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St Mirren move closer to fan ownership with Kibble partnership

St Mirren fans are on track to own their club by next year after backing a partnership with a Paisley-based charity.

Members of the St Mirren Independent Supporters Association (SMISA) voted overwhelmingly in favour of the proposal to partner with Kibble with 92 per cent backing.

SMISA will own 51 per cent of the club by the end of 2021 under their deal with current owner and chairman Gordon Scott, with Kibble set to take a 28 per cent stake.

Kibble operates across Scotland and provides specialist services to support young people.

The deal will speed up the process of buying out Scott – who will remain as chairman – by five years.

The SMISA chairman, George Adam MSP, said: “This is a historic and proud day not just for our club but for everyone in Paisley.

“We started the journey towards fan ownership four years ago because we knew there could be no better people to safeguard St Mirren forever than the ones who will care for it most… the fans.

“This deal agreed today not only delivers that ahead of schedule but it strengthens it – our partners Kibble will help the club grow, as a business and as a force for good in the Paisley community.

“The overwhelming nature of the vote shows the extent to which SMISA’s members have bought into what this partnership will create – and we are excited by the possibilities for St Mirren.”

Kibble chief executive Jim Gillespie said: “With Kibble’s roots in Paisley stretching back almost 200 years, this deal brings together two of Paisley’s oldest organisations.

“We are thrilled SMISA’s members have given us such a show of support and we plan to repay that by working together with SMISA, Gordon and the rest of the St Mirren’s board and staff to see where our expertise can help the club move forward.

“Crucially, this partnership will help change the lives of some of the most vulnerable young people in Scotland – by allowing us to step up our young workforce development programme to provide training and job opportunities based around the club’s facilities and operations.”

St Mirren chairman Gordon Scott said: “When I took over as chairman four years it was always with the aim of passing the shares to the fans when the time was right.

“That day will arrive much sooner than we initially planned – but I believe this the right model, with the right partner, to build on the good work the current board has already done, and take St Mirren to the next level on and off the park.

“The new expertise Kibble will bring will allow us to find new ways to bring income into the club, and I and others on the board can’t wait to get started on working with them to do that.”