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Page last updated at 09:47 GMT, Monday, 7 September 2009 10:47 UK

St Mirren up for sale - Gilmour

St Mirren chairman Stewart Gilmour
Gilmour said St Mirren would benefit from fresh blood in the boardroom

St Mirren chairman Stewart Gimour has put the Scottish Premier League club up for sale after deciding to step down.

Gilmour and vice-chairman George Campbell have formed a consortium with other board members to sell their 98,000 shares in a single block.

A 52% stake is available, with the club hoping to find a buyer by January.

Gilmour told BBC Scotland that it was the right time to sell, adding: "There's a fresh input required of finance and, more importantly, energy."

The St Mirren chairman revealed that the consortium had been mulling over the move for the past 12 months and that it had achieved its objectives of making the club debt-free.

The news comes less than nine months after the club moved to their new stadium from Love Street - which was sold to Tesco - thus clearing debt and allowing the Buddies to trade profitably.

That move also funded a new training ground and youth academy in Ralston, near Paisley.

Gilmour, the club's longest serving chairman, said the directors in the consortium were content to have cleared St Mirren's debt.

"In doing this, we have sacrificed much of our business and personal lives for St Mirren, putting in a considerable number of years of hard work and financial investment and overcoming many a crisis along the way," he added.

"We have been successful in making sure St Mirren is one of the very few teams in the country with the financial stability to progress in the future.

Love Street on final day
The club sold their old stadium to supermarket giants Tesco

"We believe it is now an appropriate time for us to move on, for someone else to take St Mirren forward and for the club to benefit from an injection of new energy, new ideas and new expertise."

And Gilmour has assured supporters any potential buyer must have St Mirren's best interests at heart.

"We won't necessarily accept the highest offer. Before we sell to anyone, we will make sure the people buying a controlling interest have the good of St Mirren at heart and the resources and expertise to take the club forward," he said.

"We would hope to conclude the sale of shares by the opening of the next transfer window at the beginning of January 2010.

"We are not disappearing. If asked by anyone who takes a controlling interest, we would be quite happy to remain individually or collectively to help run the club for a time after we have sold our shares.

"This would make sure there was continuity."

MY SPORT: DEBATE

Gilmour took the chair in 1997, replacing Robert Earlie, and has seen his side claim the First Division championship twice and have just begun their fourth successive Scottish Premier League season.

"Just because we won't be directors of the club, doesn't mean we stop being St Mirren supporters. We'll be cheering on the Saints from the stands with the rest of the fans," Gilmour added.



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see also
Stadium will 'save Buddies'
24 Mar 04 |  St Mirren
St Mirren stadium gets go-ahead
16 Aug 05 |  St Mirren
Saints given green light to sell
24 May 05 |  Scotland


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