LIVINGSTON

Scottish Football Answers to Questions
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Post by Scottish » Thu Jul 30, 2009 5:01 pm

Skyline Drifter wrote: It's no less ridiculous for you effectively repeating it. No-one is suggesting that you should "forget" the past, just don't judge the present for it. Condemn the guys who brought in clubs in the 20's if you want, don't use it as an axe to beat the guys now.

The record of clubs admitted pre-Meadowbank is completely irrelevant. Personally I'd contend the record of Meadowbank is also irrelevant but there's at least some mileage in that one. It's not about whether I can remember it, it's about whether the people and system currently involved are still the same.
The system is much the same but the people are different. Turning your phrase on its head why not praise the guys who brought in the clubs in the 90s instead of using their accomplishments to laud those in charge now?

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Post by Skyline Drifter » Thu Jul 30, 2009 8:54 pm

scottish wrote:
Skyline Drifter wrote: Fine, ignore Meadowbank, ignore Ross County. Ignore the whole lot of them if you like. It was you who brought in the issue of the SFL "past record" anyway.
And I'm not going to apologise for doing so or to go back on my assertion that the record is mixed. It was you who chose to select admissions you could personally remember as justification for claiming the record to be a good one.
Skyline Drifter wrote:I would however, happily support a move towards a pyramid system between the SFL and non-leagues, be it with or without playoffs, on a regular basis.
I repeat, this is how the English play-offs started - as a one-off to 're-balance' the divisions with no intention of them becoming a permanent part of the season.

Of course if it isn't good enough for clubs to take up vacancies in the SFL on merit then there's no argument when the SPL does the same, as it has on several occasions in the past decade (which I trust is recent enough for comparison) much to the detriment of the game.
David, if you really seriously think that using the record of the SFL on admissions in the 1920's is ammunition in this debate then I despair. It's pointless. If you think a playoff is the fairest way to admit a new member fine. I don't agree. I cannot however see how any reasoned individual can claim that the justification for this is a failure to elect the right sides 9 decades ago.

I got the point about the English the first time you mentioned it. it doesn't change my point of view.

I've read your last paragraph several times now and whilst it's clearly meant to be a sarcastic barb (again) I don't actually understand it so I can't address it.

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Post by Scottish » Thu Jul 30, 2009 9:18 pm

I never cited the 1920s as evidence for what should be done today. I simply said the SFL have a mixed record over many years. I don't impose an artificial deadline. But even accepting your viewpoint that all the people who made the decisions back then are all gone, so too it is true to say that hardly anyone in a position of influence now was present in 1994. The present club and SFL office-holders (with precious few exceptions) have as much to do with the admission of Ross County as they do with that of Edinburgh City.

The last para is far from sarcastic. Simply an acknowledgment that if you refuse to accept merit as the best determinant for admission to membership then there can't be any complaint when the SPL do likewise - which they have done several times in the past turning the 1st division "promotion" race into a non-event. The English Conference was guilty of this a few years ago when squealing about how difficult it was for its clubs to meet Football League standards while simultaneously imposing unrealistic demands on its own feeder leagues.

In any case the corpse has now twitched back into life and the 'No Vacancies' sign is back in the window.

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Post by LLD » Thu Jul 30, 2009 11:32 pm

scottish wrote:In any case the corpse has now twitched back into life and the 'No Vacancies' sign is back in the window.
Sorry to disappoint... :)

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Post by Tom Brogan » Wed Aug 05, 2009 5:07 pm

Here's the latest on Livi and their relegation to the third.

http://www.scotsman.com/football/Living ... 5527516.jp

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Post by LLD » Wed Aug 05, 2009 5:14 pm

LLD wrote:
scottish wrote:In any case the corpse has now twitched back into life and the 'No Vacancies' sign is back in the window.
Sorry to disappoint... :)
Scrap that.

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Post by Scottish » Wed Aug 05, 2009 7:49 pm

What hold do Lanarkshire clubs have over the game's authorities? After Motherwell avoiding the drop several times despite finishing in a relegation position, we now have Airdrie United. Beaten in the promotion play-offs in 2008 they were nevertheless promoted as a consequence of Gretna going bust. Relegated fair and square in 2009 they have now been reprieved. And, let's not forget, this club LOST the vote to be elected to the Third Division in 2002 yet managed to start league life as a 2nd division club!

Today's decision doesn't make sense. It reeks of self-interested clubs effectively vetoing the deal arranged by SFL officials last week. Surely the fairest way -given that the SFL bent over backwards to ensure Livingston's survival - was to impose a penalty that was sufficient punishment but not so lop-sided as to effectively relegate them. Say, a ten points deduction.

Now I read that Livvy can appeal against this decision and if they do then the whole league is fecked up on its opening day. It's not just Livingston, Airdrie United and Cowdenbeath that are affected. Ross County and East Stirling don't know if they have home games this weekend and face the possibility of having one of their biggest gates of the season postponed until the middle of winter. And Arbroath have no idea if they have a game or, if they do, where it is. Queen of the South and Montrose had better not make travel arrangements for the following weekend just yet and Brechin would be advised to put their match programme on hold.

That's 30% of the SFL clubs facing disruption of some kind in the opening seven days of the season.

And the people who took this decision represent who? The SFL clubs of course. Piss-ups & breweries, shags & brothels, you name it, there is no situation so bad, so awful, so intolerable that the gentlemen of the Scottish Football League cannot make worse.

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Post by Alan McCabe » Wed Aug 05, 2009 10:13 pm

You are absolutely correct David. These are the sorts of actions more ordinarily seen in your Sunday Pub Leagues than at senior level.
Taking the situation with East Stirlingshire, they being only one of many smaller clubs affected, both Les Thomson and Paul Marnie (administrative heads) have a real headache developing.
While a Shire v Cowdenbeath fixture might not whet the appetite of too many, these wee clubs still have their corporate bands and hospitality users to please. As few as they may be, they are a hard enough group to entice without having to disappoint at ridiculously short notice.
I got a call tonight to advise that programme contributions are not now required and, being involved in the printing side too, now find an anticipated job number being removed from the project roster.
Being almost entirely volunteers that man these clubs' requirements, it appears to me that the self-interested within the SFL have effectively shunted the 'free club' fixture down to the lowest denominator, i.e. the Third Division.
Without going over all the pyramid pros 'n' cons again, if the SFL have afforded Livingston the right of appeal and this being a process that could last 10 days, then surely this same 'window' could be opened to allow a quick-fire application process for a new member club?
While a fixture loss may only number around a thousand accumulated punters (covering both idle Saturdays), these are the bread 'n' butter incomes for these small clubs. Would an SPL club happily lose two home fixtures from the schedule? Absolutely not!
It would've been interesting to know what the Third Division members contributed to today's decision.

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Post by Scottish » Wed Aug 05, 2009 10:48 pm

Alan McCabe wrote: it appears to me that the self-interested within the SFL have effectively shunted the 'free club' fixture down to the lowest denominator, i.e. the Third Division.
That, I think, will be the end result. I can't see any way Livingston can fulfil the fixture list now that they will be deprived of gate money from the likes of Partick Thistle, Dunfermline & Dundee. I'd estimate those three clubs are worth around £100,000 at least over the season.

As to the Third Division's input into today's decision, who knows. The SFL doesn't - AFAIK - list the management committee members on their website.

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Post by HibeeJibee » Wed Aug 05, 2009 11:31 pm

In addition to Longmuir and the office bearers, there's 2 reps per division + 2 others (IIRC). I think Ballantyne (Div 2) sat out: a conflict of interest.

It's practical for the SFL to partly compensate Div 3 clubs for lost income IMO.

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Post by Alan McCabe » Thu Aug 06, 2009 12:44 am

Having reread my previous post, I realise I should have declared my view that I feel this move could be the death-knell of Livingston FC. I'd be astonished if the Livingston 5 group are as interested in the financial feasibility of the club in the fourth tier of League football as much as they were in the second.
If all things are equal, and they should undoubtedly be, then any bond required to complete First Division fixtures must be carried irrespective of what Division Livingston play in. That could be a major stumbling block for potential investors especially considering that few, if any, Third Division sides bring anything above double-figure travelling fan groups, indeed some could conceivably bring fewer supporters than squad players!
I'm not for killing any club mind you, although two spells of insolvency in such a short space of time must call into doubt many Livingston directors even before Massone's catastrophic tenure.
If Livingston consider themselves one of the 'middle range' clubs in Scotland (something I'm yet to be convinced of given their relatively recent metamorphosis from Meadowbank Thistle), then they deserve what penalties they have suffered for no other reason than many other (genuine) 'middle rangers' have had to cut their cloth accordingly.
As I've noted on other internet boards, why should Partick Thistle, Morton and Ayr United, as three examples, have had to suffer some very leans spells in the lower half of the SFL in their efforts to regain reasonable financial stability, and Livingston potentially avoid it?
I feel this episode has a bit to go but, if anything, again demonstrates the differences that appear to exist between the League executive and its member clubs.

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Post by Skyline Drifter » Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:13 am

HibeeJibee wrote:In addition to Longmuir and the office bearers, there's 2 reps per division + 2 others (IIRC). I think Ballantyne (Div 2) sat out: a conflict of interest.

It's practical for the SFL to partly compensate Div 3 clubs for lost income IMO.
Longmuir is NOT on the Management Committee. It's made up of elected memeber representatives. He is an employee. I don't know if he was involved in the meeting or not but he's not technically on the committee.

The committee is indeed made up of three office bearers (currently Jim Ballantyne, Brown McMaster and Donnie McIntyre) and two representatives each from the three divisions. Ballantyne is an office bearer and does not technically represent division two. I'm not certain who all the six divisional reps are but the two first division ones are Jim Leishman (Dunfermline) and someone from Ayr United (I forget the name). I know McIntyre DID double up as a third division rep last year because they failed to get two more representatives but I'm not sure if he still does.

Stephen Brown of St Johnstone and John Ruddy of Clyde were last year's first division reps but both had to resign in the summer with Brown promoted to the SPL and Ruddy removed from office at Clyde.

I know that Ballantyne was telling people last week he would not be involved in any decision over Livingston due to a conflict of interest.

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Post by HibeeJibee » Thu Aug 06, 2009 2:34 pm

Skyline Drifter wrote: Longmuir is NOT on the Management Committee. It's made up of elected memeber representatives. He is an employee. I don't know if he was involved in the meeting or not but he's not technically on the committee.
Aye sorry - I was meaning 'in the room', as opposed to 'has a vote'. I am 90% sure he attends these meetings: if anything as he's accountable to it.

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Post by Alan McCabe » Sat Aug 08, 2009 5:44 pm

Can't for the life of me understand the stance adopted by Livingston.
While they may feel aggrieved at their belated demotion, they have at least been offered some sort of existence within the SFL, something they should be more than content to have preserved.
To claim the playing of the scheduled match at Ochilview against East Stirlingshire could prejudice their case against the original demotion being overturned is truly astonishing. Whose decision was this? It appears to have the hallmarks of a non-footballing mind I reckon. This could prove to be yet another telling error in the overall operation of Livingston FC. The SFL, within which I imagine to be an ever-decreasing minority of sympathetic allies, had already covered its back by declaring the three games involving the recently promoted/relegated clubs would be 'provisional' contests. For this reason, I am astounded as to why Livingston decided not to fulfill their scheduled fixture.
If there was grave doubt surrounding Livi's future before Friday's decision to boycot, then I truly believe this will result in a deserved 'double whammy'. The SFL will, IMHO, invoke the ruling used to penalise Hamilton 15 points around a decade ago after they failed to turn up for their scheduled game at the same venue.
The outcome I envisage is Livingston staying in Division 3, if they choose to continue, being deducted around 12 points for failing to fulfill a fixture and facing a hefty fine, almost inevitably a suspended one. If it looked bad before then I reckon this crazy decision will all but sink a critically listing ship.
I'm left wondering if the administrator and/or potential backers possibly see the closure of the current club as the best way forward. With the SFL not intent on replacing them for this coming season, it could give the fans and backers the time to reassess, reassemble and ultimately reapply for the vacancy early next year. With the facilities they may possess, a huge potential fanbase in comparison to any other applicants, we may see West Lothian Thistle, or whatever new name is chosen, emerge debt-free from the carnage of Livingston FC.
With the way the SFL clubs can vote, who would rule that out?

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