ST MIRREN took a major step closer to becoming a fan-owned club this evening after proposals to buy out the ruling consortium were given the green light at a meeting in Paisley. Members of the St Mirren Independent Supporters Association (SMiSA) overwhelmingly backed plans to make an offer for the 68% shareholding held by chairman Stewart Gilmour and four other directors. Following the model used successfully by the Foundation of Hearts and Ann Budge, former St Mirren director Gordon Scott would provide the bulk of the initial purchase sum and would become the new club chairman, with a fans representative also taking a seat on the board. Once Scott’s outlay was repaid over the next decade, the club would be owned by its supporters.

For the proposal to work, however, around 1000 supporters would need to commit £12 a month to pay off the initial loan required to buy the club from the selling consortium and then to eventually return Scott’s investment too. If sufficient subscribers could be found by the summer, the club could be under new ownership by the start of the next season.

Lifelong supporter Scott, who made his money in construction and real estate, revealed he saw the prospective new deal as “a challenge but also an opportunity” and hoped to eventually create a team capable of pushing for the top half of the Premiership and into the latter stages of cup competitions. He added: "My desire is to see us back where we belong at the top table of Scottish football. I firmly believe I can help achieve that, and then successfully deliver this club into the hands of the supporters. St Mirren is a community club and if we take over we would continue to run it in the same prudent way it has been for the last 20 years. It is also important, however, that we bring a new business dynamic to the club and fully empower the supporters to help take the club forward. This won't happen without the support of the fans. We have a wonderful chance to preserve the history and then form the future of our football club together. Let's not let the opportunity pass us by.”

SMISA chairman George Adam added: “I firmly believe the best way ahead for clubs like St Mirren is for them to be run by people who will care for them most...the fans. The current board deserve a huge amount of credit for the job they have done over the years but they have made it clear they want to move on, and one way or another the club will be sold. We have seen too many other Scottish clubs fall into the hands of owners who haven’t had the best interest of the club at heart over the years – if the fans back this deal and stay the distance they guarantee that won’t ever happen to St Mirren. Gordon’s involvement means the club will be run by a Saints man with the expertise to take it forward in partnership with the fans, and a route through which we can make a sustainable transition to full fan ownership over the long term.”