Livingston backing SPFL plan to end Premiership season

The club say calling the league now is the best option, with no perfect solution available.

Livingston Football Club have confirmed they will be voting for the SPFL proposal that could see the Premiership season ended prematurely.

The league body spoke with all 42 member clubs on Wednesday and proposed a vote that would see the Championship and Leagues 1 and 2 brought to a premature end, with titles, promotion and relegation all decided on an average points per game basis.

Top flight clubs will also vote but action will only be taken to draw a line under the Premiership season if it proves impossible to find space to schedule games.

Rangers and Hearts have both said that they will oppose the move but Livingston are convinced that the season has to be called, believing there will be no time to finish the season before the new one must start, and stressing that the new TV deal has to be given priority.

A statement addressed to fans on the club website read: “There are a number of reasons why we are supporting this resolution, which we hope to outline below:

“In a letter from Scottish Ministers to the SPFL, the guidance suggests that the restrictions currently in place may not be lifted until a minimum of June 10. However, our understanding is that it is likely to be later than this. These guidelines are in place to help to alleviate the pressure on the NHS.

“In our opinion, there is no viable space to finish the current season and we feel with over 75% of the games completed, an average points per game system is the best of all options, in which no option is great. Unfortunately, it is impossible to find a neutral ground which suits everyone.

“It is fundamental to Livingston Football Club that league prize money can be paid out, as we have a duty of care to our employees and fans to ensure we still have a football club for the following season. The only way for league money to be distributed is via the league season concluding and we must emphasise that voiding the season does not achieve this.

“From all discussions with the SPFL, it is our opinion that one thing that is paramount in fulfilling the new contracts is from Sky Sports and Premier Sports is that the new season starts on the contractual dates, or as close to as possible within reason.

“As a club, we feel that living in this state of limbo is detrimental to next year’s revenue streams and closure is needed. Season tickets and commercial sponsorship play a huge part in our business model and bringing the season to an end allows our business to focus on the new season ahead.

“From our perspective, this ha been an extremely tough decision to come to as we as a football club would have loved the opportunity to finish the season and push for a European spot, which was potentially worth huge amounts of revenue.

“Our preferred option, back on March 13, was to finish the current league before the new one started. It has become abundantly clear that this would be difficult at best to achieve, talking into account the pandemic, financial and contractual agreements.”

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