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.