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Livingston: Missed opportunity to change Scottish football

The West Lothian club says it supported Rangers' calls for an independent investigation into the SPFL vote.

Livingston: Missed opportunity to change Scottish football SNS
Livingston supported independent probe.

Livingston FC has confirmed it voted in favour of an independent investigation into last month’s vote to end the lower-league season.

The West Lothian club said a new probe was “paramount to offer a level of transparency which would hopefully allow us all to move forward in tandem”.

Rangers’ resolution to try and force an investigation, which was supported by Hearts and Stranraer, was defeated yesterday by by a two-to-one majority.

Rangers had called for Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) chief executive Neil Doncaster and legal advisor Rod McKenzie to be suspended on the back of the vote which ended the lower-league season last month and handed the SPFL board the power to do likewise for the Ladbrokes Premiership.

But the Ibrox club’s resolution only drew 13 of the 32 votes needed to pass. There were 27 votes against and two clubs abstained.

Livingston said they supported the resolution due to trust issues that have arisen and grown since the ‘missing Dundee vote’ and subsequent verbal disagreements.

The SPFL board commissioned auditor Deloitte to examine the circumstances surrounding Dundee’s vote on April 10 and an investigation found no evidence of improper behaviour.

“This division between clubs has created barriers that we need to try to heal at the earliest opportunity.

Livingston FC Statement

In a statement released on Wednesday, Livingston said: “This division between clubs has created barriers that we need to try to heal at the earliest opportunity.

“We feel an investigation would have been the first hurdle in a process that would hopefully bring everyone back on the same page. When finished, and with clarity provided, this would allow us all to get on with the task in hand which is saving our football clubs with collective action.”

Livingston also expressed frustration over the lack of support for league reconstruction.

The statement said: “The Joint Response Group put a massive amount of time and energy into this process and we felt it didn’t receive the respect it so deserved. In our opinion it was far too briskly dealt with.

“We voted for the resolution on the understanding that league reconstruction was a distinct possibility but very early in the process it became apparent this was never going to get off the ground. This disappointed us.

“It is our firm belief that no team in Scotland should be adversely affected by the coronavirus crisis that we find ourselves in.

“It’s simply unbelievable that, on top of the challenges we face, we see fellow teams finding themselves relegated while others are adversely affected via being unable to compete for promotion. The impact of this could hamper teams for many years to come,” the statement added.