St Mirren have completed their move into fan ownership with the St Mirren Independent Supporters Association (SMISA) buying out chairman Gordon Scott to become majority shareholders of the club with a 51 per cent stake.
The move comes in conjunction with charity and social enterprise Kibble, which last year bought a 27 per cent stake.
SMISA believes the charity partnership model is unique in top-flight European football. The link-up has halved the length of the fan-ownership process to five years.
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SMISA has almost 1200 members, whose ongoing contributions will now go towards supporting different areas of the club including the youth academy and the charitable foundation, rather than to purchase shares.
SMISA will now have four representatives on the St Mirren board, with Scott Wardrop and Alan Wardrop joining John Needham and David Riley. The club will continue to be run on a day-to-day basis by chief executive Tony Fitzpatrick and other staff.
Chairman Scott, who bought out the club’s previous owners in 2016 in order to facilitate fan ownership, said: “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.”
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.”
Kibble chief executive and St Mirren vice-chairman Jim Gillespie said: “This is a 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.”
St Mirren join Motherwell in becoming fan-owned, with Hearts well on their way to joining their two Premiership rivals.
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