnight Sunday 18 December.

Undersoil heating

As the club recently confirmed in a detailed statement to fans at the start of December, the undersoil heating at the Paisley 2021 Stadium is not working and needs repaired.

You can read the club’s full statement here.

The club has since approached SMISA to ask if we would be willing to make available to them an interest-free loan of £15,000, to cover the cost of the repairs should they decide to make them.

The club’s annual budget does not make provision for this, meaning external funding is needed if the repairs are to happen.

We were asked to make a quick decision as the club may need to make the repairs quickly – should the game against Morton at Hogmanay be postponed, it would likely lead to a substantial loss of much-needed revenue.

Having debated the issue, the SMISA committee decided to agree to the club’s request.Tthe club and smisa will work together to agree a suitable repayment schedule.

Our reason is we felt it was better to put this money to use for the good of the club, when it would be sitting in the bank otherwise.

We would reassure members we have cash reserves which can comfortably cover the sum in question, and as the money will be paid back in full, our long-term financial planning is not affected.

While we accept it may have been preferable to give the members the chance to vote on this, we hope you would appreciate the timescales and time of year of the request made that very difficult.

We are also aware it has been suggested the undersoil heating repairs could have been put to members as an option in the £2 pot vote, but – notwithstanding the timescales – there isn’t enough money in that pot to do so, plus this makes it possible for the repairs and investment in the playing squad to both happen.

The Saint newspaper

SMISA has teamed up with Saints fan Jack Paterson (the man behind the Black and White Magazine) to produce a trial edition of The Saint free newspaper, which many of you will remember from years gone by.

The 12-page edition – being printed this week – covers some of the things SMISA has been up to during the #BuyTheBuds campaign, as well as a load of other articles about the club, and will be targeted at Saints fans and the wider Paisley community.

Some of our committee will be distributing copies to fans around the stadium immediately after the Ayr game on Saturday and we would appreciate the help of members who were willing to help us hand them out.

We are also hoping some of our members would be willing to take away a pile of papers and would leave them in their local shop, pub or library.

The aim of this is to help promote the club (and SMISA) throughout the local community by reaching some of the people who may not be online.

To register an interest or for more info, just drop a line to SMISA’s John White at [email protected]

St Mirren AGM

You may be aware the club is holding its Annual General Meeting next Monday (19 December) at the Paisley 2021 Stadium at 7pm.

SMISA will be represented by our chairman George Adam, who will be there to vote in respect of the trust’s 29% shareholding in St Mirren FC.

The AGM usually sees shareholders asked to vote to appoint or reappoint the board of directors, and to accept the annual accounts.

We plan to cast our vote in favour of each of the five current directors (Gordon Scott, Tony Fitzpatrick, David Nicol, Chris Stewart and Alan Wardrop) being reappointed.

The board has only recently been assembled and we hope members would agree they should have the chance to continue the work they have started over the next year.

We also intend to vote to accept the club accounts, however we want to give our members the chance to read them for themselves, which you can do through this link.

Should you have any comments or questions relating to the accounts which you want us to raise with the club on your behalf, please email them to [email protected] and we will do so.

The AGM is only open to shareholders of St Mirren FC – meaning any members who have their own personal shareholding can of course attend in a personal capacity.

However if any personal shareholder is unable to be there they could make it possible for another SMISA member to do so in their place.

Just send a signed version of the form already emailed to you by the club to us and we will add the name of a member who does wish to attend.

Any members who are not personal shareholders who would like to come to the AGM should let us know by replying to this email – if there is a place available, we will be in touch to let you as soon as we are able to.

The SMISA Committee

December Members Update

Millennium Champions event

We are holding An Evening with the Millennium Champions this Friday (2 Dec) in the hospitality suite at the Paisley 2021 Stadium.

The evening will allow fans to relive one of the most memorable seasons in the club’s history in the company of some of the men who made it happen.

Expect video highlights from the 1999/2000 season, a Q&A with members of the squad, and the chance to get pics taken with the First Division trophy.

SMISA’s £25 per month and Premium members are entitled to a free place as part of the benefits promised when they signed up to #BuyTheBuds in the summer – and this can still be claimed by emailing [email protected] for those of you who haven’t yet done so.

Tickets are available to all other fans via this Eventbrite link at a cost of £10, with all ticket proceeds going to the St Mirren youth academy.

A pay bar will be available on the night but due to venue licensing we are afraid the event is only open to over-18s.

Director election

As you know, the election to decide who should sit on the St Mirren board as the SMISA representative has now concluded.

David Nicol – who was temporarily appointed to the board when the #BuyTheBuds campaign concluded in the summer – received 65% of the votes. David Riley received 18% of the vote and Kenny Morrison 17%. Our thanks go to all three guys for putting themselves forward.

David Nicol will serve a two-year term as your voice in the boardoom and as the key link between the club and the trust.

He is there to raise issues with the club on your behalf and can be contacted on [email protected]. Any issues relating to the operation of the trust should go to [email protected]

Latest member numbers

The membership numbers as of end November were 1325

We appreciate this can be a difficult time of year for people financially and we don’t take that lightly – we value the continued support of every one of you.

We would politely reiterate our commitment to take the majority shareholding in the club into fan ownership is a long-term one which can only be realised if St Mirren fans continue to financially back the trust

Disabled platform

As you know, the club has now opened a new disabled platform in the main stand, meaning wheelchair fans now have protection from the winter elements, as well as one of the best views in the stadium.

This project was only made possible because of you, with the first three months’ worth of £2s from the SMISA member money part-funding the building of the platform.

And our members have been thanked by John Clark, chair of the St Mirren Disabled Supporters’ Association, who said: "The disabled set-up at St Mirren is now among the best in Scotland and that speaks well not only of Smisa members, but of the wider fanbase.

“We want to thank SMISA's members for using the first three months of their £2 pot to help fund the platform - it is very much appreciated."

You can read the full text of John’s message to SMISA members on our website.

We look forward to using the £2 pot for lots more projects which could have a similar positive impact on the club and community over the months and years ahead.

January £2 spend

Moving neatly on from the last point, by January we will have another three months’ worth of member contributions in the £2 discretionary pot, and we are already looking at possible uses for that money to put before the members.

The survey we carried out in September provided a very useful and detailed guide to your spending priorities and we will use the results of that to help inform the contents of this and future ballots.

Any ideas you have for specific projects (big or small) we could include in the next or future ballots can be sent to [email protected]

Volunteer squad update

Our SMISA volunteer squad have continued to make great progress with their stadium clean-up over the past few weeks.

The group have braved all weathers to clean the backs of seats, advertising boards and stairs in the Family and West stands, and have now moved on to the Main stand.

Led by SMISA committee member Jim Crawford, the group has at various points included - in no particular order - Ken Docherty, Gordon Black, Bert Downie, Tommy Stirling, Ian McLaren, Margaret Tweedly and David Riley.

A massive thanks goes out to all involved – the difference around the stadium is there for all to see, making it a much nicer place to be for all, although three points would help!

If you could spare a few hours one weekday, the group would be delighted if you would join them. Contact [email protected] for more info.

December fixtures

For all we are proud of what SMISA is achieving around the club, there is a grim irony in that this has been a horrible season to be a Saints fan where it matters most – on the park.

With six fixtures in December the team are heading into a critical month in what has now become a battle to avoid to relegation to the third tier.

Recent results have been frustratingly bad, but there are enough positive signs in some of the overall play of late, particularly from the younger members of the squad, to suggest a change of fortunes could happen any time.

As fans it is easy to let frustrations get the better of us but this is a young team and they need our support now more than ever.

The club’s fate is still very much in our own hands and we would encourage all members to keep getting along to games and backing the team.

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

SMISA director election - results announced

The results can now be announced in the election for a SMISA member to serve on the St Mirren board as the fan representative.

There were three candidates in the election. Voting has now closed and the results are as follows:

David Nicol – 432 votes (65%)
David Riley – 120 votes (18%)
Kenny Morrison – 109 votes (17%)

This means David will serve a two-year term as the SMISA representative on the club board, continuing the role he is already performing after being temporarily appointed this summer on conclusion of the #BuyTheBuds campaign.

The SMISA committee would like to thank all three candidates for putting themselves and their ideas forward.

While David is already part of the SMISA committee, both of the other candidates have been attending our meetings in recent weeks, and we would welcome their contributions towards the running of SMISA in the future, as the trust needs people who can help take it forward.

In terms of David Nicol’s role, he is there to be your voice in the boardroom on all important decisions as well as on the day-to-day running of the club.

If there are any issues related to the club you would like to raise with him, he can be contacted on [email protected]. Any queries around general SMISA business should be sent to [email protected]

David will also be the key link between the committee of SMISA and the club itself, giving him an essential role as we continue to build on the work we have done so far.

Millennium Champions night - ticket sales open to all

St Mirren fans can relive one of the most dramatic seasons in the club's history in the company of the men who made it happen - and tickets are now available to all Saints fans.

SMISA's An Evening with the Millennium Champions night will see Tom Hendrie and members of the 1999/2000 First Division winning squad look back on the season with the aid of video highlights and a Q&A with fans.

It will take place in the hospitality suite in the Paisley 2021 Stadium on Friday 2 December from 7.30pm. A pay bar will be available. Please note the event is only open to over-18s.

The event was originally only open to SMISA's members as one of the rewards for those who signed up for the #BuyTheBuds campaign durining the summer.

However as some tickets still remain, we have now opened up sales to all Saints fans via this link. Cost is £10, with all ticket proceeds going to the club's youth academy.

SMISA's Plus (£25 per month) and Premium members can still claim their free place at the event by emailing [email protected]

We look forward to you joining us for what looks set to be an unforgettable night.

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