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Individual Membership - the need for large numbers


Big Fras
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I am writing this on the assumption that the CIC bid will succeed.

In one of the other threads, Div has touched on what is THE critical area for this whole CIC business, and its validity whether you are for/against expanding the numbers of supporter involvement.

Why ?

*RA has said that the whole thing depends upon the backing of the fans. Fine.

*What we have is a target of 300 10% of the regular support. For one in ten regular fans to be all that is required to rubber stamp supporter backing is a ridiculously low level the sort of mandate that even Nick Clegg may wince at.

*If we have 1,000+ fans signed up, then the financial benefits to the club are obvious.

*If we have 1,000+ fans signed up, then this represents a serious voice ie. the first sign of any buggering about / unfulfilled promises / etc. then 700-800+ cancel their direct debits within a 1-2 month period. I think youll find that gets results, and the Executive Board will really pay heed to supporter involvement, beyond the lower tier board position(s) that are available.

Beyond the above what are the benefits ?

Given that this project has been on the go now for 12 months, the incentives for the individual membership are very disappointing thus far, and dont appear to have had much thought put in. This is at best surprising.

All I know so far is that:

*Well get access to a bar. Mowell did this a while back, and within a short period of time, it (Davie Cooper Bar ?)was open to non-members due to a series of complaints and general bad PR within the club. Id wager similar will happen at SMP. Also, not exactly a pulse-quickener for exiled Buds who must represent a decent target market for the individual memberships (ie. get a chance to get involved from a distance)

*Fitzy says we can help choose the strips.

*Other benefits will be voted for by the fans (once the bid is through). Surely something as simple as % discount on merchandise would have been easy enough to offer right here & now ? Im sure the business partners will see good benefits for fans using theior services, but that is AFTER the event. Lets try and offer some bunce to bring in as many Individual Members as possible.

Im probably missing something, but if the above is all that is on offer as incentives, it doesnt really tally with the stated intentions of supporter backing being the key. We dont appear to be trying too hard to win over as wide an audience as possible.

If a non-online campaign is cranked up to recruit as many as possible, then this is highly commendable:

*We have enough good contacts in the press to make this happen

*I am not the only one to be left scratching my head at why the bar was set so low (10%) for supporter backing, and it doesnt really help the festering bad vibes that many have about the project.

*Divs feedback about non-net users wondering what the hell is going on is a concern, and clearly the CIC bid is not yet being communicated as well as could possibly be the case.

Having done an Aber on Bannatyne, I may well be IN again.....if I see a decent campaign to recruit as many people as possible. Having 1000 fans signed up is achievable, and does represent a decent mandate for saying the supporters back the CIC bid. It also provides the fans with a loud enough threat to keep the whole thing on the straight & narrow.

Div you made a great post. Now do the hard bit and go and get them to make it happen in real life.

Edited by Big Fras
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I am writing this on the assumption that the CIC bid will succeed.

In one of the other threads, Div has touched on what is THE critical area for this whole CIC business, and its validity whether you are for/against – expanding the numbers of supporter involvement.

Why ?

*RA has said that the whole thing depends upon the backing of the fans. Fine.

*What we have is a target of 300 – 10% of the regular support. For one in ten regular fans to be all that is required to rubber stamp “supporter backing” is a ridiculously low level – the sort of “mandate” that even Nick Clegg may wince at.

*If we have 1,000+ fans signed up, then the financial benefits to the club are obvious.

*If we have 1,000+ fans signed up, then this represents a serious “voice” – ie. the first sign of any buggering about / unfulfilled promises / etc. then 700-800+ cancel their direct debits within a 1-2 month period. I think you’ll find that gets results, and the Executive Board will really pay heed to “supporter involvement”, beyond the lower tier board position(s) that are available.

Beyond the above – what are the benefits ?

Given that this project has been on the go now for 12 months, the incentives for the individual membership are very disappointing thus far, and don’t appear to have had much thought put in. This is at best surprising.

All I know so far is that:

*We’ll get access to a bar. Mo’well did this a while back, and within a short period of time, it (Davie Cooper Bar ?)was open to non-members due to a series of complaints and general bad PR within the club. I’d wager similar will happen at SMP. Also, not exactly a pulse-quickener for exiled Buds who must represent a decent target market for the individual memberships (ie. get a chance to get involved from a distance)

*Fitzy says we can help choose the strips.

*Other benefits will be voted for by the fans (once the bid is through). Surely something as simple as % discount on merchandise would have been easy enough to offer right here & now ? I’m sure the business partners will see good benefits for fans using theior services, but that is AFTER the event. Let’s try and offer some bunce to bring in as many Individual Members as possible.

I’m probably missing something, but if the above is all that is on offer as incentives, it doesn’t really tally with the stated intentions of supporter backing being the key. We don’t appear to be trying too hard to win over as wide an audience as possible.

If a non-online campaign is cranked up to recruit as many as possible, then this is highly commendable:

*We have enough good contacts in the press to make this happen

*I am not the only one to be left scratching my head at why the bar was set so low (10%) for supporter backing, and it doesn’t really help the festering bad vibes that many have about the project.

*Div’s feedback about non-net users wondering what the hell is going on is a concern, and clearly the CIC bid is not yet being communicated as well as could possibly be the case.

Having “done an Aber” on Bannatyne, I may well be “IN” again.....if I see a decent campaign to recruit as many people as possible. Having 1000 fans signed up is achievable, and does represent a decent mandate for saying the supporters back the CIC bid. It also provides the fans with a loud enough “threat” to keep the whole thing on the straight & narrow.

Div – you made a great post. Now do the hard bit and go and get them to make it happen in real life.

I agree that we need as many on board as possible but to be honest I'm not really looking for any incentives for my tenner a month. All I want is a better team on the pitch and I'll be happy. Not that I would refuse any incentives mind....

I think the bar was set at 300 because that's enough to convince the funding bodies that there is sufficient interest within the community to convince them that this is a viable project and approve the loan or grant.

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It was set low in order to ensure it was "over-subscribed" instantly.

I'd say 300 is not 10% of the support - including Buddies spread around the world and those who dont attend every week due to family rather than financial reasons you are probably only looking at about 4% of people who take a very serious interest in St Mirren.

I don't think anyone is signing up so we can have a supporters bar. It is the possibility to vote on issues which impact on the running of the club and the identity of the club which is exciting people. (to be honest, much as id love a bar at the ground, i find all the talk about the potential bar to be a bit cringeworthy!!)

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So what is the difference between this and SMiSA that makes the CIC so attractive then? If 300 people signing up to pay £10 per month with the purpose of buying shares in the club in St Mirren is a low bar to set, why did SMiSA struggle to maintain a membership of less than 100? The aims of the two schemes were more or less the same. SMiSA was set up at a time when St Mirren were struggling to pay wages and toiling with large debt repayments. Today the danger to the club isn't the taxman it's that the lack of entertainment and it's effects on the interest of the support. You even have the viable option of walking away and letting Gilmour and the consortium continue to ruin your club.

It's easy to get carried away since the 300 barrier has been absolutely blown away. One week ago I thought 300 members without any real tangeable benefits would be a tall order and it still might be when Mr Atkinson finally gets round to actually asking the fans for the money.

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Fraz personally all I want for my tenner is to see our player budget go up. I know this will take up to ten years as loans will need to be paid off. The bar is a bonus but not the deciding factor to join. I'm not interested in the politics of who is on the board and what colour the toilet paper should be in the bathrooms so will be doing very little voting.

Within the time scale of loans being paid off it's odds on we will have been relegated , going by history it could be for a stretched period of time. This will be the danger zone area where CIC will need to work it's cotton soaks off to keep as many on board as possible to get these loans out of the way.That is the only crack I see in CIC.

The club is currently successful and punching above it's weight. RA is not a football fan and as such has no picture to look at from past experiences of relegation

Edited by Lochwinnoch Saint
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I'm not interested in the politics of who is on the board and what colour the toilet paper should be in the bathrooms so will be doing very little voting.

You'll be amazed at the amount of people whom I've seen post exactly that just prior to becoming slevering rottweillers at the result of the most basic vote or election. :)

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Guest somner9

I am writing this on the assumption that the CIC bid will succeed.

In one of the other threads, Div has touched on what is THE critical area for this whole CIC business, and its validity whether you are for/against – expanding the numbers of supporter involvement.

Why ?

*RA has said that the whole thing depends upon the backing of the fans. Fine.

*What we have is a target of 300 – 10% of the regular support. For one in ten regular fans to be all that is required to rubber stamp “supporter backing” is a ridiculously low level – the sort of “mandate” that even Nick Clegg may wince at.

*If we have 1,000+ fans signed up, then the financial benefits to the club are obvious.

*If we have 1,000+ fans signed up, then this represents a serious “voice” – ie. the first sign of any buggering about / unfulfilled promises / etc. then 700-800+ cancel their direct debits within a 1-2 month period. I think you’ll find that gets results, and the Executive Board will really pay heed to “supporter involvement”, beyond the lower tier board position(s) that are available.

Beyond the above – what are the benefits ?

Given that this project has been on the go now for 12 months, the incentives for the individual membership are very disappointing thus far, and don’t appear to have had much thought put in. This is at best surprising.

All I know so far is that:

*We’ll get access to a bar. Mo’well did this a while back, and within a short period of time, it (Davie Cooper Bar ?)was open to non-members due to a series of complaints and general bad PR within the club. I’d wager similar will happen at SMP. Also, not exactly a pulse-quickener for exiled Buds who must represent a decent target market for the individual memberships (ie. get a chance to get involved from a distance)

*Fitzy says we can help choose the strips.

*Other benefits will be voted for by the fans (once the bid is through). Surely something as simple as % discount on merchandise would have been easy enough to offer right here & now ? I’m sure the business partners will see good benefits for fans using theior services, but that is AFTER the event. Let’s try and offer some bunce to bring in as many Individual Members as possible.

I’m probably missing something, but if the above is all that is on offer as incentives, it doesn’t really tally with the stated intentions of supporter backing being the key. We don’t appear to be trying too hard to win over as wide an audience as possible.

If a non-online campaign is cranked up to recruit as many as possible, then this is highly commendable:

*We have enough good contacts in the press to make this happen

*I am not the only one to be left scratching my head at why the bar was set so low (10%) for supporter backing, and it doesn’t really help the festering bad vibes that many have about the project.

*Div’s feedback about non-net users wondering what the hell is going on is a concern, and clearly the CIC bid is not yet being communicated as well as could possibly be

Having “done an Aber” on Bannatyne, I may well be “IN” again.....if I see a decent campaign to recruit as many people as possible. Having 1000 fans signed up is achievable, and does represent a decent mandate for saying the supporters back the CIC bid. It also provides the fans with a loud enough “threat” to keep the whole thing on the straight & narrow.

Div – you made a great post. Now do the hard bit and go and get them to make it happen in real life.

great post, please check the "Alternatives " thread to actually move this on!

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So what is the difference between this and SMiSA that makes the CIC so attractive then? If 300 people signing up to pay £10 per month with the purpose of buying shares in the club in St Mirren is a low bar to set, why did SMiSA struggle to maintain a membership of less than 100? The aims of the two schemes were more or less the same.

Is that a serious question? This scheme is about majority ownership of the club - it has been presented as a viable (and likely?) way for the fans to be involved in taking over the club. Importantly, it is being presented in this way not just by an external body, but by the club itself.

With the greatest respect to everyone involved in SMiSA, this is on a completely different scale. The stated aims may be similar in some respects, but they are not the same.

There are no "tangible benefits" required in my opinion. This is not about being a customer.

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Is that a serious question? This scheme is about majority ownership of the club - it has been presented as a viable (and likely?) way for the fans to be involved in taking over the club. Importantly, it is being presented in this way not just by an external body, but by the club itself.

With the greatest respect to everyone involved in SMiSA, this is on a completely different scale. The stated aims may be similar in some respects, but they are not the same.

There are no "tangible benefits" required in my opinion. This is not about being a customer.

If SMiSA had managed to get the backing of the 2,000 St Mirren supporters that regularly go to matches and held that support for the 9 years they'd been in existence they would have earned £2.16m from subscriptions alone and they would have held a majority shareholding in the club. It would have meant the club being run entirely by St Mirren fans and it wouldn't be starting out with any debt. It would also have meant every single member would have a say in the running of the club. The stated aims are different in that SMiSA would be a great deal more insular in it's goals and that St Mirren FC would be their sole consideration rather than growing the brand around the local community - I wouldn't say that is a good thing at all but it appears from the lines of questioning on this website that many supporters aren't interested in taking the community outwith the 2,000 or so St Mirren fans anyway.

Thing is despite SMiSA having an agenda that would fit more easily with that of many of the St Mirren online community they could only build and maintain a membership of 100 people. Yet here, in this thread, we have a number of St Mirren fans who believe that the CIC - who are talking about putting the club £1.2m in debt - set the bar at an extremely low level with they set it at 300 individual members.

I think it's an entirely valid question. Without any tangible benefits in place for the members of the CIC why would anyone think that 300 was a low bar when SMiSA, for all it's publicity and honourable intentions, failed to get one third of that?

Edited by Stuart Dickson
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BTW, just to add that I am impressed with the level of support the CIC has managed to get. I have one reservation that I have expressed on here several times already - that being that the current board could well land up retaining all their perks and posts despite having put the clubs future into the balance for their own personal gain. Beyond that I would say that I am pretty solidly behind Richard Atkinson and his plans for the Community Interest Company and despite not being a St Mirren supporter I am encouraged to take out membership. However I can't see how anyone could claim 300 is a low number when St Mirren supporters have a record of failing to put their money where their mouths are.

Edited by Stuart Dickson
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If SMiSA had managed to get the backing of the 2,000 St Mirren supporters that regularly go to matches and held that support for the 9 years they'd been in existence they would have earned £2.16m from subscriptions alone and they would have held a majority shareholding in the club. It would have meant the club being run entirely by St Mirren fans and it wouldn't be starting out with any debt. It would also have meant every single member would have a say in the running of the club. The stated aims are different in that SMiSA would be a great deal more insular in it's goals and that St Mirren FC would be their sole consideration rather than growing the brand around the local community - I wouldn't say that is a good thing at all but it appears from the lines of questioning on this website that many supporters aren't interested in taking the community outwith the 2,000 or so St Mirren fans anyway.

Thing is despite SMiSA having an agenda that would fit more easily with that of many of the St Mirren online community they could only build and maintain a membership of 100 people. Yet here, in this thread, we have a number of St Mirren fans who believe that the CIC - who are talking about putting the club £1.2m in debt - set the bar at an extremely low level with they set it at 300 individual members.

I think it's an entirely valid question. Without any tangible benefits in place for the members of the CIC why would anyone think that 300 was a low bar when SMiSA, for all it's publicity and honourable intentions, failed to get one third of that?

It's a valid question but the answer to it is self evident in comparing SMiSA to the CIC. SMiSA were never in a position to offer majority share in the club, the CIC is. SMiSA never proposed a scheme that would give majority share in the club, the CIC has. SMiSA operated almost entirely independent of the club - the CIC are already working from within the club.

It is of course valid to question whether or not there will be the level of support required to sustain the CIC, and SMiSA's low uptake is one example of the fans seeming apathy where involvement with the club is concerned. But the answer as to why the CIC would be different is redundant - it might be different because it is different.

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BTW, just to add that I am impressed with the level of support the CIC has managed to get. I have one reservation that I have expressed on here several times already - that being that the current board could well land up retaining all their perks and posts despite having put the clubs future into the balance for their own personal gain. Beyond that I would say that I am pretty solidly behind Richard Atkinson and his plans for the Community Interest Company and despite not being a St Mirren supporter I am encouraged to take out membership. However I can't see how anyone could claim 300 is a low number when St Mirren supporters have a record of failing to put their money where their mouths are.

Other than the point over the current board's conduct, this is a far more interesting point than playing spot the difference. My feeling as a supporter is that the CIC will work if the support/community make it work. Whether they will over a period of time is in question.

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Other than the point over the current board's conduct, this is a far more interesting point than playing spot the difference. My feeling as a supporter is that the CIC will work if the support/community make it work. Whether they will over a period of time is in question.

Colin, I totally agree. I was simply taking issue with the assertion that 300 was a low bar to set. I don't think it is. This time two weeks ago I had few doubts that many people would register their interest but I doubted that they would still be there when asked to pay money. My view has shifted now to being pretty certain 300 people will pay their money in the first year, but I think that the initial wave of support would quickly dwindle as - for example - those holding ambitions of being elected, aren't. I think it would be extremely important for the CIC to shore up the initial wave of enthusiasm by quickly putting in place the kind of tangible value for money benefits that would be expected by a customer. Things like discounted admission or access to car parking.

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Colin, I totally agree. I was simply taking issue with the assertion that 300 was a low bar to set. I don't think it is. This time two weeks ago I had few doubts that many people would register their interest but I doubted that they would still be there when asked to pay money. My view has shifted now to being pretty certain 300 people will pay their money in the first year, but I think that the initial wave of support would quickly dwindle as - for example - those holding ambitions of being elected, aren't. I think it would be extremely important for the CIC to shore up the initial wave of enthusiasm by quickly putting in place the kind of tangible value for money benefits that would be expected by a customer. Things like discounted admission or access to car parking.

I think 300 is a relatively low bar to set but I'd imagine that is intentional - the best way to sell the idea to the fans is to make it appear easy. I would certainly like to think that there are 300 supporters who will pay a tenner a month simply because they want to be part of it.

Of course once it is all in place, the best incentive to genuine supporters is to tell them that if they don't pay a tenner a month, the club falls apart :P

Btw I'm not saying that adding incentives/benefits isn't a good idea - I think that there are plenty that could be added and if it brings in a much larger number than the required 300 then that can only be a good thing. I'd need to have a much more detailed knowledge of the finances of the club to decide which are sensible but I certainly agree that eg car parking is an obvious one that you might expect. I guess I'd like to know a bit more about how the club and CIC intend to engage with the wider community - it's important that it does not become seen as an exclusive club. As St Mirren fans we want as many people as possible on board and even more coming to games.

For me I don't want or need anything other than membership of the CIC for my money - but by all means use incentives to get more people on board :)

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Thing is despite SMiSA having an agenda that would fit more easily with that of many of the St Mirren online community they could only build and maintain a membership of 100 people. Yet here, in this thread, we have a number of St Mirren fans who believe that the CIC - who are talking about putting the club £1.2m in debt - set the bar at an extremely low level with they set it at 300 individual members.

How many times in how many ways does it need to be said that the CIC project does not put the club in any debt ? :unsure::blink:

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Yeah ok so the CIC carries the debt - the point I was making still remains though. SMISA more closely represented the aims of St Mirren supporters and yet in 9 years they failed to attain anywhere near the level of membership now being described as a low bar. When infect there is nothing historically at the club that would suggest 300 individual members is even remotely attainable when it comes to paying money.

The CIC appear to be enjoying unprecedented success but the real test will come when fans are to commit to parting with money every month for a period of ten years. 300 St Mirren supporters on board and actually paying won't be the achievement of some easily attainable target - it's an achievement that would see the CIC achieve the kind of participation that Gilmour couldn't come close to even with the club in real danger.

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Yeah ok so the CIC carries the debt - the point I was making still remains though. SMISA more closely represented the aims of St Mirren supporters and yet in 9 years they failed to attain anywhere near the level of membership now being described as a low bar. When infect there is nothing historically at the club that would suggest 300 individual members is even remotely attainable when it comes to paying money. The CIC appear to be enjoying unprecedented success but the real test will come when fans are to commit to parting with money every month for a period of ten years. 300 St Mirren supporters on board and actually paying won't be the achievement of some easily attainable target - it's an achievement that would see the CIC achieve the kind of participation that Gilmour couldn't come close to even with the club in real danger.

I had zero interest in joining SMISA so I didn't join. I have a chance to actually exert some sort of influence over the club I support directly by joining the CiC and that's one reason for joining it. And £120 is f**k all really. I spend more than that getting newspapers sent to my house.

Time will tell whether the CiC gets off the ground or not. Anything else is now speculation until we see the numbers. Personally I think we will utterly sail through the 300 barrier and will probably end up with a hell of a lot more than that.

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I had zero interest in joining SMISA so I didn't join. I have a chance to actually exert some sort of influence over the club I support directly by joining the CiC and that's one reason for joining it. And £120 is f**k all really. I spend more than that getting newspapers sent to my house.

Time will tell whether the CiC gets off the ground or not. Anything else is now speculation until we see the numbers. Personally I think we will utterly sail through the 300 barrier and will probably end up with a hell of a lot more than that.

528 at the moment. The indication last night was that we will be oversubscribed in the other two categories as well. I have only registered myself in terms of the pledge, but I will definitely be going for the family membership as will many others - I reckon that will take care of any drop outs when it come to actually joining. However I would be astonished if there was any more dropout rate than ten percent. If anything it will go up with further meetings taking place. It was also great to hear that so many of the pladges have come from far flung fuds who will not be benfiting from the bar rendering the "what do the fans get for their tenner" pretty redundant.

I believe people are pledging because of their passion for the club, rather than any self-interst in personal gain. The personal gain is from helping the club rather than a desire for a free pie - although...... :P

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Makes the 1 person/1 vote discussion a bit more interesting. :)

Sort of....my interest is in getting Sid Jnr involved with the proposed junior members / board. I doubt they will have a full vote, but will likely get a say in things like the Panda Club, coaching stuff, mibbae school visits from players, etc.

For a £20 membership a vote for me and Mrv V seems fair. Where it would be questionable is where you have the entire clan mcglumpher trying to wrangle a family membership for every generation. It should be a bit like a family membership for the National Trust for Scotland - 2 adults and two children - vote each for adults = £20...thus removing the one member one vote contention.

That was positively presidential. :P

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