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sally02

The Family Stand - Open Letter to the Board

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Is there really any need? Subject has been done to death, board have clarified on several occasions it won't change until we have enough St Mirren fans to fill these empty seats, we'll own the club in a few years can review then if we wish. 

Side note, have Aberdeen, Hibs or Hearts ever sold out their one stand allocation? 

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7 minutes ago, sally02 said:

The St. Mirren Family Stand – A Wrong Decision

Dear Board Members

 

I am writing this letter to you to express my unease with the on-going situation regarding the use of the Family Stand at St. Mirren Park.

 

I am personally opposed to the stance taken by the board to allow the use of the family stand for accommodating both the Rangers and Celtic supports at our home games against us, based on the claims of increased revenue to the club and therefore additional funds to support the playing staff budget.

I would like to highlight the club’s website ticketing information page detail for the South (Family) Stand:-

“Please note that the South Stand is a Family Stand and therefore we expect no swearing within this stand. In the past we have had complaints from family groups and potentially new supporters about the language their children were subjected to. We will therefore be working closely with the police and stewards to discourage this type of behaviour in order that the good work we are doing with local schools encouraging them to support the Club is not wasted. Please assist the Police and stewards by pointing out anyone who participates in unacceptable language.”

It beggars belief that the above is the policy of the club for the season, yet on 3 (or 4 occasions if we ever achieved Top 6 at the split in April), that is put aside to let 1654 additional opposing supporters, swear, sing sectarian songs, let off flares, throw objects onto the pitch, and in general flout the rules of the stadium, the laws of the land, and be above the attention of the Police in enforcing the rules and laws in place, as it might create a flash point to intervene and deal with the situation. You are in essence condoning that behaviour, rather than being radical and forward thinking.

In addition, although the Police and Stewarding arrangements are deemed to be adequate for the crowd management on the day, there has been no real regard shown to the fact that some fans will not attend, and the majority who do attend, do so with a feeling of unease and discomfort at the situation, which is most definitely not felt when all the other clubs play in Paisley. 

The upcoming home games against Aberdeen and The Rangers highlight a huge difference in the message being sent out to the St. Mirren support. 

On the one hand, there are the family events to take place prior to the Aberdeen game to try and encourage Families, Schools and Youth Groups to attend the Stadium and see the experience as something more than just a game of football over 90 minutes.

Then, just one week later, you ask those same Fans, Families, and potentially new Supporters to vacate the Family Stand, and if they wish to attend the match against The Rangers, more than likely have to take seats at either end of the Main Stand where fewest season tickets are taken up, and be in close proximity to all the things you claim you will not tolerate from your own support in the Family Stand. That is senseless and also dis-respectful of those fans.  

On behalf of some, if not the majority of Saints, I would request that you re-consider your current stance on this issue. Somewhere along the line, factors other than financial benefit have to be considered. Is tainting the match-day experience, sending out conflicting signals by condoning one rule for us and disregard of the rules by them, really the long-term solution to building the fan-base, and therefore the future strength and wealth of the club?

 

Have any options been considered? What about offering far flung Buddies or even existing Season Ticket holders the chance to buy a 3 match season ticket for these games, and let them nominate schools, youth groups or family members to attend on their behalf. Buddies crowd-funding around the World to buy up the tickets and a Panda Bear, to sit in their seat?  Just anything rather than the current situation – PLEASE!

 

The on-going situations at Kilmarnock and Aberdeen, and indeed between the 2 Glasgow clubs curtailing each others opposing support numbers, is a fairly poignant indicator of the way forward in my opinion.

Finally, I would request that the board release the working figures used for the plan to go ahead and allocate the Family Stand to the Old Firm, including details of the increased policing and stewarding costs.

I would also like to ask for clarification on the position if say, Hearts, Hibs or Aberdeen become season long Title Challengers and started to regularly take 3000 or 4000 away supports to games. Would you then apply the same reasoning and implementation in that scenario?

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

Well expresses Sally.

Not enough thought has, in my opinion, been given to alternative ways to increase attendances in general and in the family stand in particular. 

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Just now, bazil85 said:

Is there really any need? Subject has been done to death, board have clarified on several occasions it won't change until we have enough St Mirren fans to fill these empty seats, we'll own the club in a few years can review then if we wish. 

Side note, have Aberdeen, Hibs or Hearts ever sold out their one stand allocation? 

Be fair Bazil

Sally has quite cogently brought various arguments together in her post and merits debate, IMO.

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13 minutes ago, sally02 said:

The St. Mirren Family Stand – A Wrong Decision

Dear Board Members

 

I am writing this letter to you to express my unease with the on-going situation regarding the use of the Family Stand at St. Mirren Park.

 

I am personally opposed to the stance taken by the board to allow the use of the family stand for accommodating both the Rangers and Celtic supports at our home games against us, based on the claims of increased revenue to the club and therefore additional funds to support the playing staff budget.

I would like to highlight the club’s website ticketing information page detail for the South (Family) Stand:-

“Please note that the South Stand is a Family Stand and therefore we expect no swearing within this stand. In the past we have had complaints from family groups and potentially new supporters about the language their children were subjected to. We will therefore be working closely with the police and stewards to discourage this type of behaviour in order that the good work we are doing with local schools encouraging them to support the Club is not wasted. Please assist the Police and stewards by pointing out anyone who participates in unacceptable language.”

It beggars belief that the above is the policy of the club for the season, yet on 3 (or 4 occasions if we ever achieved Top 6 at the split in April), that is put aside to let 1654 additional opposing supporters, swear, sing sectarian songs, let off flares, throw objects onto the pitch, and in general flout the rules of the stadium, the laws of the land, and be above the attention of the Police in enforcing the rules and laws in place, as it might create a flash point to intervene and deal with the situation. You are in essence condoning that behaviour, rather than being radical and forward thinking.

In addition, although the Police and Stewarding arrangements are deemed to be adequate for the crowd management on the day, there has been no real regard shown to the fact that some fans will not attend, and the majority who do attend, do so with a feeling of unease and discomfort at the situation, which is most definitely not felt when all the other clubs play in Paisley. 

The upcoming home games against Aberdeen and The Rangers highlight a huge difference in the message being sent out to the St. Mirren support. 

On the one hand, there are the family events to take place prior to the Aberdeen game to try and encourage Families, Schools and Youth Groups to attend the Stadium and see the experience as something more than just a game of football over 90 minutes.

Then, just one week later, you ask those same Fans, Families, and potentially new Supporters to vacate the Family Stand, and if they wish to attend the match against The Rangers, more than likely have to take seats at either end of the Main Stand where fewest season tickets are taken up, and be in close proximity to all the things you claim you will not tolerate from your own support in the Family Stand. That is senseless and also dis-respectful of those fans.  

On behalf of some, if not the majority of Saints, I would request that you re-consider your current stance on this issue. Somewhere along the line, factors other than financial benefit have to be considered. Is tainting the match-day experience, sending out conflicting signals by condoning one rule for us and disregard of the rules by them, really the long-term solution to building the fan-base, and therefore the future strength and wealth of the club?

 

Have any options been considered? What about offering far flung Buddies or even existing Season Ticket holders the chance to buy a 3 match season ticket for these games, and let them nominate schools, youth groups or family members to attend on their behalf. Buddies crowd-funding around the World to buy up the tickets and a Panda Bear, to sit in their seat?  Just anything rather than the current situation – PLEASE!

 

The on-going situations at Kilmarnock and Aberdeen, and indeed between the 2 Glasgow clubs curtailing each others opposing support numbers, is a fairly poignant indicator of the way forward in my opinion.

Finally, I would request that the board release the working figures used for the plan to go ahead and allocate the Family Stand to the Old Firm, including details of the increased policing and stewarding costs.

I would also like to ask for clarification on the position if say, Hearts, Hibs or Aberdeen become season long Title Challengers and started to regularly take 3000 or 4000 away supports to games. Would you then apply the same reasoning and implementation in that scenario?

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

Brilliant post. 

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3 minutes ago, St.Ricky said:

Be fair Bazil

Sally has quite cogently brought various arguments together in her post and merits debate, IMO.

Fair enough

Just pointing out we do have a thread that's already open and I'm not seeing anything in it that's new.

I am not surprised this topic has ramped up again in light of the weekend & the upcoming Sevco game but I don't personally think this adds any value. Of course absolutely fine to start a new thread & see if any new grounds comes up, see what happens. 

I do also think people need to take these board posts with a pinch of salt. There's no evidence a majority of SMFC fans are opposed to this arrangement. 

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6 minutes ago, bazil85 said:

Is there really any need? Subject has been done to death, board have clarified on several occasions it won't change until we have enough St Mirren fans to fill these empty seats, we'll own the club in a few years can review then if we wish. 

Side note, have Aberdeen, Hibs or Hearts ever sold out their one stand allocation? 

Yes, I think there is Bazil - it is only going to deter potential growth in the support so should be addressed now!

Side note:-  Yes, & Kilmarnock have filled W6/W7, and if any of the three clubs stated were above the ugly sisters at the turn of the year, yes it would be a possible scenario.

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1 minute ago, bazil85 said:

Fair enough

Just pointing out we do have a thread that's already open and I'm not seeing anything in it that's new.

I am not surprised this topic has ramped up again in light of the weekend & the upcoming Sevco game but I don't personally think this adds any value. Of course absolutely fine to start a new thread & see if any new grounds comes up, see what happens. 

I do also think people need to take these board posts with a pinch of salt. There's no evidence a majority of SMFC fans are opposed to this arrangement. 

Well - I certainly dont try to speak on behalf of others or to act as a baromoter of opinion. I am a pragmatist. The remedy is in our own hands. Turn up in greater numbers.

If a few (maybe more than a few) on here attended home games then that would be a start. We do though have to become more inventive in bringing youngsters and famiies to the club on a regular basis. It has improved I grant you, but could still improve further.

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1 minute ago, sally02 said:

Yes, I think there is Bazil - it is only going to deter potential growth in the support so should be addressed now!

Side note:-  Yes, & Kilmarnock have filled W6/W7, and if any of the three clubs stated were above the ugly sisters at the turn of the year, yes it would be a possible scenario.

Record home crowds & season ticket sales last season since moving to the new stadium. 

Interesting, might be something they consider expanding to other clubs. As long as we aren't filling seats I don't think we really have a comeback. If our fans don't like it, let's try encourage more fans back, already seen progress in this area recently as above. 

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As Bazil says, the argument has been discussed to death on this forum.

We have those who are resolute (me included) in their belief that St Mirren FC should not be giving over the family stand to either of the 2 Glasgow teams as the shenanigans of them & the inconvenience to our own supporters is not worth it etc etc etc.

We have those who are resolute (Bazil included) in their belief that St Mirren should be giving over the family stand to both of the 2 Glasgow teams as the suggested additional revenue, their shenanigans and the inconvenience to our own supporters is worth it.

We can discuss it to death again if it's posted on here but the letter needs to be sent to The Secretary of St Mirren FC for to be brought to the attention of the St Mirren BoD officially to have any chance of getting a rethink/response from St Mirren FC.

Unfortunately, I think it will take a lot more than 1 letter to apply significant enough pressure on the BOD to encourage a rethink on this debateable money spinning strategy.

good luck with it.

Edited by Kombibuddie

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51 minutes ago, sally02 said:

The St. Mirren Family Stand – A Wrong Decision

Dear Board Members

 

I am writing this letter to you to express my unease with the on-going situation regarding the use of the Family Stand at St. Mirren Park.

 

I am personally opposed to the stance taken by the board to allow the use of the family stand for accommodating both the Rangers and Celtic supports at our home games against us, based on the claims of increased revenue to the club and therefore additional funds to support the playing staff budget.

I would like to highlight the club’s website ticketing information page detail for the South (Family) Stand:-

“Please note that the South Stand is a Family Stand and therefore we expect no swearing within this stand. In the past we have had complaints from family groups and potentially new supporters about the language their children were subjected to. We will therefore be working closely with the police and stewards to discourage this type of behaviour in order that the good work we are doing with local schools encouraging them to support the Club is not wasted. Please assist the Police and stewards by pointing out anyone who participates in unacceptable language.”

It beggars belief that the above is the policy of the club for the season, yet on 3 (or 4 occasions if we ever achieved Top 6 at the split in April), that is put aside to let 1654 additional opposing supporters, swear, sing sectarian songs, let off flares, throw objects onto the pitch, and in general flout the rules of the stadium, the laws of the land, and be above the attention of the Police in enforcing the rules and laws in place, as it might create a flash point to intervene and deal with the situation. You are in essence condoning that behaviour, rather than being radical and forward thinking.

In addition, although the Police and Stewarding arrangements are deemed to be adequate for the crowd management on the day, there has been no real regard shown to the fact that some fans will not attend, and the majority who do attend, do so with a feeling of unease and discomfort at the situation, which is most definitely not felt when all the other clubs play in Paisley. 

The upcoming home games against Aberdeen and The Rangers highlight a huge difference in the message being sent out to the St. Mirren support. 

On the one hand, there are the family events to take place prior to the Aberdeen game to try and encourage Families, Schools and Youth Groups to attend the Stadium and see the experience as something more than just a game of football over 90 minutes.

Then, just one week later, you ask those same Fans, Families, and potentially new Supporters to vacate the Family Stand, and if they wish to attend the match against The Rangers, more than likely have to take seats at either end of the Main Stand where fewest season tickets are taken up, and be in close proximity to all the things you claim you will not tolerate from your own support in the Family Stand. That is senseless and also dis-respectful of those fans.  

On behalf of some, if not the majority of Saints, I would request that you re-consider your current stance on this issue. Somewhere along the line, factors other than financial benefit have to be considered. Is tainting the match-day experience, sending out conflicting signals by condoning one rule for us and disregard of the rules by them, really the long-term solution to building the fan-base, and therefore the future strength and wealth of the club?

 

Have any options been considered? What about offering far flung Buddies or even existing Season Ticket holders the chance to buy a 3 match season ticket for these games, and let them nominate schools, youth groups or family members to attend on their behalf. Buddies crowd-funding around the World to buy up the tickets and a Panda Bear, to sit in their seat?  Just anything rather than the current situation – PLEASE!

 

The on-going situations at Kilmarnock and Aberdeen, and indeed between the 2 Glasgow clubs curtailing each others opposing support numbers, is a fairly poignant indicator of the way forward in my opinion.

Finally, I would request that the board release the working figures used for the plan to go ahead and allocate the Family Stand to the Old Firm, including details of the increased policing and stewarding costs.

I would also like to ask for clarification on the position if say, Hearts, Hibs or Aberdeen become season long Title Challengers and started to regularly take 3000 or 4000 away supports to games. Would you then apply the same reasoning and implementation in that scenario?

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

Should be endorsed by Smisa,ie the members should all indicate they back this letter

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13 minutes ago, bazil85 said:

Record home crowds & season ticket sales last season since moving to the new stadium. 

Interesting, might be something they consider expanding to other clubs. As long as we aren't filling seats I don't think we really have a comeback. If our fans don't like it, let's try encourage more fans back, already seen progress in this area recently as above. 

Firstly Bazil, I was just starting this as a new Thread based on the contents of the letter, to get a fresh response, to enable me to consider whether it would be worthwhile mailing it to the Board!

Bazil, you know perfectly well that was down to the Jack Ross/Winning the Championship/ Were in the Premier league euphoria!

And a lot of the increase is due to the good work of Josh and the boys in W7, and not any specific club initiatives.

Ok I acknowledge that just under 5000 in that stand for the 3 games last season increased crowds/revenue over the season, but if you divide it by 19 games its 263 per game, and way more than 263 don't attend those old firm games- fact!

If you are close to the nerve centre, would it be considered if we asked the board for a simple match day vote on the supporters feelings? Start of the second half against Aberdeen, simple question. Stand up if you oppose the giving of the family stand to the old firm, sit down if you don't! That should let us know. I'll add it to the letter and send it to the board direct if you think I will get a response?

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How many saints fans would be happy to pay for 1 seat per season, even if they do not attend, to keep this mob out?  The empty family stand seats could then be gifted to youth groups or tickets distributed via social initiatives (bear in mind many of those seats are sold as family stand seats anyway).  I'd be happy to fork out for that once or even twice per year.

Edited by beyond our ken

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18 minutes ago, Kombibuddie said:

As Bazil says, the argument has been discussed to death on this forum.

We have those who are resolute (me included) in their belief that St Mirren FC should not be giving over the family stand to either of the 2 Glasgow teams as the shenanigans of them & the inconvenience to our own supporters is not worth it etc etc etc.

We have those who are resolute (Bazil included) in their belief that St Mirren should be giving over the family stand to both of the 2 Glasgow teams as the suggested additional revenue, their shenanigans and the inconvenience to our own supporters is worth it.

We can discuss it to death again if it's posted on here but the letter needs to be sent to The Secretary of St Mirren FC for to be brought to the attention of the St Mirren BoD officially to have any chance of getting a rethink/response from St Mirren FC.

Unfortunately, I think it will take a lot more than 1 letter to apply significant enough pressure on the BOD to encourage a rethink on this debateable money spinning strategy.

good luck with it.

Agree with all that, I don't imagine it'll be the first letter they've had either. 

Personally I would like to see a vote maybe use SMISA members or season ticket listings if possible. Not to change the decision because I think it's within the BoD rights as custodians of the club to do what they think is right for the financial health of SMFC. 

I would be quietly (maybe not overlay quiet let's be honest) confident the voting would reflect what we usually see with BTB. A majority for the arrangement that financially benefits our club. 

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Totally agree 100% with this, Great post Sally,  The atmosphere is getting worse every season with these fans and I believe its only a matter of time before the shit hits the fan with this decision, having them at both ends of our stadium is surely asking for trouble, and it wont take much to start it,  The safety and matchday experience of our fans should be the boards priority not making a quick buck.....   and long term [ IMO ] it financially damages our club,  

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3 minutes ago, beyond our ken said:

How many saints fans would be happy to pay for 1 seat per season, even if they do not attend, to keep this mob out?  The empty family stand seats could then be gifted to youth groups or tickets distributed via social initiatives (bear in mind many of those seats are sold as family stand seats anyway.  I'd be happy to fork out for that once or even twice per year.

I live in London but I'd buy a season ticket for the family stand if it meant we didn't give the family stand to any team.

Unfortunately, the pricing structures were released with giving up the family stand, No challenge was set to the support (like it was with W7 not to segregate the west stand) to not give up the family stand.

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10 minutes ago, bazil85 said:

Agree with all that, I don't imagine it'll be the first letter they've had either. 

Personally I would like to see a vote maybe use SMISA members or season ticket listings if possible. Not to change the decision because I think it's within the BoD rights as custodians of the club to do what they think is right for the financial health of SMFC. 

I would be quietly (maybe not overlay quiet let's be honest) confident the voting would reflect what we usually see with BTB. A majority for the arrangement that financially benefits our club. 

SMISA Members approx. 1200 - Average vote 700 or 800

Season ticket holders - better indication probably

all the support at the Aberdeen Game - STAND UP if you don't won't the Family Stand given away - done and dusted there and then in front of all the support!

 

I would be hugely confident that the answer would be NO OLD FIRM!

Edited by sally02
mistake

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16 minutes ago, beyond our ken said:

How many saints fans would be happy to pay for 1 seat per season, even if they do not attend, to keep this mob out?  The empty family stand seats could then be gifted to youth groups or tickets distributed via social initiatives (bear in mind many of those seats are sold as family stand seats anyway).  I'd be happy to fork out for that once or even twice per year.

Decent idea 

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6 minutes ago, bazil85 said:

Agree with all that,

You feeling OK :lol

anyways

7 minutes ago, bazil85 said:

Personally I would like to see a vote maybe use SMISA members or season ticket listings if possible. Not to change the decision because I think it's within the BoD rights as custodians of the club to do what they think is right for the financial health of SMFC. 

If not to change the decision, what would the purpose of the vote you, personally would like to see? How many supporters support the action & how many don't support the action?.

What happens if a sizeable majority voted No, don't give them the family stand? Ignore?

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20 minutes ago, beyond our ken said:

How many saints fans would be happy to pay for 1 seat per season, even if they do not attend, to keep this mob out?  The empty family stand seats could then be gifted to youth groups or tickets distributed via social initiatives (bear in mind many of those seats are sold as family stand seats anyway).  I'd be happy to fork out for that once or even twice per year.

I'm fairly sceptical but I would guess there would be few "entirely St Mirren supporting youth groups." I would hazard a guess that most of the youth groups would be mainly composed of Rangers and Celtic fans. Not sure how gifting them tickets helps anyone.

When St Mirren do well we attract fans and can fill stands. When we don't we have a mediocre crowd. You only have to look at the family stand during less attractive cup games. If People have to pay they chose to go to the other stands.  The family stand is empty when there are no freebies. 

To get a decent team on the park we need cash but that's the whole argument.

 

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13 minutes ago, East Lothian Saint said:

I'm fairly sceptical but I would guess there would be few "entirely St Mirren supporting youth groups." I would hazard a guess that most of the youth groups would be mainly composed of Rangers and Celtic fans. Not sure how gifting them tickets helps anyone.

When St Mirren do well we attract fans and can fill stands. When we don't we have a mediocre crowd. You only have to look at the family stand during less attractive cup games. If People have to pay they chose to go to the other stands.  The family stand is empty when there are no freebies. 

To get a decent team on the park we need cash but that's the whole argument.

 

It would mean that we would have records of who the tickets were issued to and would give us some recourse if there were trouble.

 

Of course I realise that non-football fans would get a hold of tickets, but if they are sharing a stand with good-natured home fans and are well supervised then that is an exercise in good relations that could bear fruit for a lifetime.   In any case, there would surely be a couple of hundred young saints who could register for this type of scheme and they are the ones I'd be after.

like many older fans I recall coming to see saints alongside rangers, celtic hibs, hearts, dundee utd and aberdeen fans.  a big crowd of around 20 of us did that for many years. 

 

It would be way better than the current set-up and very much behoving of a community club.  

 

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