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St Mirren rename home ground in tribute to fans group behind club buy-out

SMISA

St Mirren have renamed their home ground in tribute to the supporters group set to complete a fan-backed buy-out this summer.

The Buddies have gifted the naming rights for St Mirren Park to the St Mirren Independent Supporters Association (SMISA) for the rest of season 2020/21 – with the Paisley ground to be known as the SMISA Stadium.

After that, the fans group will take its shareholding in the club to 51 per cent by buying chairman Gordon Scott’s remaining shares.

The takeover has been funded by monthly membership fees paid by SMISA’s 1,150-plus members and group chaiman George Adam MSP said: “Our aim has always been the same – to see St Mirren stay forever at the heart of the Paisley community and in the hands of those who will care for it most.

“What better way to mark the ownership of the club moving into the hands of the fans than to put their name above the door?

“When we started off on the journey towards fan ownership five years ago we never expected to be in this position so soon – but the incredible commitment of our members made this possible. We are thrilled the club board have chosen to recognise SMISA members in this way.”

SMISA’s purchase had been due to complete by the end of 2021 but it has now been agreed this will happen sooner than planned – on a date to be decided in the summer.

St Mirren chairman Gordon Scott added: “I always wanted to know I was handing over the ownership of the club to the fans when the time was right, and with the set-up we now have in place we believe that time will be in the summer.

“I and the rest of the board are delighted to be able to recognise the commitment of SMISA’s members over the past five years for making all of this possible.

“Sadly our fans can’t be in the stadium at the moment but we hope having SMISA’s name on the ground for the rest of the season shows how much we value them as the lifeblood and future of the club.”