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The St. Mirren FC 2022/23 thread


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4 hours ago, Div said:

I don't wish to be a mood hoover but I don't find the outcome of last nights meeting much cause for celebration.

I'm staggered that anyone can just shrug their shoulders at the fact we've burned through £1.7m over and above our usual expenditure in the period May 21 (when we had £2.7m in the bank) to May 22 (when we had a million in the bank).

Whether that £1.7m was in the form of a long term interest free loan or not it's still an incredible level of spending for a company with a turnover of just £4m.

I appreciate Ralston cost more than planned and we still had lingering recovery from COVID, but £1.7m, gone! f**k me!

The bigger issue though is this notion that we've budgeted to finish 7th. I find that an amazing strategy to be honest.

The prize money on offer for 7th this season is £1.8m. So fair to assume that we've set our playing budget based on that level of income.

What happens if we finish lower than 7th?

Here's how the prize money drops;

7th - £1.8m
8th - £1.5m ( -£300k)
9th - £1.45m ( -£350k)
10th - £1.4m ( -£400k)
11th - £1.3m ( -£500k)

Now of course we might finish 7th or even higher, that cannot be ruled out either, but similarly nobody can tell me there is absolutely no chance we might finish 8th for example.

8th wouldn't be a bad finish for us at all, yet it would put another £300K loss on the books unless unbudgeted income bridges that gap (Baccus World Cup money, a healthy Scottish Cup run, a Dylan Reid transfer fee etc etc).

That's the issue I have. We're setting ourselves up for a pretty big fall here if the team don't deliver on the park. It's great to be ambitious and we've certainly got a good team on the pitch, but it's not sustainable to budget for finishing 7th and I find it a wee bit concerning that we're effectively gambling on ourselves.

You have it spot on. As a club we should always budget for worse case scenario. We don't want to be in last spot having budgeted to be mid table. 

Poor management IMO. 

Can only hope we can get some big transfer money in. 

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Correct I thought there was something in it . What I was told came from a SMISA committee member not Stewart Gilmour to be crystal clear.  I understand Gilmour has a meeting coming up with the club regarding finance is that correct.  
Why and in what context ?

He is a member of the SMISA board, if there is a meeting regarding Club finance that SMISA are part of it will not just be SG.

This is my biggest concern with a big character like SG on the board. If (big IF) there is a finance meeting coming up it is (or certainly should not be) a meeting between SG and the club board.
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2 hours ago, AW saint said:

You have it spot on. As a club we should always budget for worse case scenario. We don't want to be in last spot having budgeted to be mid table. 

Poor management IMO. 

Can only hope we can get some big transfer money in. 

Yeah.

We should always budget to finish second bottom, just happy to be part of the pack, and never once aim above our station.

Let's usher in yet another generation of St Mirren fans who'll only ever witness a team happy to win a handful of games all season and set a goal of nothing but avoiding relegation, hoping we get lucky with a cup run. 

God forbid someone has the ambition to try and move the club forward and aim a bit higher. 

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Can't abide by the 'budget for 11th forever' mindset.

We are a club, like almost every other club at our level who could realistically finish anywhere from 5th in the top flight to 18th (mid table championship) on the overall ladder. So many clubs in Scotland are much of a muchness in terms of size and resources available so will always be very much interchangeable in terms of where we sit on the ladder. Even clubs like Hearts and Hibs have a bracket of 3rd to around 14th on the ladder that they could and jave finished in recent memory but will certainly budget every year on the high end of that.

However, you budget to finish bottom or second bottom of the top flight every year, you're going to kick about the lower end of the bracket, as we've seen over the last 30 or so years.

The practice of being selectively speculative for a season or two is not at all reckless in my opinion. You put better product out on the pitch and there is definitely potential to improve as we've seen so far this season with a 12% like for like increase in gates vs last season despite removal of an extra stand in two home games for away supporters in comparison to last season.

I'm not wearing the 'always be prudent first and be damned the product on the pitch' mindset. I don't fancy going back to year after year of Gus MacPherson type shitfesting, working off scraps and doing just enough to bob above the waterline, thanks.

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I think at budget setting time you look at the squad you have or anticipate will still be with you and estimate where you should finish then drop a place or two and set your budget off that. 
We finished last season with a good basis, needed a new keeper and most of the other changes were to improve on a solid squad, therefore we should be expecting and budgeting for higher than 11th, whether I’d have plumped for 7th I’m not sure, but I think to say 11th should be our default is wrong. 
Like Div I do find it worrying that we have burned through most of the COVID loan already but I don’t think we are at deaths door yet. 

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16 minutes ago, DumbartonBud said:


Like Div I do find it worrying that we have burned through most of the COVID loan already but I don’t think we are at deaths door yet. 

There's an important and definite distinction to be made here.

Have we blown through £1.8m on the playing squad? f**k no! The budgetary difference between 11th and 7th is certainly not £1.8m so that notion can go in the bin.

If, for example, the budgetary difference is an increase of say, £300k over the year and the rest of the loan has been eaten up by much needed improvements to infrastructure that will see the club facilities improve for years to come and other costs of a pandemic (that we appeared to have gotten out of scot free on a financial footing), then I genuinely don't think it's problematic.

The loan was there to be taken up on exactly for this purpose. If its used in the one go for genuine club improvements that need done here and now and then serviced sensibly over the next 20 years interest free, there's most certainly no issue there in my eyes with it bring spent quickly. 

Had we gone out and spent the full £1.7m on a slew of players on hefty contracts, there would have been an issue but although the signings in the summer will certainly be on a higher overall weekly wage than those who left the club at the end of their deals, 6 first team players out (plus a further 2 loans ending) and 8 players in and only one (Carson) for any sort of fee, doesn't exactly scream us going apeshit with the full loan.

Edited by djchapsticks
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I think this is a great discussion. The Perth Saints budgeted for a low finish and early exits from the cups. Hasn’t done us any harm. Why have we had success that others envy? Our model has been mostly like a dictatorship, yours more recently fan owned. We’ve met twice this season, an easy win in Perth and a draw we shouldn’t have been allowed to get in Paisley last week. In the first game, we hit a level and you could have played better. Last week you played well and we clearly have more to give than we did. Longer term we’ve outperformed every club bar the obvious two. Can we get back to that and keep it up? We nearly lost all our progress last season. Football is fickle, none of us have a right to anything. Enjoy what we can while we have it. Best of luck with your model and various participants. Lessons for everyone to learn from, good and bad.

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59 minutes ago, djchapsticks said:

There's an important and definite distinction to be made here.

Have we blown through £1.8m on the playing squad? f**k no! The budgetary difference between 11th and 7th is certainly not £1.8m so that notion can go in the bin.

If, for example, the budgetary difference is an increase of say, £300k over the year and the rest of the loan has been eaten up by much needed improvements to infrastructure that will see the club facilities improve for years to come and other costs of a pandemic (that we appeared to have gotten out of scot free on a financial footing), then I genuinely don't think it's problematic.

The loan was there to be taken up on exactly for this purpose. If its used in the one go for genuine club improvements that need done here and now and then serviced sensibly over the next 20 years interest free, there's most certainly no issue there in my eyes with it bring spent quickly. 

Had we gone out and spent the full £1.7m on a slew of players on hefty contracts, there would have been an issue but although the signings in the summer will certainly be on a higher overall weekly wage than those who left the club at the end of their deals, 6 first team players out (plus a further 2 loans ending) and 8 players in and only one (Carson) for any sort of fee, doesn't exactly scream us going apeshit with the full loan.

At what point do you say we can't afford this. If your comfortable with speculation  we'll I don't know what to say apart from use the word gamble.  SMISA is the bail out should the gamble not work in my opinion.  

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52 minutes ago, ZingaliMan said:

At what point do you say we can't afford this. If your comfortable with speculation  we'll I don't know what to say apart from use the word gamble.  SMISA is the bail out should the gamble not work in my opinion.  

I don't honestly think you've actually read a word of what I wrote.

If the £1.8m has been spent largely on infrastructure (as appears to be the case) then what is a gamble there? It's money that has had to be spent and we've done so. The £1.8m interest-free loan over a period of 240 payments (20 years) is comfortably payable for a club of our size (£1,700 per week) and it seems to have been lost in the shuffle that we were one of the lowest borrowers from this fund in the league.

I can tell you with 100% certainty though, we have not ploughed through that money and spent it solely on the squad - not even close. £1.8m on top of whatever our usual budget is and calling that budgeting for 7th? Come on!

For a bit of clarity, £1.8m going towards the playing squad over a year would equate to an extra £25k-£30k a week going on squad wages. THAT is how ridiculous the notion of that level of money going solely on players is at our level. Something like £300k added to the budget by comparison would be around an extra £5k-£6k space added onto the squad's weekly wage bill which looking at the level of player we've brought in, seems far more realistic.

I refer back to the original point that spending money does not automatically make something unaffordable. Blowing through money you don't have makes it unaffordable. If we had £2.8m in the bank and now have £1m, that does not in and of itself paint a picture of crisis, especially if that money is being put to good use such as improving the training ground (which we know for a fact at least some of it has and at twice the cost it really should have).

Edited by djchapsticks
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3 minutes ago, DumbartonBud said:

I would hope that we will be able to look at Ralston when the work is completed and say that was value for money………. When is the lease up?

I'm sure we got it on something like an 80 or 99 year lease when it was built?

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4 minutes ago, djchapsticks said:

I'm sure we got it on something like an 80 or 99 year lease when it was built?

Just checked was originally 20years but was extended to 60 which makes spending money on it more sensible but given the time and money expended I am hoping that it is improvements rather than just repair. 

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The real takeaway here is that the club, and everyone involved, is aware of the issues.

We've spent a lot of money, as we have needed to do, and which we had available to spend. Now we no longer have that money to spend and all the chat is around balancing the books. Tweaking the outgoings to make sure we don't go into the red.

Honestly, I have zero concerns.

Spoiler

Just glad Stewart Gilmour has been on hand to save us.

 

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13 hours ago, Steven Glansberg said:

Yeah.

We should always budget to finish second bottom, just happy to be part of the pack, and never once aim above our station.

Let's usher in yet another generation of St Mirren fans who'll only ever witness a team happy to win a handful of games all season and set a goal of nothing but avoiding relegation, hoping we get lucky with a cup run. 

God forbid someone has the ambition to try and move the club forward and aim a bit higher. 

The problem with a club like ours is that we seek to spend every penny we have each season on the squad, but a massive part of the income that pays for that squad is down to how it subsequently performs on the pitch.

It’s a chicken and egg scenario.

Can’t improve the squad without more money, can’t generate more money without a better squad.

So the only way of bucking that trend is if you come into a lump sum of money either through a player transfer or a “donation” or you borrow it.

In our case that event was the arrival of the £1.7m interest free long term loan from the government.

With that sitting in the bank and the club having come through the COVID season better than expected (two cup semi final runs and some more John McGinn money helped that) the board took a punt on the squad and threw what looks like another £500K at the playing budget (the difference between 7th and 11th).

I’ve no massive problem with that but having finished 9th we took a bath for a couple of hundred grand.

Adding in other expenditure though we’ve somehow managed to burn through a total of £1.7m in 12 months.

So we then get to this season, with a million in the bank. 

So a more reasonable approach in my opinion at that stage would be to reign things in a wee bit, but instead it seems we’ve budgeted for 7th again.

That’s ambitious, which some will applaud, but it’s a dangerous game too and surely you can understand why.

We have a good squad, we are more than competitive in the league and there is every chance we can get 7th, or maybe even do better, but…..

This is a very competitive league and there is no guarantee that spending more is going to pay off. 

In such a tight league a bad run of results can have you tumbling down the table. 

Whatever way you dress it up it’s a gamble and its a delicate balancing act to make sure that gamble does not put the club at risk.

I’ve seen the club gamble before and it took us a decade to recover when it went wrong.

I’m maybe boring but I’d rather not go through that again.

 

 

 

 

 

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54 minutes ago, elvis said:

The next five games could really f**k us up 4 away and the mighty Aberdeen in Paisley that could see zero points and a seriously bad goals against colum.

We’ll make a San Marino World Cup qualification campaign look successful with the record we are about to set in these 5 games. 

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1 hour ago, Div said:

The problem with a club like ours is that we seek to spend every penny we have each season on the squad, but a massive part of the income that pays for that squad is down to how it subsequently performs on the pitch.

It’s a chicken and egg scenario.

Can’t improve the squad without more money, can’t generate more money without a better squad.

So the only way of bucking that trend is if you come into a lump sum of money either through a player transfer or a “donation” or you borrow it.

In our case that event was the arrival of the £1.7m interest free long term loan from the government.

With that sitting in the bank and the club having come through the COVID season better than expected (two cup semi final runs and some more John McGinn money helped that) the board took a punt on the squad and threw what looks like another £500K at the playing budget (the difference between 7th and 11th).

I’ve no massive problem with that but having finished 9th we took a bath for a couple of hundred grand.

Adding in other expenditure though we’ve somehow managed to burn through a total of £1.7m in 12 months.

So we then get to this season, with a million in the bank. 

So a more reasonable approach in my opinion at that stage would be to reign things in a wee bit, but instead it seems we’ve budgeted for 7th again.

That’s ambitious, which some will applaud, but it’s a dangerous game too and surely you can understand why.

We have a good squad, we are more than competitive in the league and there is every chance we can get 7th, or maybe even do better, but…..

This is a very competitive league and there is no guarantee that spending more is going to pay off. 

In such a tight league a bad run of results can have you tumbling down the table. 

Whatever way you dress it up it’s a gamble and its a delicate balancing act to make sure that gamble does not put the club at risk.

I’ve seen the club gamble before and it took us a decade to recover when it went wrong.

I’m maybe boring but I’d rather not go through that again.

 

 

 

 

 

The whole point of SMISA was to keep the club in safe hands not just dodgy owners but a sound financial footing also. If there is a wee bit speculation going on that's fine if it's manageable.  If on the other hand more has been spent on a gamble of finishing on 7th place and the selling of player/players then that's a gamble to far for me.  The fact a former chairman who saved the club putting it on a sustainable financial footing wants to look at current finances can only be a good thing.  Given the money many hours spent trying to save the club we support Mr Gilmour at least deserves to see our financial state.  Nothing to see here then nothing to worry about.  

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1 hour ago, elvis said:

The next five games could really f**k us up 4 away and the mighty Aberdeen in Paisley that could see zero points and a seriously bad goals against colum.

Ffs what would it actually take for you to have a positive outlook regarding St Mirren?

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