St Mirren in Europe as brilliant Buddies end 37-year wait to qualify for UEFA Conference League

St Mirren will be playing European football next season
St Mirren will be playing European football next season -Credit:SNS Group

St Mirren have qualified to play in Europe for the first time in 37 years tonight after fifth place in the Premiership was confirmed.

The black-and-white army will be getting their passports stamped en masse this summer with the Buddies competing in the 2024-25 UEFA Conference League.

A 5-2 win for Rangers over Dundee at Ibrox sealed Saints' spot with two games to spare. The Dark Blues are five points adrift of Stephen Robinson's side and only have one match remaining.

Paisley punters rolling up to the SMiSA Stadium for tomorrow night's final home game of the season against Hearts will get the party started with the 90 minutes set to be a celebration as the club end a 37-year Euro wait.

Saints will enter the Conference League – the new name for the Europa Conference League – in the second qualifying round. The all-important draw will be made on Wednesday, June 19.

The first leg of the tie is expected to be Thursday, July 25 with the second leg the following Thursday, August 1. The Buddies will play at least one two-legged match.

Qualifying for Europe will provide a huge boost to the SMiSA Stadium coffers with the club set to receive at least £450,000 in prize money plus matchday revenue from ticket sales, hospitality and sponsorship.

However, the financial benefits will play second fiddle for supporters. Two generations of Saints fans have never seen the club play European football but history will be made in just over two months time.

The last time Saints featured in continental competition was 1987 when they were in the Cup Winners' Cup. After beating Norwegian side Tromso 2-1 on aggregate in the first round, they lost 2-0 over two legs to eventual champions Mechelen of Belgium.

A by-product of European qualification for Saints is they will not be competing in the group stages of next season's Premier Sports Cup and so advance straight to the knockout stage.

Don't miss the latest Renfrewshire headlines – sign up to our free daily newsletter here