Thursday, July 02, 2009

Is this the death throes of the Livi Lions?

Yesterday West Lothian Council started court proceeding to get the back rent from Angelo Massone the chairman of Livingston Football Club. The day before the club failed to gain its safety certificate, that is galling and can only be a manpower issue as the stadium itself was still structurally sound last time I was in it.

These Italians came to Livingston's rescue last summer after Pearse Flynn admitted he was at the bottom of his pocket. The fact that the ex-chairman has managed to win his only court case concerning the football club last season while suing us for money has not unnoticed though. It does lay the hand of blame for the current crisis at both the current and former Chairman's doors.

If Livi do go into administration the penalty imposed on Gretna last season before they folded completely was relegation to Division 3. Livingson like Gretna have been down there before. Although not for long in either case. The 10,040 seats of Livingston will probably look like a constant ghost town without the occasional big support through from Dundee, Dunfermline or Partick again if that were the case. As the club didn't have this much stadium when we were last in Division 3.

In the meantime the club is limping on. Massone is saying no matter what he will stay. That he is working with friends to get the finances together, willing to pay next season's rent in advance and up the repayment plan from £10,000 to £20,000.

Well if he is going to do that why hasn't he done that before? A lot of fans are currently holding off renewing their season tickets as they have no idea what is going on, what is going to happen and if at the start of the new season the new coach John Murphy will actually have a team to manage, let alone fans allowed in the stands to watch.


Caron said...

Isn't it a bit counterproductive of the SFA to put such punitive measures in place if a club goes into admnistration? Surely relegation to division 3 when they still have the same overheads would just kill them off completely.

It would be ridiculous for a town this size not to have at least one top flight football team so I hope something can be done to save it.

Your post isn't terribly hopeful, by the sound of it, though.

I thought the chairman's having a go at the fans for not giving enough money was a disgrace.

Aye We Can ! said...

looks bleak - i only hope the council's action is aimed at forcing Massone to sell to another buyer who can then use their resources to save the club, not bail out Massone, who has been a disaster and failed to deliver on near every pledge.

Caron - you may be right about the level of punishment, but the SFL set the tariff with Gretna. and they need to be consistent and fair to ther teams .And as Gretna showed - having a club go bust mid season raises huge problems in terms of a league's iontegrity, and would leave the SFL open to legal challenges on a range of other fronts

Stephen Glenn said...

The SFL as AWC says have got to act fair and the drop to Division 3 was the punishment meted out on Gretna last summer before they went belly up. When we went into Admin in 2004 there were no such sanctions but that was seen by the other clubs as being unfair. If a debt could be written off and a club starting afresh.

It certainly doesn't look good. And now I am trying to negotiate a change in plans for my weekend. To try and attend the emergency meeting, which I know will be heated.

It's been a nervous 5 years and this is the most harrowing it has been since first going in Admin, even worse as then we were a SPL side that had were on the way to winning a piece of silverware.

Stephen Glenn said...
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Stephen Glenn said...
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