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] 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