Tag: Livingston

Ups And Downs At Livingston

Franchise or Brave New World? It’s now sixteen years since Livingston moved from the Meadowbank Stadium, changed their name and their town. Alasdair Sim writes on a rollercoaster ride. The ‘death knell’ for Livingston Football Club was due to be heralded in 2009 shortly after the team were demoted to the Siberia-esque echelons of the Scottish Football League. A double relegation to the Third Division looked set to signal the end for the central belt team and perhaps pen the last chapter in what is one of the most fascinating journeys in Scottish Football. The beaten, bruised and bloody body of Livingston FC was gasping for breath on a life support machine as the SFL decided how best to deal with the club after they narrowly avoided liquidation in July 2009 and were only brought back from the brink by Gordon McDougall and the former Chairman of Dumbarton, Neil Rankine; however the damaged had appeared to have done and the club looked certain to be doomed to a future decaying in Scottish football’s lower leagues. Uprooting a football team from its home and plonking it up the road is never going to go down well with any set of supporters and you only have to look south over the crumbling remains Hadrian’s Wall to see how a supporters’ backlash can manifest itself in the most extreme of ways –...

Read More

Livingston Revisited

Livingston’s financial collapse has started to turn into a bit of a soap opera with, as Gavin Saxton reports, the Scottish Football League having taken severe action against the stricken club. Rob Freeman has already given some of the background to the ongoing saga at Livingston, but since then the situation has developed apace, leading to three clubs being moved between divisions three days before the start of the season, Livingston not playing any games pending their appeal(s), other clubs playing “provisional” fixtures, and the Scottish Football League left pondering a change to their rules to enable clubs to bypass unscrupulous owners. Lower league Scottish football politics are something of a niche market. In the first instance, Livingston were finally taken to court by West Lothian Council for non-payment, principally, of the rent on the stadium. With no payment forthcoming and many other debts piling up, Insolvency Practitioner Donald McGruther was appointed by the court as Interim Manager, under the terms of the relevant Insolvency Act, as a prelude to full administration. Within a day or two McGruther had assessed the situation, declared that Livingston had no cash flow at all, no assets and would go under unless Chariman Angelo Massone sold his shareholding to the main interested party preparing a rescue package – a consortium involving former Cowdenbeath Chairman Gordon McDougall, former Dumbarton director Neil Rankine, and the...

Read More

Livi On The Edge?

As the fallout from the Setanta collapse threatens to throw Scottish Football into turmoil, Rob Freeman takes a look at one of Scotland’s franchise clubs, Livingston, who are close to collapse without this having happened. The Scottish Franchise club, Livingston, is one step closer to going out of business after they admitted they are unlikely to pay their rent arrears of £280k by the end of the month. Livingston may as well have been the prototype for the theft of Wimbledon FC by Bjorn Rune Gjelsten and Kjell-Inge Rokke in 2002. In this instance it was Meadowbank Thistle who were the victims. Meadowbank were originally the works team for the Ferranti engineering firm in Edinburgh, who upon election to the Scottish League in 1974 were forced to change their name, as a condition of entry, so as to meet the League’s rules on sponsorship. In the 1990s, however, the Scottish League decided to reorganise, and Meadowbank Thistle ended up dropping from Division Two to the new Division Three. When this occurred, Meadowbank Thistle chairman Bill Hunter claimed that the club were losing money and could not survive at that level – excuses Wimbledon fans will remember vividly from their own experience. The “solution” that Hunter’s used will also be familiar to Wombles – he moved Meadowbank Thistle to the new town of Livingston and took their new home’s name....

Read More