Livingston felt independent investigation was crucial for Scottish football

Gavin McCafferty, PA
·3-min read

Livingston claim an independent investigation would have helped Scottish football “heal” barriers as they explained their decision to back Rangers’ resolution.

Livi were one of four top-flight clubs to vote in favour of calls for a probe into the circumstances surrounding last month’s Scottish Professional Football League vote on ending the season, along with Rangers, Hearts and Aberdeen. The resolution was defeated by 27 votes to 13 with two clubs abstaining.

Livi stated they voted in favour primarily because of “process and governance issues” that came to the fore in recent weeks but emphasised they were not calling for any resignations or suspensions.

A club statement added: “This has mainly stemmed from trust issues that have arisen and grown since the ‘missing’ Dundee vote. Subsequent verbal disagreements that have been played out in the media.

“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.

“An investigation into the processes and procedures surrounding and emerging from this vote, we felt, was paramount to offer a level of transparency which would hopefully allow us all to move forward in tandem.”

Livingston also claimed that work done on possible reconstruction did not get due respect when it was “far too briskly dealt with” by top-flight clubs last week.

Livingston criticised the approach to reconstruction talks
Livingston criticised the approach to reconstruction talks (PA)

The club added: “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.

“We had an opportunity collectively to change the landscape of Scottish football by creating a proper pyramid structure with the introduction of the Highland and Lowland leagues while embracing change and bringing a competitive edge that this introduction would have instilled.

“Instead, we have failed as an organisation in our opinion to grasp the bigger picture and repair the trust breakdown that has been allowed to manifest for weeks if not longer.”

Clyde felt the scope and timing of an investigation was inappropriate
Clyde felt the scope and timing of an investigation was inappropriate (PA)

Meanwhile, Clyde explained why they had abstained from voting.

“As a board, we were unanimous in our view that the resolution and the supporting report had merit but, in truth, it pointed mostly to behaviours and practices which would not have surprised many in the lower leagues,” the League One club said.

“With that indictment it was difficult not to want to support some form of investigation or review.”

However, they listed a number of reasons why they did not think the proposal was appropriate, including the brand damage and division it would create.