Livingston boss Martindale admits offensive gesture was 'immature'

The Livingston manager was sent off for what he says was a joke with David Marshall.

Livingston boss David Martindale admits offensive gesture was ‘immature’ SNS Group

David Martindale won’t fight any Scottish FA ban after he was sent off for a gesture aimed at Hibs goalkeeper David Marshall and admits he made a mistake despite not meaning any offence.

The Livingston manager was shown a red card and sent to the stand late on in his team’s defeat to Hibs after he raised his middle finger in a gesture to Marshall.

Martindale explained after the match that the gesture had been made in jest to the Hibs goalie to indicate one minute of time after Marshall had shouted to the linesman to check how long was left in the game. He said Marshall had spoken to him to offer support and would speak up if needed to show no offence was taken.

The manager has now reflected on the incident and explained that it was an instant reaction at a time just after the opposition had scored and his own goalkeeper Shamal George looked to be injured. Martindale maintains that it was all in good humour, but accepts he should have behaved differently.

“I take full responsibility for it,” he said. “It was a wee bit of immaturity.

“I was having a wee bit of banter with David Marshall.

“I get caught up in the game but I’ve got to recognise at times that people are looking to me as a leader. I shouldn’t have done it.

“It was wrong, I was irresponsible and I understand that.

“I let myself down, and the club, the players and staff.”

Martindale explained that he had spoken to match officials after the game to explain his side of the incident and has now come to see that they interpreted things differently.

“I expect a ban for it,” he said. “I went in and spoke to the officials after the game and said if you make a gesture, it’s probably got to be in line with the context of you using that gesture.

“You can articulate that gesture with certain terminology that I feel is negative. The terms of the context is that it was in a joking manner.

“I was laughing, David was laughing. He grabbed me after the game and said ‘If you need me to back you…’, I wasn’t doing that offensively to him, albeit it was taken offensively.

“I went in and talked to the linesman and he is one of the better ones in the league but I was frustrated and I never really took his point of view at the time. He said “But it’s the gesture alone”. I never took that at the time and had a debate with them and I left with no animosity.

“It wasn’t until later when I was sitting in the house that I went ‘You know what, I take his point and I was in the wrong’.”

Martindale had said that he would not appeal any further ban but STV has learned that the Scottish SFA compliance officer has reviewed the incident and will take no further action. However, he has contacted Livingston to warn them that Martindale’s behaviour has been noted.

Injury to Obileye

The Livingston manager also revealed that he was expecting bad news concerning the injury to Ayo Obileye.

The centre-back had to be substituted during the Hibs game with a knee injury that looks likely to have ended his season.

“I think it’s a bad one,” Martindale said. “He’s going for an MRI once the swelling’s down. When I say a bad one, we think he’s going to miss the rest of the season and potentially into a bit of pre-season. It’s not a great one.”

January signing Luiyi de Lucas now looks set to fill Obileye’s role in the team for the months to come.

“Big Luiyi’s now been in (training) since early December so there’s enough adaptation period there,” said Martindale.

“His chance has probably come a bit earlier than I thought but I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do. I’m more than happy with putting him in at right centre-back.”

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code