St Mirren fans take major step towards owning their club

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St Mirren have moved a major step towards becoming a fan-owned club after takeover proposals were approved at a ‘momentous’ supporters meeting.

Members of the St Mirren Independent Supporters Association (SMiSA) gave the green light to plans to buy the 68 per cent majority shareholding currently held by club chairman Stewart Gilmour and other directors at a Special General Meeting on Wednesday.

The joint offer, which has already been agreed in principle with the current owners, is said to be worth around £1 million.

St Mirren ParkFormer club director and lifelong fan Gordon Scott is providing the bulk of the finance for the takeover and would become St Mirren chairman.

Following the successful model used by the Foundation of Hearts, Scott would hand over a 42 per cent stake to the supporters group in the next decade to allow SMiSA, who could control the other 26 per cent, to become the controlling shareholders.

SMiSA plan to borrow the money to help finance the deal and have warned that they need at least 1,000 fans paying a monthly direct debit of £12 for the proposal to proceed.

Scott said: “My desire is to see us back where we belong at the top table of Scottish football and I firmly believe I can help achieve that, and then successfully deliver this club into the hands of the supporters.

“St Mirren is a community club and if we take over we would continue to run it in the same prudent way it has been for the last 20 years.

“It is also important, however, that we bring a new business dynamic to the club and fully empower the supporters to help take the club forward.

“But this won’t happen without the support of the fans. We have a wonderful chance to preserve the history and then form the future of our football club together. Let’s not let the opportunity pass us by.”

St Mirren has been up for sale since 2009 but current chairman Gilmour and the board have struggled to find suitable buyers.

SMiSA chairman George Adam said: “The current board deserve a huge amount of credit for the job they have done over the years but they have made it clear they want to move on, and one way or another, the club will be sold.

“We have seen too many other Scottish clubs fall into the hands of owners who haven’t had the best interest of the club at heart over the years – if the fans back this deal and stay the distance they guarantee that could never happen to St Mirren.”

A SMISA statement read: “It could be a momentous night in the long and proud 139-year-history of our club.

“We have just taken a major step closer to St Mirren being able to stay forever in the hands of the people who will care about it most…you, the fans.”

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