LIVINGSTON

Scottish Football Answers to Questions
LEATHERSTOCKING
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LIVINGSTON

Post by LEATHERSTOCKING » Fri Jul 17, 2009 6:05 pm

If Livi go belly up, do Airdrie get back into the 1st Division & Queen`s Park back into the 2nd Division?

ScottishFA
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Post by ScottishFA » Fri Jul 17, 2009 8:01 pm

Very unlikely.

If the club goes into administration, it is the limited company that goes into administration, not the football team. So the team retains its membership of the SFL - albeit with a points deduction. The administrator would make every effort to continue trading, and obviously playing matches and taking part in organised football is the best possible way to get some income in. Also, more importantly, the administrator would want to sell the club as a going concern to a new owner, and it is worth considerably more if it is still in the SFL.

However, if the company is liquidated, then of course all its employees - including the players - would have their contracts terminated. If that happens before the start of the season, then the SFL would have to decide what to do about the uneven numbers in the first division. I can't see this happening, given the timescale.

All things being equal, I suspect Airdrie and QP will just have to get promotion the hard way.

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Post by Scottish » Fri Jul 17, 2009 10:30 pm

ScottishFA wrote: I can't see this happening, given the timescale.
And that's the big difference between now and what happened in 2002 with Airdrieonians. There was plenty of time then to make the necessary changes and when the fixtures were published they showed Falkirk and Stenhousemuir both reprieved and Gretna admitted to the Third Division (they still showed Clydebank in the 2nd but that's another story).

As of now we are looking at one week till the Challenge Cup starts, two weeks to the League Cup and three weeks for the League.

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Post by LLD » Sat Jul 18, 2009 10:43 am

The word on the street is that an Administrator will be appointed on Tuesday, but we'll see what happens.

Incidentally, a points deduction for entering administration is not automatic within the SFL. Instead, their rulebook allows the Management Committee to deal with these things "as they see fit", which obviously gives them broad scope to punish clubs.

The situation appears to be very grim, and in an act of total desperation the Livi board have moved a friendly with Plymouth Argyle to Bathgate Thistle's Creamery Park ground on Monday night as Almondvale doesn't have a safety certificate.

And just when you think you've seen it all, the admission prices for this game will be £16 for adults and £10 for kids.

£16 to stand in a Junior ground is surely a record.

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Post by Skyline Drifter » Sat Jul 18, 2009 10:11 pm

ScottishFA wrote:Very unlikely.

If the club goes into administration, it is the limited company that goes into administration, not the football team. So the team retains its membership of the SFL - albeit with a points deduction.
There's no automatic points deduction for going into administration in the SFL. The management committee have it within their discretionary powers to do just about anything they like about it and it may well be given that the SPL and Coca Cola Leagues go with points deductions these days that they might opt for the same but it's not set in stone.

Otherwise spot on.

At this late stage even if Livi went into liquidation tomorrow I doubt it would be practical to rearrange the leagues. I'm also not entirely sure the clubs in question would want the last minute promotion. They have assembled a squad for the division they are in based on budgets for that level. You'd have to assume they may be ill set for a campaign at a higher level. They may have in Airdrie's case at least let players such as Di Giacomo and Lynch go because they either didn't want to drop a level or they simply couldn't afford their salaries now. It would be difficult to move up with lesser players now.

I suspect it will be irrelevant anyway. Livi will struggle on through at least a month or two yet.

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Post by LEATHERSTOCKING » Tue Jul 21, 2009 1:04 pm

Queen`s Park don`t have a player budget.

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Post by Skyline Drifter » Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:05 pm

LEATHERSTOCKING wrote:Queen`s Park don`t have a player budget.
Queen's Park aren't especially relevant. Precedent would suggest that the two sides invited back up would be the losing playoff finalists.

Not going to happen anyway. Livi will start the season.

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Post by LLD » Thu Jul 23, 2009 10:55 pm

Latest:

Court hearing tomorrow at 9.30 in the Court of Session, when Livingston is likely to be placed into administration for a second time.

The SFL are expected to ask the administrator for assurances about fulfilling the season's fixtures, which won't be given, and the rumour is that the club will be relegated to the Third Division.

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Post by Scottish » Thu Jul 23, 2009 11:45 pm

LLD wrote:Latest:

Court hearing tomorrow at 9.30 in the Court of Session, when Livingston is likely to be placed into administration for a second time.

The SFL are expected to ask the administrator for assurances about fulfilling the season's fixtures, which won't be given, and the rumour is that the club will be relegated to the Third Division.
Two weeks before the start of the season!!!

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Post by HibeeJibee » Thu Jul 23, 2009 11:49 pm

They cannot, surely, promote Airdrie and Queen's Park - and as a result alter fixtures in all 3 divisions - at 2 weeks notice? I mean, surely not? It is the SFL we're talking about... but surely, surely, even they are not that ridiculous? Airdrie in particular will take a hiding with the squad they have built - a squad built to compete in the Second Division... not in the First...

Presumably demotion to the Third Division = administrators deciding they can't run the club at a profit = Livingston fold in weeks and Third Division runs with 9? Do they then take in a non-leaguer and make them catch up?

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Post by Scottish » Fri Jul 24, 2009 1:19 am

I agree that the Third Division spells doom. Just as it did when the same was mooted for Gretna. If the administrators can't give a guarantee they'll fulfil 1st division fixtures how can they guarantee they'll do so in the 3rd? I've no wish to see another club die but if it's going to happen it's going to happen irrespective of what division they're in.

Either way if they go it leaves an appalling dilemma. Either 'promote' clubs not prepared for it or leave the 1st division a club short with all the knock-on effects that brings - one club without a fixture every week and every club losing revenue from two home matches. Add in the fact that supporters will have bought season tickets on the understanding they've paid for 18 matches and it's a recipe for disaster.

I have sympathy for the SFL here. It's difficult to see what else they could have done to avert this other than to insist on 'health checks' at the end of the previous season. And that in turn could turn out to be meaningless. Say Livvy were still in the SPL and faced such a check in May. They could have cited the Setanta deal as evidence of income.

One thing is certain. Two weeks or no two weeks, there will be plenty of takers for a league place and with the Gretna debacle so recent the SFL will be up to date on potential new clubs financial circumstances and ground conditions.

Obviously the best solution is for Livingston to continue but if that's not possible then on balance the way forward is to upgrade Airdrie United and Cowdenbeath as losing play-off finalists and admit a new club. None of the losers last time - Cove Rangers, Edinburgh City, Spartans & Preston Athletic - stand out. The Highland League has just admitted three new clubs and lost its lopsidedness only to find that would return if Cove left, and I'm not sure how well supported they'd be, especially as they'd be taking over fixtures which might well clash often with Aberdeen (I've not had the chance to look in detail but I'd be surprised if there weren't several clashes). The history of Edinburgh clubs outwith the 'big two' is even worse than that of Glasgow. And while Prestonpans might not be the smallest place to have a league side it wouldn't be far off it.

All that said, if there is a vacancy then it should go to either Cove Rangers or Spartans. The former have won the last two Highland Leagues and Spartans are current EoS champions. Given the short notice they would be the sides best placed to make the transition.

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Post by Skyline Drifter » Fri Jul 24, 2009 9:10 am

[quote="HibeeJibee"]They cannot, surely, promote Airdrie and Queen's Park - and as a result alter fixtures in all 3 divisions - at 2 weeks notice? I mean, surely not?
[quote]
And again, as I already said in the post above this one, Airdrie and Cowdenbeath, not Airdrie and Queen's Park. :wink:

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Post by HibeeJibee » Fri Jul 24, 2009 10:22 pm

Well maybe I want Queen's Park 8)... will SFL really take a new club now btw? At days notice, and with the knock-on effect on other clubs/leagues and travel plans?

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Post by Scottish » Fri Jul 24, 2009 10:36 pm

HibeeJibee wrote:will SFL really take a new club now btw? At days notice, and with the knock-on effect on other clubs/leagues and travel plans?
In the event of Livingston being unable to guarantee their fixtures I believe it's better than the alternative which is a nine-club 1st (or 3rd) division with every club losing two home fixtures and one club idle every Saturday.

Yes there would be knock-on effects elsewhere but both the HFL and the EOSL are more used to having idle clubs than the SFL and fewer supporters would be short-changed. Season ticket holders expect to see 18 league matches, not 16.

However if Livvy fold and there is no replacement then it offers the SFL the opportunity to admit a new club in 2010-11 on merit as opposed to previous elections by giving them plenty of time to arrange a knockout tournament at the end of the season for would-be newcomers.

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Post by Skyline Drifter » Sat Jul 25, 2009 9:46 pm

scottish wrote:
HibeeJibee wrote:will SFL really take a new club now btw? At days notice, and with the knock-on effect on other clubs/leagues and travel plans?
However if Livvy fold and there is no replacement then it offers the SFL the opportunity to admit a new club in 2010-11 on merit as opposed to previous elections by giving them plenty of time to arrange a knockout tournament at the end of the season for would-be newcomers.
You don't seriously think there's the slightest chance of that happening do you?

For my money it's clearly far too late for the SFL to admit a new club this year even if Livi do go under. For that reason, unless the administrator quickly determines there's nothing to save and tells the SFL so then I'd expect them to start the season in the SFL. They may as well get as many games out of them as they can rather than actively chuck them out and cause a nine team league to happen.

If they do pull out of the SFL in the next week then the interesting question remains what will happen with Airdrie United and by extension potentially Cowdenbeath. Will they run with nine in the first division which is clearly the simplest solution but the least palatable? Will they move the two sides up and run with nine in the 3rd division where the loss of income will be less but the two last minute promoted sides will surely be severely disadvantaged? Or will they ask the clubs themselves whether they actually want promoted at this late stage (presumably Airdrie rejecting it would rule out Cowdenbeath and they wouldn't then offer the place to Clyde or Brechin?).?

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