St Mirren is renaming its stadium to pay tribute to the club’s fans group that is on the verge of taking ownership of the Scottish Premiership club.
The 8,000-capacity venue – formerly St Mirren Park – will be known as The SMISA Stadium for the rest of the 2020-21 season, with the St Mirren Independent Supporters Association (SMISA) set to complete its purchase of a majority stake in the summer.
The club said its board has agreed the stadium-naming gesture to thank SMISA’s 1,150-plus members – whose monthly membership fees have been saved towards the share purchase since 2016 – for making the buy-out possible.
SMISA chair George Adam 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.”
The #BuyTheBuds deal had initially been expected to take ten years to complete but will be delivered in just five thanks to SMISA and St Mirren’s partnership with social enterprise and social care charity Kibble.
St Mirren chairman Gordon Scott, who is selling his remaining shares to SMISA, said: “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.”