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By ESPN Staff

St Mirren put up for sale by owners

St Mirren have announced that the club is being put up for sale.

Chairman Stewart Gilmour, vice-chairman George Campbell, secretary Allan Marshall, director Bryan McAusland and Evelyn Purves - widow of former director Jim Purves - have formed a consortium to sell their 98,000 shares in a single block.

That would give any buyer a controlling 52% stake in the Premier League club, one of the few in Scottish football to be debt-free and trading profitably.

Speaking for the consortium, Gilmour said: "The decision to sell our shares was not taken lightly. All the directors involved in the consortium feel we have achieved our objectives of making the club debt-free.

"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.

"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. 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.

"As individuals and board members, we recognise we couldn't go on forever and we want to make an orderly transition to having new people in charge who can make sure St Mirren continues to develop as a successful football club and business.''

Gilmour, the longest-serving chairman in St Mirren's 132-year history having been at the helm for the past 12 years, continued: "We expect a significant amount of interest in this controlling block of shares.

"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.

"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.

"Stepping down as chairman will leave a huge gap in my life and I'm sure it will be the same for the other directors who are selling their shares.

"But it will allow us to do the many other things in our business and personal lives that have been put on hold because of our commitment to St Mirren. It will certainly be an emotional time for all of us after the many years we have been directors of the club.

"As directors, we have been acutely aware that we are only custodians of this great club. I hope our efforts over the years have meant we have left a legacy that bodes well for the future of St Mirren.

"And 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.''


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