Supporters vote for fan ownership at St Mirren

Supporters voted to go ahead with the planned buy out. Picture: SNS

Supporters voted to go ahead with the planned buy out. Picture: SNS

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St Mirren are set to become part of the growing trend for fan ownership in Scottish football after supporters voted to press ahead with a planned buy-out.

The Paisley club have been up for sale for seven years but the St Mirren Independent Supporters’ Association (SMISA) hopes it has finally put together a package by which it will follow similar schemes at Hearts and Motherwell.

The supporters group has been working with former club director Gordon Scott on plans to buy a majority shareholding held by chairman Stewart Gilmour and a number of boardroom allies.

At a special general meeting of the trust on Wednesday night, members voted in favour of a joint offer made by Scott and SMISA, which could deliver majority fan ownership within a decade.

The deal – which is understood to be worth around £1 million – has already been accepted in principle by the selling consortium.

The bulk of the asking price will be met by lifelong Saints fan and construction boss Scott, while SMISA plans to borrow its share of the cash, with fans repaying the sum back through a subscription scheme similar to the successful model run by the Foundation of Hearts.

The first stage of fundraising will take place this summer and, if successful, Scott would become majority shareholder and chairman, while SMISA would own 29 per cent of the club and members would be able to elect a director on to the board.

SMISA would then have ten years to repay Scott’s money before assuming control.

SMISA chairman George Adam said: “I firmly believe the best way ahead for clubs like St Mirren is for them to be run by people who will care for them most – the fans.”

Scott added: “My desire is to see us back where we belong at the top table of Scottish football.

“I firmly believe I can help achieve that, and then successfully deliver this club into the hands of the 
supporters.”

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