St Mirren fans want answers over club sale

The St Mirren faithful want answers from Stewart Gilmour.  Picture: Ian Rutherford
The St Mirren faithful want answers from Stewart Gilmour. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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AN ARGENTINE group understood to be the frontrunners to buy St Mirren has been urged to explain why.

The four-man group – led by lawyer Ricardo Pini – has lodged a £1.5 million offer.

Sources close to the Paisley club denied on Sunday that a firm agreement has been reached, although other parties are adamant a sale is imminent.

Now John White, secretary of the St Mirren Independent Supporters Association, says the South Americans need to tell Buddies fans what their plans are.

He said: “I’ve got one simple question: Why? I’d ask the same question no matter where they come from. If you do not have a St Mirren background, then why are you here? We’ve heard they are going to buy a 75 per cent stake but that gives you a lot of power.

“Just look what happened at Hearts with Vladimir Romanov. You can do what you want and no one can do a thing about it. Right now we will just have to hope they will do what is best for the club. But I would urge them to open a dialogue with the fans.”

David MacDonald, who runs the fans forum, added: “I can only assume their business plan will involve bringing across young players from South America to try and move them on.

“But then they would need to have a work permit or EU ­passport, so that could prove difficult. However, that sort of thing has been tried at clubs like Raith Rovers and Airdrie and ended in disaster. Everybody is worried about what they want to do.”

Chairman Stewart Gilmour, vice-chairman George Campbell, director Bryan McAusland, former secretary Allan Marshall and Evelyn Purves, widow of former director Jim, put their 52 per cent stake in the club up for sale in 2009.

A deal with fans group 10,000Hours broke down in 2012, while last week the club pulled the plug on talks with an English syndicate after discovering it had links to convicted fraudster Tharvar Mohammed.

Sizeable tranches of shares owned by former directors ­Gordon Scott and Ken ­McGeouch could also form part of the deal – giving the new ­buyers control of 75 per cent.

The Argentines, who had also been involved in talks with Motherwell, were last month spotted being shown round St Mirren Park.

Pini and his brother Sebastian were previously involved with Chilean club Rangers de Talca. The club was sold earlier this year following the team’s relegation to the Chilean second flight.

Pini’s arrival could spell the end of Gary Teale’s hopes of ­becoming permanent boss.

Former River Plate coach Guillermo Almada, a Uruguayan, is now the bookies’ favourite.