POLICE Scotland have launched an investigation into financial irregularities at St Mirren FC.

The Herald revealed that the part-fan-owned club alerted police after concerns surfaced over commercial agreements, sub contracts and possible non-payment of tax and national insurance.

The Scottish Premiership club called in forensic accountants to carry out what they call a "thorough review of a number of areas of its operations".

Police Scotland said: "We’re investigating a report of possible financial irregularities involving a football club in the Paisley area. Enquiries are at an early stage."

READ MORE: Police alerted over financial irregularities at St Mirren FC

The Paisley club, which is currently 11th in the top tier of Scottish football, had said it had informed both HM Revenue and Customs and Police Scotland.

HeraldScotland:

The club said their actions will "facilitate that going forward all aspects of the club’s business practices are strong, compliant and transparent to all, whilst ensuring they meet the highest level possible to ensure the club’s reputation is utterly beyond reproach".

The club added that it moved "swiftly" to appoint a highly reputable firm of accountants to carry out a thorough forensic review of its operations to allow 2for any required action to be acted upon".

The board said it will "co-operate fully" in all aspects of the process and with all relevant authorities.

Tony Fitzpatrick, chief executive said: "The club has taken these steps to ensure that we continue to operate on a sound and compliant financial basis. I would also like to put on record our appreciation of the invaluable work, continued commitment and support of the club accountant in this matter. Fans can be confident that all actions taken are in the best interest of St Mirren to ensure it continues to be a club of which our supporters can be proud.”

It comes as St Mirren has been moving to become the latest fan-owned football club through a unique link-up - the first of its kind in the UK – between the club’s supporters’ trust and one of the country’s biggest charities.

The plans originally unveiled in January saw the St Mirren Independent Supporters Trust (SMISA) join up with the Paisley-based social care charity and leading social enterprise Kibble, which the club said "would transform how the club is owned and run".

Last month the club said that St Mirren’s home is being renamed The SMISA Stadium in a show of recognition for the club’s fans as they start the final countdown to becoming its majority owners in the summer.

The club gifted the naming rights for St Mirren Park to SMISA for the rest of season 2020/21.

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

The club said the purchase had been due to complete by the end of 2021, but had been agreed this will happen sooner than planned – on a date to be decided in the summer.

Under the plans Kibble, part-financed by the Scottish Government, would buy 27.5% of Mr Scott’s shares now. As of February, this year, Kibble were classed as one of two that had "significant control" of the club according to Companies House with more than 25% but not more than 50% of the shares.

Amongst the areas being focussed on in the probe are several commercial agreements, sub-contract arrangments and potential non-payment of PAYE (Pay As You Earn) and National Insurance. It emphasised that none of what is being looked at relate to playing or management staff.