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£2 Pot SMISA vote for April ?????

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The proposal – which we would like you to vote on – can be summarised as follows:
- SMISA would – this summer – make £50,000 of existing funds from our share purchase pot (ie the £10 portion of your monthly membership) available to the club.
- we would then ‘reinstate’ that £50,000 by committing £5,000 from each of the next nine quarterly spends – plus £5,000 available now of leftover funds which pre-date the #BuyTheBuds campaign.

Dear SMISA, This money is "ring fenced*. It doesn't say you can tap into it willy nilly & repay it at a later date.

 

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Gordon paid the bulk of the money needed to fund the initial share purchase but SMISA agreed to cover £380,000 of the £1m purchase price.

The income we receive from our members will pay that money back, while also saving up the money we need to buy out Gordon over the long-term.

Basic membership of SMISA has been set at £12 per month. Of that, £10 is ringfenced for the share purchase, and £2 goes into a pot for members to spend on club-related projects.

Fans also have the option of signing up for £25 per month, or through our £2,500 premium package, offering ten years of membership and some exclusive money-can’t-buy benefits. More information on our sign up page.

SMISA set itself a target of 1,000 members to make sure our finances stay robust - we hit that target in summer 2016 during the initial fundraising.

However it is important our existing members stay with us and that we attract new ones over the years too.

There is no upper limit on members - the more we get, the stronger we are as a trust, the greater good we can do for the club and community. Fans can still sign up at any time

Ring fenced means a guarantee it cannot be touched for anything other than it's intended purpose.

Sorry, whilst the intention may be well intended, this is not what our money should be used for. This vote option is the worst yet.

Edited to add, this proposal is a crock of shite

Edited by Graeme Aitken

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12 minutes ago, Graeme Aitken said:

Dear SMISA, This money is "ring fenced*. It doesn't say you can tap into it willy nilly & repay it at a later date.

 

Ring fenced means a guarantee it cannot be touched for anything other than it's intended purpose.

Sorry, whilst the intention may be well intended, this is not what our money should be used for. This vote option is the worst yet.

Any details on what "made available to the club" would be used for? 

Not sure, no matter what this may mean, that this is, as you indicate, really an option.

Interesting what the "we don't really care what the money is used for" members will think. :rolleyes:

 

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5 minutes ago, faraway saint said:

Any details on what "made available to the club" would be used for? 

Not sure, no matter what this may mean, that this is, as you indicate, really an option.

Interesting what the "we don't really care what the money is used for" members will think. :rolleyes:

 

Here is the  email in it's entirety.

I don't agree with all the options put to the vote in the £2 pot spend but I accept the decision of the majority vote.

To think about using ring fenced money really is a crock of shite.

That's not what was put on the table for Buying the Buds and this option really needs to get taken off the table for the £2 April pot spend.

 

Quote

This email contains details of the April ballot for the quarterly £2 spend – and this quarter we are doing something slightly different.

While we normally ask you to vote on a number of projects adding up to roughly £8,000, this month we are asking for approval to commit money from this and future £2 spends towards a major infrastructure project.

The astrograss pitch at the club’s training ground at Ralston is nearing the end of its life. While the club have spent money to patch it up, it will need replaced before it becomes unusable.

The club have quotations for the cost at £150,000. They can access external funding to cover around one-third, and can fund one-third themselves. We are proposing to offer – subject to members approval – for SMISA to contribute the other £50,000

The committee have debated the principle and financial practicalities of this at length in recent weeks and have come up with a plan which would allow us to do this.

The proposal – which we would like you to vote on – can be summarised as follows:
- SMISA would – this summer – make £50,000 of existing funds from our share purchase pot (ie the £10 portion of your monthly membership) available to the club.
- we would then ‘reinstate’ that £50,000 by committing £5,000 from each of the next nine quarterly spends – plus £5,000 available now of leftover funds which pre-date the #BuyTheBuds campaign.

So our share of the pitch upgrade at Ralston would – over time – be paid for entirely from £2 and discretionary money – but we would use funds which would otherwise be sitting in the bank to let it happen sooner.

If approved, the next nine £2 quarterly ballots (from this month until April 2020), would be worth around £3,000 per quarter (if membership numbers stay level), rather than the usual £8,000.

This way we would be keeping something back to potentially support other projects and engage you as members – as opposed to committing the whole pot to one project for 18 months.

If not approved, the £5,000 from the April spend will stay in the pot for future use, and future quarterly spends would have the normal amount available for other projects.

As part of our negotiations with the club, we agreed that SMISA’s £50,000 would not be treated as a donation, but as a deal for SMISA to become the main sponsor of the youth academy, with a package of benefits for the trust and its members over the next two seasons. These would be:
- to rename Ralston to the St Mirren/SMISA youth academy;
- SMISA to be the chest sponsor on one of the academy team’s shirts;
- an under-20 player's shirt each season to be drawn among our members;
- a group of our members to be drawn to be given a one-off behind-scenes tour of the facility once the work is done;

We considered the following as reasons to put this proposal to you:
- we have twice carried out surveys of our members asking your spending priorities and on both occasions the youth academy was your top priority by a distance;
- some of our members have suggested we save up for a large project rather than funding small ones each time – this is the large project at the top of the club’s wishlist;
- the first team don’t currently train on the astrograss pitch, as Jack doesn’t believe it is good enough quality - this would give them a surface they could use;
- the pitch is used extensively by many, mainly-local, young people each week. This investment provides a degree of community benefit by improving their facilities;
- money invested in club infrastructure is money invested in an asset we as a trust are committed to buy. When SMISA becomes majority owner of the club, the new pitch will still be in use;
- as detailed above, we have negotiated a sponsorship deal which will promote SMISA and bring some small benefits back to our members;

We appreciate some members may ask whether the club would be in a position to fund the entire project by itself, or whether we could loan the club the money (and be repaid).

The short answer is for the club to find £50,000 from elsewhere - now or over time - would reduce the core budget available for the first team and the club's day-to-day operation.

Ultimately SMISA's £2 pot was created with the intention of helping move our club forward and for that reason – and the others listed above – we are putting this to you.

You will receive a separate email with a link to the secure online ballot where we will ask you to vote for or against the proposal detailed above.

Community season ticket scheme

There will be one other vote on that ballot as part of the April £2 spend – for what we would do with the £3,000 which would be left should the Ralston proposal be approved.

A year ago, you voted in favour of a community season ticket scheme – where we bought a number of seats in the main stand, and - working with Ferguslie Park-based group Engage Renfrewshire – made them available to a different charity or youth group each home game.

Groups to benefit include: Shelter Scotland, Good Community Relations Project Renfrewshire, Crisis Counselling – Erskine, Star Project, Turning Point Renfrewshire, Cairn Housing Association, Active Communities, Women's Aid – Renfrewshire, Who Cares Scotland Advocacy and RAMH (Recovery Across Mental Health).

We are conscious the stadium sits within an area named the most deprived in Scotland – this scheme has given a free day out at the football for a diverse range of people and local groups who have been disadvantaged in various ways and who may not otherwise have had the chance, while also bringing new fans into the club.

We would like to run the scheme again this year and have agreed with the club our £3,000 would get us 24 seats (a mixture of adults and children) – which – if approved – would give even more residents of Renfrewshire the opportunity to get along to watch the (we hope) champions in action.

As always, if there are any questions, we will be happy to take them via [email protected]

AGM reminder

We emailed you last week with formal notice of the SMISA 2018 AGM – which will be on Saturday 14 April in the library at the University of the West of Scotland, from 12.30pm. We hope to see as many of you as possible there.

SMISA Player of the Year award

As a memorable season draws to a close, we are asking the members to choose SMISA’s player of the year – to be awarded at a date to be chosen. You can cast your vote via this link.

Thanks again and all the best
The SMISA Committee

 

Edited by Graeme Aitken

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26 minutes ago, faraway saint said:

I would have thought that the club have done quite well recently with transfers, surely not budgeted for, so could carry the cost? 

I agree.

 

here's what was explained to me recently

Quote

 The £10s are budgeted for the share purchase.

it said bugger all about spend money from the share purchase pot and curtail future £2 pot spends.

"Big Ticket Items" were discussed a year or so ago but dismissed for "lets spend the lot now".  and now we are being asked to use the share purchase money. Absolute crock of shite.

Edited by Graeme Aitken

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see this wee nugget

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the first team don’t currently train on the astrograss pitch, as Jack doesn’t believe it is good enough quality - this would give them a surface they could use;

Jack has proved, his team doesn't need the astro. They are doing pretty well for not training on  it. So the club are looking to spunk £150K that it doesn't really need to.

Edited by Graeme Aitken

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The proposal – which we would like you to vote on – can be summarised as follows:
- SMISA would – this summer – make £50,000 of existing funds from our share purchase pot (ie the £10 portion of your monthly membership) available to the club.
- we would then ‘reinstate’ that £50,000 by committing £5,000 from each of the next nine quarterly spends – plus £5,000 available now of leftover funds which pre-date the #BuyTheBuds campaign.
Dear SMISA, This money is "ring fenced*. It doesn't say you can tap into it willy nilly & repay it at a later date.
 
Gordon paid the bulk of the money needed to fund the initial share purchase but SMISA agreed to cover £380,000 of the £1m purchase price.
The income we receive from our members will pay that money back, while also saving up the money we need to buy out Gordon over the long-term.
Basic membership of SMISA has been set at £12 per month. Of that, £10 is ringfenced for the share purchase, and £2 goes into a pot for members to spend on club-related projects.
Fans also have the option of signing up for £25 per month, or through our £2,500 premium package, offering ten years of membership and some exclusive money-can’t-buy benefits. More information on our sign up page.
SMISA set itself a target of 1,000 members to make sure our finances stay robust - we hit that target in summer 2016 during the initial fundraising.
However it is important our existing members stay with us and that we attract new ones over the years too.
There is no upper limit on members - the more we get, the stronger we are as a trust, the greater good we can do for the club and community. Fans can still sign up at any time
Ring fenced means a guarantee it cannot be touched for anything other than it's intended purpose.
Sorry, whilst the intention may be well intended, this is not what our money should be used for. This vote option is the worst yet.
Edited to add, this proposal is a crock of shite
Whether or not the vote is for the noblest orbmost critical of projects, that is the key right there.

The £10 per month is ring fenced for the share purchase and should under no circumstances be used for any other purpose.

It's like me having money set aside for a holiday. Dip into it once to pay for the car service, and before you know it, I am dipping in regularly and the holiday pot suffers.

This is just wrong.

Well intended, but wrong.

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I knew this was coming, have for months, but not in this format. Initial discussions were about a side phase of fundraising, which I proposed we kick off months ago. The fact this would be a side fund was why I was basically ordered to not look at any other fundraising. Plenty of spin in there, but impossible to not look past the facts it's wrong and that the committee have known, for has to be over six months, about it.

Early, so I'll cut it short there.

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A bold prediction. There will be plenty of discussion on here about the rights and wrongs of this proposal before it is comfortably voted through. The vast majority of members won't read the posts on here, Facebook etc, will see the proposal described as being good for the playing side and give it their backing, regardless of whether or not this is what the money should be used for. 

It's what has happened with pretty much every proposal SMiSA has put forward. Most people seem happy to pay their monthly fee, have their vote and leave it at that with no further involvement. Not saying that's a good or bad thing but it's how it seems to work. Before it went to multiple choice voting, has any proposal SMiSA ever put forward been rejected?

A minor point but if SMiSA are giving over £50,000 they should be demanding the community season tickets are included in that, but obviously that's not the main issue here!

Not sure if this makes me more or less likely to go to the AGM. Would be interested to know if the voting deadline is before or after April 14. If people really feel strongly about this then they should attend the AGM and make their feelings known.

I'm not trying to stifle debate, just pointing out that, if previous discussions around votes are anything to go by, don't be surprised if nothing changes and this is comfortably voted through.

Edited by Stu

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A bold prediction. There will be plenty of discussion on here about the rights and wrongs of this proposal before it is comfortably voted through. The vast majority of members won't read the posts on here, Facebook etc, will see the proposal described as being good for the playing side and give it their backing, regardless of whether or not this is what the money should be used for. 
It's what has happened with pretty much every proposal SMiSA has put forward. Most people seem happy to pay their monthly fee, have their vote and leave it at that with no further involvement. Not saying that's a good or bad thing but it's how it seems to work. Before it went to multiple choice voting, has any proposal SMiSA ever put forward been rejected?
A minor point but if SMiSA are giving over £50,000 they should be demanding the community season tickets are included in that, but obviously that's not the main issue here!
Not sure if this makes me more or less likely to go to the AGM. Would be interested to know if the voting deadline is before or after April 14. If people really feel strongly about this then they should attend the AGM and make their feelings known.
I'm not trying to stifle debate, just pointing out that, if previous discussions around votes are anything to go by, don't be surprised if nothing changes and this is comfortably voted through.


Thing is , it is good for the playing side and facilities attract players , particularly when we need to hit the ground running next season .

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41 minutes ago, BuddieinEK said:

No debate... I agree.

It HAS to be discussed tho so that people understand the concept of "ring-fenced" and the gravity of even considering abusing it, far less proposing to do so.

Tend to agree with you. We have at least one solicitor who posts on here and whilst I have no idea jf he is a SMiSA member, I would be interested to hear his take on this. 

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1 hour ago, Stu said:

A bold prediction. There will be plenty of discussion on here about the rights and wrongs of this proposal before it is comfortably voted through. The vast majority of members won't read the posts on here, Facebook etc, will see the proposal described as being good for the playing side and give it their backing, regardless of whether or not this is what the money should be used for. 

It's what has happened with pretty much every proposal SMiSA has put forward. Most people seem happy to pay their monthly fee, have their vote and leave it at that with no further involvement. Not saying that's a good or bad thing but it's how it seems to work. Before it went to multiple choice voting, has any proposal SMiSA ever put forward been rejected?

A minor point but if SMiSA are giving over £50,000 they should be demanding the community season tickets are included in that, but obviously that's not the main issue here!

Not sure if this makes me more or less likely to go to the AGM. Would be interested to know if the voting deadline is before or after April 14. If people really feel strongly about this then they should attend the AGM and make their feelings known.

I'm not trying to stifle debate, just pointing out that, if previous discussions around votes are anything to go by, don't be surprised if nothing changes and this is comfortably voted through.

Very correct Stu. At board level, club and SMISA, this will be seen as a few idiots complaining on social media. Pathetic when SMISA haven't provided a single avenue for group discussion and, quite frankly, really don't want it. 

Too many forget they were voted in to represent, not dictate. To pre-empt any "blah blah" from them, I have previously proposed we put potential options to the members pre-vote to gauge initial views and was shot down. 

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1 hour ago, billyg said:

 


Thing is , it is good for the playing side and facilities attract players , particularly when we need to hit the ground running next season .

 

I can only assume you have missed this flawless logic.

8 hours ago, Graeme Aitken said:

see this wee nugget

Jack has proved, his team doesn't need the astro. They are doing pretty well for not training on  it. So the club are looking to spunk £150K that it doesn't really need to.

 

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5 minutes ago, Stu said:

I can only assume you have missed this flawless logic.

 

On that, the academy teams make heavy use of it so it is needed. My main issues are the method of going about it and the sitting on this for months...since just after the Panda Club vote. 

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7 minutes ago, TsuMirren said:

On that, the academy teams make heavy use of it so it is needed. My main issues are the method of going about it and the sitting on this for months...since just after the Panda Club vote. 

I'd imagine the majority of people have no problem with the pitch being sorted, the issue will be the funding of it.

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21 hours ago, Graeme Aitken said:

we would then ‘reinstate’ that £50,000 by committing £5,000 from each of the next nine quarterly spends – plus £5,000 available now of leftover funds which pre-date the #BuyTheBuds campaign.

On the vote slip it says 

If the proposal is approved, we would make the money available this summer from existing funds, then reinstate over the next two years using £2 pot funds, at £5,000 per quarter. 
In return for our investment, SMISA would become the title sponsor of the club's youth academy for the next two years. 

Which would equate to £40K NOT £50K unless there are 5 quarters in a year. If Not we are getting charged £10K to become academy sponsors. 

 

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12 minutes ago, East Lothian Saint said:

On the vote slip it says 

If the proposal is approved, we would make the money available this summer from existing funds, then reinstate over the next two years using £2 pot funds, at £5,000 per quarter. 
In return for our investment, SMISA would become the title sponsor of the club's youth academy for the next two years. 

Which would equate to £40K NOT £50K unless there are 5 quarters in a year. If Not we are getting charged £10K to become academy sponsors. 

 

That'll be the same levels of intelligence that go in to...no, it's too easy!

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On the vote slip it says 
If the proposal is approved, we would make the money available this summer from existing funds, then reinstate over the next two years using £2 pot funds, at £5,000 per quarter. 
In return for our investment, SMISA would become the title sponsor of the club's youth academy for the next two years
Which would equate to £40K NOT £50K unless there are 5 quarters in a year. If Not we are getting charged £10K to become academy sponsors. 
 
This really needs clarification.
People are voting without the facts.
This whole mess reeks of a desperate attempt to push something through by hook or by Crook!

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23 minutes ago, East Lothian Saint said:

On the vote slip it says 

If the proposal is approved, we would make the money available this summer from existing funds, then reinstate over the next two years using £2 pot funds, at £5,000 per quarter. 
In return for our investment, SMISA would become the title sponsor of the club's youth academy for the next two years. 

Which would equate to £40K NOT £50K unless there are 5 quarters in a year. If Not we are getting charged £10K to become academy sponsors. 

 

"The proposal – which we would like you to vote on – can be summarised as follows:
- SMISA would – this summer – make £50,000 of existing funds from our share purchase pot (ie the £10 portion of your monthly membership) available to the club.
- we would then ‘reinstate’ that £50,000 by committing £5,000 from each of the next nine quarterly spends – plus £5,000 available now of leftover funds which pre-date the #BuyTheBuds campaign."

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When Tsumirren resigned from the SMiSA board I did predict a stinker of an idea being proposed, and this certainly stinks. It may not be the only one to come between now and the end of the AGM.

Quite simply it states in our constitution that the only money that can be used for this type of project or any project is the £2 pot, the other money is ring fenced to buy the shares, the £2 pot money can be saved up to replace the astro turf if the members so wish.

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I have been aware for some time now, that there is a desire to get hold of SMiSA funds and use them to pay for projects such as this without the club having to pay it back. Unfortunately the SMiSA board know that they will get this proposal over the line because the vast majority of members will simply not care how their money is used, and will be wondering how it happened when we potentially do not have enough money left to buy a controlling interest in the club and simply become minority shareholders.

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