Fans in charge at St Mirren after latest share purchase completes ownership plan
Saints legend Tony Fitzpatrick will remain heavily involved in the day-to-day running of the club as CEO but St Mirren independent supporters’ association now own a controlling 51% stake after completing the latest deal.
The move into fan ownership has taken five years – half the time anticipated – after working in conjunction with charity and social enterprise Kibble who became part-owners of the club themselves last year, with 27 per cent.
Kibble chief executive and St Mirren vice-chairman Jim Gillespie said: “This is an historic day for St Mirren’s fans. They are now in charge of the destiny of the club they love, and Kibble are delighted to be working with SMISA and to have played our part in making this possible.
“When we agreed to become shareholders and partners last year, it was because we were excited about the chance to work hand-in-hand with SMISA to help take the club forward while improving the lives of young people in the Renfrewshire area. We believe we are starting to see the fruits of that relationship and look forward to contributing towards many more successful years at St Mirren.”
The dream of fan ownership has only been realised thanks to the financial backing from SMISA’s near-1200 strong membership over the past five years and, now that shares have been purchased, members’ contributions will supporting different areas of the club including the youth academy and charitable foundation.
SMISA chair George Adam added: “This is a really proud day not just for St Mirren fans but for the people of Paisley and beyond.
“To have our club now owned by the supporters means we will never have to worry again about it being run by people without St Mirren’s best interests at heart.
“It’s a real testimony to the fans who were presented with a vision back in 2015 and have now been able to make it a reality. I’ve never been prouder to be a Buddie.”
Current chairman Scott, who teamed up with SMISA to buy out the previous owners in 2016 added: “I am immensely proud of the part I have played in delivering fan ownership.
“We had always said that we had 10 years to deliver a sustainable model but when the opportunity arose to deliver this now in partnership with Kibble it was too good an opportunity to miss.
“We have taken giant strides over the last five seasons both on the pitch and off it and with the deal now complete I am convinced that this model will allow us to continue that progress."
St Mirren’s fans were also congratulated by Supporters Direct Scotland chief executive Alan Russell: “Their experience as minority shareholders over the last few years will be invaluable as they take ownership of the club - and they join the family of fan-owned clubs who are a beacon to the whole supporters trust movement in Scotland and beyond.”