You simply couldn’t make it up. If it was a novel, you’d have put it down by now and denounced it as too unrealistic to be readable. From nowhere, to three championships, two cup finals, a UEFA Cup run and we’ve been crowned “the best of the rest” in only eight seasons. And that’s just the first team, and not looking at the ripples we’ve caused within “the establishment”. With the highs, however, come the lows. The latest exciting chapter in our tale sees that SPL ne’er-do-well, administration, barging rudely into our lives. Somewhat unexpected in most quarters, but then again, why should we be surprised that such a rapid rise shouldn’t also meet such a swift and relatively unexpected hurdle? Our club has lived its life so far at a pace somewhere between 2-minute-mile and miracle.
There is little else to discuss on the boards and the relatively active football schedule– Dundee, Spartans, Partick and Motherwell– was broadly discussed in light of our financial plight. As such, this review will be heavily leaning on the situation we find ourselves mired in, as discussed by the board users. Anybody looking for an escape from the boards’ melee is probably barking up the wrong tree. I’ve had to summarise some parts of it myself so, as ever, if anybody feels they’re being taken out of context or have issue with what I am saying, then PM me or FAO: me on the messageboards and we’ll straighten it out.
As I mentioned before, it’s like a completely improbable story. Boy’s Own meets Rogue Trader. And, like any good story, it has a bit of everything…
lionsroar423 (welcome, new reader): “I have a contact at the Bank of Scotland that tells me that Livingston are about to go into admin as early as this week.
He also tells me we are not alone and Hearts will be close behind us.”
DELirious: “Aye right
That's why we're busy trying to extend the contracts of several players and have refused to extend the loan period of others whilst scouting for another midfielder and keeping hold of Fernandez. Cunning cost cutting measures those. [indeed]
And for you next prediction can you tell me the numbers I shouldn't do on the lottery.”
Spike: “I think any users who post sheer rubbish should be banned.
Day before a CIS semi I can see Keane walking in..."okay Marv, Lee, Stuart, Juanjo, Manu, Oscar, David, Jamie, we're in admin and we've sacked you all before our big games this week, and I cant wait for the 10-point penalty!"
If your gonna post crass stupidity, at least be constructive with it.”
lionsroar423 (welcome, new reader): “read the SOS tomorrow then post on here, you have been told.” Cue Eastenders style drum roll.
TALE OF THE UNEXPECTED
“Death of a Dream” shrieked the Scotland on Sunday headline, fronting an article that was long on implications and short on substance at the time.
Charles Darwin Esq: “The SOS story today is indeed dreadful reading. Quite the worst news and extremely unexpected. The fact DK has refused to deny it speaks volumes.
We should all be very worried.
My apologies for doubting your source lionsroar423.”
Wulsonforlivi: “If things were really as bad as this, DK would have been well aware of it for months, and I'm absolutely sure that some players would have been moved on in the January window to ease some debt. NO-ONE HAS!
Marvin would have banked us a wad of cash, Makel was debating a new deal and would have got us cash, we'd have saved Fernandez' salary by punting him back to parkhead, others would have been let go to ease the wage bill.
None of that happened, which suggests to me that DK is not panicking about the money situation, and that this story, although based on fact regarding the debt, has been built up into a scare tactic by s***-stirrers” This was certainly close to my initial take on it.
ThomasBW: “I was surprised at the ridicule yesterday at the mere suggestion of Livi going into administration. Everyone was convinced that the story was [inaccurate], which I thought was arrogance. Why shouldn't Livi be threatened with administration? We've got a half empty office block, we spent loads of money on a manager who left shortly after, AND we have high-earning players such as Cherif contributing nothing, not to mention Sergio Berti...
The fact is a few people cokeily thought that this wouldn't happen to our club, that we were run more efficiently than others. It's horrible news, but it's time for a reality check.” Fair points. Alas, unless you’re in the know, you can only go with the information you’re presented with. Most people were under the impression that Livingston FC was a stable and well run organisation – why should people have thought the very worst was just around the corner?
INEVITABLY, TRAGEDY STRIKES
And just like in Casualty and Holby City, it always happens to the ones with the most to live for. The Falkirks and Dunfermlines always seem to make it somehow, only to continue their godless ways.
Plug: “Dominic Keane joined the Fans Forum meeting a short time ago to pass on some very sad news regarding Livingston Football Club and his current position of Chairman.
He told the supporters present that due to recent developments he will be stepping down from his role as Chairman of LFC.
He quite openly admitted his feelings on the situation that the club has been forced into and stated that his position will become untenable when the administrator begins their work.
He joined the meeting having just told the players of his intentions. The players had been having a meal upstairs.
Dominic wanted to make sure that the players knew first and that Livingston fans were next to what will be happening.
Dominic was asked if this information was postable on this web site and he had no objections to Livingston fans being told in this manner.
It was all a bit strange to be sitting beside the man who has taken Livingston from the brink of going bust to the SPL and beyond, only to find itself being called to boot whilst still operating within it's agreed limits.
Dominic was not his usual upbeat self (very understandable) but did state his intention of wanting to return to Livingston FC to finish what has been started.
I've taken a lot of heart from this wee chat and re-iterate my full backing for DK, the board, the management, the players and all LFC staff.
Initially as supporters, all we can do is will the team to the CIS Cup Final tomorrow night and then see where we are.
Come on Livi!!!”
Mon the lions: “Very sad news indeed.
Thanks DK for all the great work you did to keep the club alive in the first place. If it wasnt for you, there would be no livingston to follow. [something that a lot of people forget]
Thats it then. We MUST all fully back the team into winning tomorrow night's game and the Spartans game next Sunday.
Livingston, team of my heart.
Livi til i die.
Livingston For Life.
MON THE LIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!! WIN IT FOR DK; US, THE FANS; AND YERSELVES!!!!!!!! WE KNOW YOU CAN - WE BELIEVE YOU CAN!!!”
Livilass: “It's not good news but it's not over. Motherwell have been in administration for a year and not only outbid other teams for players like toastie [which is pretty offensive in my book, but that’s another story] but also are playing pretty good stuff.
Bill came and went. Dom is going and may be back but either way the lions will roar on.” The phrase “no man is bigger than the club” is often spoken by club chairmen, and often they forget that it includes them too. I have no doubt that the club will survive in some form or another. And I’ll still be there, be it Easter Road or Cliftonhill.
FROM ADVERSITY, COME HEROES…
Forget the doom, get into the Dee. Talk about rollcoaster ride…
well chuffed!!!!!!!!!! dont care that it wasnt prettty, we woooooooooonnnnnnnnnnnn!
despite the best efforts of mike mccurry.
it was nice to put faces to names in the pub, and to top off an amazing night, i got dorados shirt at the end!!!!!!!!!
i think it was clear from the players reactions at the end when they came over how much taking the club to its first final means. was trying desperately for a hug from one of the players, but none of then were having it! pft...
by god my throat hurts”
Wulsons: “Saw grown men cry tonight.
Unbelievable, and what about the welcome the players got when they came on.
I never thought I could feel this way about 'something' that is not my family...” You’re not alone. A lot of people probably didn’t realise quite how much the club truly meant to them until this week happened. It’s only when you’re in danger of losing something, that you realise it’s true worth.
Dark and dangerous (Martin O’Neill in disguise): “AMAZING, FANTASTIC, UNBELIEVEABLE, CRAZY, EMOTIONAL.
I thought I was going to have a heart attack during the last 5 minutes with the tension. I nearly collapsed waiting for the penalty to be taken. It was an amazing experience.”
Darkblue: “Well done on the win last night, thought the penalty was a bit dodgy [never!] but our players just were not up for it 2nd half and we didn't deserve to win. Good luck with the administration hope you get through it ok, it's a nightmare but get organised, raising money etc talk to the administrator and find out what you can do to help.”
I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at the final whistle. In the end, I played it safe and opted for both. What a week – actually not even by this stage, this was about day three of the whole saga. How dull would our world be without this club? In the midst of our victory though, I found myself sparing a thought for Dundee – they’re in as much of a pickle as we are off the field, after all. For all the cup final appearance means to us both on and off the pitch, it means just as much to them and they must have been gutted. Thanks to Darkblue for the kind words and encouragement.
…HEROES, AND A QUENTIN TARANTINO MOMENT
A board regular with a well known big mouth had it punched on the night of the Dundee game, by another board regular. It was only briefly mentioned in a few threads, but try as I might to find them the comments seem to have vanished. Two points from this incident I would make:
- If you want to act the big man, you can’t bleat that you’re “only a child” when somebody acts on your often merciless wind-ups. As Charles Darwin Esq said: “So you sow, shall you reap”.
- There are virtually no circumstances that would excuse raising your fists to somebody. The situation further beggars belief in that one of the protagonists is middle-aged and had his family with him. Anger Management required, I would suggest (and not just the hiring of the film from Blockbuster). If you’re unable to deal with some of the rantings on the boards (especially given how obvious many are as complete wind-ups), you’re in more bother than you currently think. Have a word.
FINANCIAL FARCE? WHODUNIT?
Like any good crisis, when the dust settles a bit the recriminations can begin. Who exactly is responsible for our current plight?
Andy: “I don't believe for a second that LFC are living beyond their means in a footballing sense. We have a small squad and an efficient number of staff behind the scenes. I have no difficulty in accepting Dom's assertion that we have one of the smallest footballing debts in the SPL.
Yes there appears to have been an ill fated partnership on the non footballing side with the former Bank of Scotland and Dunfermline head honcho but in reality this "crisis" as been brought about by a bank intent on shifting the goalposts.”
Bretford: “The majority of money that was loaned to Livi and the other clubs was done so by the Bank of Scotland, prior to the Halifax merger.
I just wonder if someone down south is pulling the reigns over BOS' prior spending.” I’d put money on it, as the “H” in “HBOS” is starting to pull the reigns over a lot of things north of the border.
Fan_of_livi: “Perhaps the fact that we have had no games on BBC this year and the Old firm have had 17 between them. I would much rather watch the likes of Aberdeen and Partick every week rather than the old firm. Mainly because they are boring, but also because its killing Scottish football. If the non-old firm clubs dont force the BBC or SKY to show equal number of games for all teams then they will all be starting next year with -10 points!
I think the BBC should have a poll. All those in favor of each team getting equal covarage and all those that want it the way it is. [and, like the “goal of the month” contest, 100,000 Celtic fans will vote for Larsson, 100,000 Rangers fans will vote for de Boer, and 20,000 of the rest will be wasting their time and money]
Dominic is a good chairman but has had made mistakes, sergio berti, cherif and has let go of people who where very good players for nothing. I praise him for his bosman signings but he has to sell the ones he dosent need. I think that is a very big factor in this.” There’s no denying that the footballing debt has come from somewhere…
Ayrfan: “Keane dug this hole for the club. Banks work on the basis of contracts and written agreements based on business plans. If a company breaks this agreement, by failing in their business plan or overspending against the plan, then the bank is quite within its rights to refuse additional funding. This appears to be the situation with Livi. [not necessarily, and even at the time of writing we still don’t know the full facts]
DK has run up a debt in excess of 10 million for Livi with few assets to show for it. He still went ahead with his overpriced foreign failures strategy even though the club were in financial trouble. The decision to gamble and employ a Brazilian manager at an extravagant cost shows how out of control Keane was !
DK has shown he is financially inept and should not be allowed back.
This mess is directly the responsibility of DK.”
Moz (welcome, new reader): “From what I read on this forum there is a lot of activity in the background as there are many things that just don't make sense. For example why are they calling in Livingston's debts and not anyone else's. Too many unanswered questions and Keane is taking the easy way out, quit then hope to come back with a debt free club. Something far wrong.”
Livilion21: “This is so [distressing] all this administration stuff !
I just can't believe that Dom could let things go down hill so much and has the cheek to say in the Evening News that he would love 2 come back 2 the club in the future after this mess has been sorted .... well personally ,as much as I didn’t want him 2 leave now, he can [forget it] if he thinks he walk right back in once someone else sorts this mess !”
LLD: “Aye, cheers Dom! What a man! I am absolutely delighted that you gambled the future of my favourite football club on players you couldn't afford and property developments that were far too risky. Brilliant!
Wake up, guys! Maybe, just maybe, it's actually Dominic Keane's fault!
He can whine all he wants about the fact that he kept the club within it's overdraft limit before the bank stepped in. [a minor point – one of the key characteristics of an overdraft is that it’s repayable on demand, so HBOS are acting within the terms of the agreement] Have you stopped to consider how he did that?
Easy - he stopped paying his bills. Months ago.” That’s “Cash Flow Management” if you run a business, or “acting like a clown” if that business owes you money.
So, who is to blame? The club for overspending, the bank for letting us, the players for being overpaid, the supporters for “pressuring the club” into highly paid signings, the media for not giving everyone a fair crack of the whip, the Old Firm for trying to divvy up the entire Scottish game between them or a combination of the whole shooting match? To my mind, all of them. We’ll probably never know the specific reasons for the trigger being pulled, but we have to deal with it now. Fairly or unfairly, the debt is still debt. We still owe whatever we owe.
THE CONSPIRACY THEORY
Grassy Knoll theories abound. Cast in the role of the CIA/KGB/The Mob/Cuba are HBOS.
Orco: “Perhaps I am missing something but this thought has been racing around my head all day. - Why now?
OK, we have a debt, and we have a small support, and we have little in the way of assets for sale, etc etc and all the other stuff that has been said. I can understand they want their money and all that, BUT, it is the timing I can't understand.
The transfer window had just closed, so - no money for selling players even at bargain basement prices. We were on the brink of making it to a final with the extra finance that would generate. We are still in the Scottish cup with a chance of progressing to a potentially good draw with a bigger club. Most of the players were on short term contracts till the summer anyway which is only half a season away. What has triggered HBOS to call in the administrators NOW?
Timing it the way they did two days before the semi almost makes me think there was a vendetta of some sort against the club by person or persons unknown. What was to be lost by waiting even till after the Spartans game?
Anyone have any ideas? What am I missing here? Am I becoming paranoid?”
Inertiatic Lion: “The one word answer is in your post - vendetta.
The fact that we were forced into administration at this precise moment in time cannot be an accident.”
DELirious: “Well you probably are being paranoid but think of this scenario:
HBOS want to teach Scottish football a lesson (they are already taking a very tough line with an number of other industries and one can only assume that they are in a bit of difficulty themselves).
However they don't want it particularly noticed outside football (questions in parliament etc.) so preferably a relatively new club with a proportionately small fan base. They probably don't want the club to go out of business so they want a club presumably in not too bad a position and certainly recoverable.
But they do want the example to be dramatic enough the scare all the others into towing the line - even those with a £65 million debt who continue to lose £15 million per annum.
It is also a factor that we only own a portion of our stadium. It certainly restricts the accountancy leeway where clubs can pretend that their ground is worth £X million when they actually mean their stadium is worth that if they wanted to build another one in exactly the same location.
I seem to recall seeing something that suggested Ibrox was worth in the region of £55 million but basically you'd have to find a buyer who was willing to pay that sort of money and as the ground is certainly not worth that the only buyer could possibly be another football club (maybe Clyde would consider moving back?).
The stadium management company business seems to have fallen on it's [bahoooky] so I don't think they can count on money from there either.”
MAMS: “Dundee owe(d) over £13 Million to the HBOS along with other debts.
HBOS WERE NOT forcing them into Administration.
The Marrs VOLUNTARILY put Dundee into Administration, Dom Did so forcibly.
I don't care about the 'overdraft' situation either just look at the facts.
Dundee £13 Million HBOS do nothing
Livi £3.5 Million HBOS 'force' them into Administration” You can add into that Livi’s filed accounts show our turnover is higher than Dundee’s too (according to an SOS article that I read, but unfortunately can’t find a link to).
LLD: “I don't see where the debate is. The Bank of Scotland took a commercial decision to call in a debt because they did not trust the club (DK) to pay it back, or even service it.
I think it's about time that a lot of people woke up to the fact that Dominic Keane has got us into this situation, not the Bank of Scotland.
He's the one who make all the agreements and took all the decisions regarding the club's finances.
There's very little point in backing DK. It's the club (and the administrators) that need our support now.
Maybe I am hardened to this situation because I am a creditor, but it seems to me that DK will be walking away from this relatively unscathed.
I am having to dip into savings to pay my mortgage this month, and so will any players and staff that are made redundant on Monday - if they are lucky enough to have savings of course.
DK will still have his big car, big house and his other business interests [oh oh] . He'll be alright, jack.
I'll be interested to hear what he has to say for himself on Livi Live tonight. No doubt we'll get his usual revisionist history of the club [this gets on my wick somewhat too, but that’s another story] , some crocodile tears and another pledge to return. Personally, I find it very distasteful.
As far as I am concerned, DK should never get near this club again.
The club is bigger than one man, let's stop massaging DK's ego.”
Charles Darwin Esq: “I find myself in 2 camps regarding this argument.
YES - HBoS are making an example of our "wee" club to serve notice to the rest to toe the line or this is what will happen to them too. A lot less potential trouble for the bank to single-out a relative newcomer to the big time with a small (but growing) fanbase. You can imagine a few parcels with Northern Irish postmarks arriving at The Mound if they dared try reigning in [Glasgow]!
YES - DK has to a degree mismanaged the Club's finances. He's been overly ambitious, and his business decisions have (on the whole) been based on sound potential. Even Cherrif had potential once! I don't believe however that he has "jumped ship" as has been stated. His position has become untenable, and he is very passionate about the whole affair. Yet whether this is to do with a love for the Club or a bruising of his business pride is another question.
LLD, you have been dropped on from a great height and I wish you well with the recovery of that you've worked so hard to earn. Good luck my friend.”
Thank you Charles, you’ve saved me the trouble of summing up. Is there more room on the fence for me to join you?
THE ROLLERCOASTER CONTINUES
At stake, a cup quarter-final berth. In our way, a team of plucky amateurs whose history mirrors that of Meadowbank. Oh, the romance of the cup…
AndyK: “Shocking first half performance when Spartans really made us work and we couldn't adapt to the poor pitch, woeful passing, slipping , not getting tackles in.
Second half playing down hill we got the ball wide and into the box and Lilley did the finishing.
Best players - Derek Lilley worked hard, scored goals
Stuart Lovell. general today and got stuck in
David McNamee - good second half raiding
Marv and Manu were strong.
Manu's headfirst dive into the mud must be the funniest moment i've seen in football, even he saw the funny side, Marv couldn't stop laughing.”
Spike: “The reactions of Marv, Makel and fernandez to Manu being coated with mud were priceless. Manu even signalled for a sub!
I enjoyed the game a lot, it was an old school cup tie, and i think, although the first half was poor, Livi put out the right team and formation, with an attacking intent, and greater fitness paid off in the second half.
Full credit to Spartans, who acquitted themsleves very well. Credit also to Quinny for his "hands up if you're gay" remark. Only funny thing he's ever said.
I'd echo AndyKs sentiments about Lovell...he was a real leader out there today...”
The Lions Gnashers: “I thought it was great standing on the grassy slopes [did it remind you of your days on Bubbles Hill before the south stand went up?] . It was actually better than having to sit down through out a whole 90 minutes.
Respect to the Spartans for their "Save the Lions" t-shirts.”
Orco: “I know this has been mentioned on other threads but I really appreciated Spartans putting "save the Lions" on their T-shirts. They also presented similar T-shirts in yellow to the Livi children who were standing along the front.
Reminded me a little of life in the lower leagues. Plenty of rivalry and banter but in a much more good natured way.
Thanks Spartans. You can be proud of your great run.” Indeed, the T-shirts were a very nice touch. I can’t imagine another SPL club doing something similar. Am I alone for enjoying our times in Divisions 3, 2 and 1 far more than the SPL?
THE DAY OF RECKONING
We all knew the day was coming. The administrator has to make cuts somewhere, and I’m sure the massive clear-outs at Dundee and Motherwell were at the forefront of people’s thoughts.
Arkaig: “Mr Administrator,
As controller of our fine club, Livingston FC. You have it in your power to either give us the fans, a chance to see our team lift a senior domestic trophy, for the first time in our clubs history. Our players also have a right to play in a final that they thoroughly deserve to play in. A dream for both players and fans alike. You can also choose to take this chance away from us all by stripping our team down to the bare minimum, robbing us of our dreams. The choice is yours. Make the right one.
Arkaigster” Sadly, it doesn’t work like that. The administrator is there to make the harsh business decisions that others maybe cannot.
Some initial confusion on the list of who went, which irked me. Surely this is important enough for all concerned to get it right first time? Ultimately, though, the list read:
Juan José Camacho (very harsh)
Francisco Quino (very harsh)
Cherif Toure-Maman (waster)
Tommy English (harsh)
Guy Ipoua (waster)
Paul McLaughlin (harsh)
David McEwan was sacked the following day. Also, the higher wage earners were asked to take a pay cut.
LLD: “First of all I'd like to say that I am gutted for anyone (bar the obvious two) losing their livelihood, but at the same time, it looks very much like the administrator has done his absolute best to minimise the impact on the squad and we have to be thankful for that.”
Charles Darwin Esq: “Very true LLD, if this is verified then we should all breathe a sigh of relief as the cull could have been far, far worse. Whilst I too hate to see anyone lose their employment, the administrator has clearly acted wisely and as fairly as the situation allows, and this should be acknowledged by the supporters.
I only hope Fernandez decides to stay now as he is still a vital member of the team and is guaranteed first team football, unlike at Celtic.”
Croftie: “Although I hate to see anyone losing their job, the news this morning wasn't as bad as I thought.
However, now that the news is out that some of our top players will need to accept a cut in wages, isn't there a chance that some other clubs will act like vultures and snap them up with a bigger wage than we can offer. The way I understand it is, if they don't accept the reduced wages, they will be let go as free agents therefore making them available to join other clubs......no ??”
Lionick: “ITV teletext tonight quotes Davie Hay as saying that the coaching staff survives intact. I am mildly surprised by this, pleased but surprised.
All in all it could have been a lot worse.
ITV teletext also suggests that the players being asked to take a reduction in wages have been asked to drop their wage by 33%.
If they are on circa £800 to £1000 per week then I'm sure they would survive that sort of cut however I would fully understand if they decide its not for them. I'd be disappointed but I would understand. Following my own redundancy I am now gainfully employed but earning substantially less than I was, it is possible to survive it. So here's hoping they agree and we can get on with winning the cup, progressing to the next round of the Scottish and cementing our place in the top 6.
Let's give Partick a good beating tomorrow guys!!” Oh oh.
There was a bit of argy-bargy regarding the delay in the six making the decision about their pay cuts. Ayrfan felt that asking for more time was an indication that they were being greedy, something that was agreed (predictably) by HAcK, but firmly rebuffed by a good many. To be fair, I think the delay may have had something to do with Tony Higgins and the player’s union. Remember Dunfermline were trying to engineer something similar at the time, and they delayed too – presumably the SPFA were taking legal advice or ironing out contractual technicalities in order to correctly advise their members.
In the end the six players asked to take wage-cuts do so, and Davie Hay takes a voluntary one into the bargain.
BrummieBob: “Honourable and honest men, all. I salute those players. They show that they have commitment and loyalty to our wee club, seldom found in the modern world of professional football. They will be rewarded in the long term.ITY!!”
noiLiviL: “Well done guys - it can't have been an easy decision.
As ever, Archie was very eloquent when interviewed on Reporting Scotland tonight. Much respect Archie - a true Captain of our small but precious team” A leader off the park, as well as on it – exactly how a club captain should be.
I’ll take this opportunity to say how grateful I am to the six for making this decision. It can’t have been done lightly, as anybody who takes a contract assumes it’ll run through, and will budget accordingly. BrummieBob is spot on with his comments. Furthermore, in a time where fans will be asked to make sacrifices for the good of the club, the players, in also doing so, have become a firmer part of the Livingston community (in my eyes) than ever before.
ANOTHER SHOT ON THE ROLLERCOASTER
With the relief at the situation being resolved being almost tangible, it was time for the players to get back to concentrating on the football. It’s onto the basement strugglers, where a win would see us a massive 20 points ahead of them (and therefore surely 99.9% safe for this season). Some pre-match humour from DELirious:
Just went on the the BBC's live text commentary and it said:
Partick: 5 YES FIVE!
After nearly having a heart attack I notice it was the old Partick 5 Hamilton 1 scoreline.
Barstewards - Now I'm just off to change my trousers!” Not so quick sunshine…as we know what happens next…5-2, you say?
littlemermaid: “Gerry Britian scoring twice say's it all. He wouldn't get a game for the supporters club team. [harsh]
I know it's been a bad week but where is all this team spirit mr lovell has been talking about for the last 2 day's. Being humped by Partick isn't good enough and if people think things can only get better then they're in for a shock.
If we get humped off by far the worst set of players in the league then we have absolutely no chance against the rest of them in our league.”
HAcK: “Lovell who is playing "cr@p”, gets removed from the team...and we get humped. Now, do all you Lovell haters realise how important he is to us? Didddies.” Not so sure that we’d have won had he played, but I agree that Lovell is a tremendously important player to us. It never ceases to amaze me that people go on about him not being “good” enough.
Paradude: “Supporters have been shedding tears, making valiant efforts to get some cash together this week. Their colleagues have been given the bullet and those left produce an absolute shocker.
No excuse. Think back to Motorola getting closed - now there was an absolute disaster for west lothian. Livi lose 7 folk and a few get asked to take a pay cut then get humped by the bottom team.
Where [in the name of all that is holy] is the spirit?
C'mon, drag yourselves up and double training tomorrow without any playtime. Extra homework, cold water in the showers after training and lets get it right up motherwell. No other result will do”
Charles Darwin Esq: “And with the supporters' faith being demonstrated here, the club is sure to go extinct.
Now cut this out and get on with supporting the team, not kicking the lads when they're down! It's been a truly hellish past few days for them, don't forget that. You should back the team through thick and thin, not just when they're winning” Well said the man with the beard…
Man in Black & Amber: “Put tonight down to a bad day at the office and move on. As others have said it is time to back the players through what will no doubt be difficult times through to the end of the season. Given what has gone on over the last 2 weeks tonight was inevitable.
Lets be honest our aims for this season now must be to avoid relegation (14 points ahead of Thistle with 15 games left and a far superior goal difference gives us a good start), win the CIS Cup, go as far as possible in the Scottish and get out of Administration before 31 May 2004.” For any other team in Scotland, that’d be a difficult “to do” list. For us, it’s just another few months of being Livingston FC.
THE SUPPORTERS BEGIN TO ORGANISE
Plug (“get your sportsocks, 2 for a pounda, 2 for a pound”): “Approx 10-12 people are needed to help man the LIVINGSTON FOR LIFE' buckets, this Saturday at the game versus Motherwell.
I think that probably all collectors should be over 16 years of age.
Can all those who would be interested in helping, please PM me with their real name, address and contact email or email your details to email@example.com
Auldreekielion is currently sorting out the buckets. [is he a window cleaner?]
There is already a box in place inside the club shop if you would prefer to donate there.
If the 'LIVINGSTON FOR LIFE' and CIS Cup Final T-shirts prove popular this weekend, the club shop may take them onboard and sell them from there too.
If it can get organised, there will be a sort of stall with these T-shirts on sale outside the club shop before the game. Both are only a tenner each, with all profits going towards 'LFL'” Seriously Peter, you’re doing a terrific job. Your merchandising ideas are pretty inspired, in terms of saleability and the benefits they bring to the club. Superb.
BrianW: “The wheels are in motion [regards the supporters trust]. We have arranged for the Almondvale suite to be available on Sunday February 15th at 2pm. This will be an open meeting for all supporters who want to contribute to supporting the club financially. The meeting will open with an explanation of how trusts work and what’s involved with setting them up. This will be followed by a question and answer session backed up by general discussion.
A key part of this meeting will be to agree a voluntary group from all the attendees at the meeting (not a committee or executive) who will then work actively to put everything in place to formally launch the trust and formally elect a committee at a future date.
This meeting is open to all Livi fans so make sure you pass the word on to everyone who is not on the Internet.
Just a quick word about funds – all money that goes into a trust is spent 100% on the club. None of it goes into anything except what the trust defines. Usually it is built up over time and used to buy shares in the club. This gives the fans a say in how the club is run and you know exactly how every penny of the money is spent.
Come on folks - spread the word and make sure we get a good turn out”
There are too many fundraising suggestions made by board users to cover in detail – the most unexpected was the “Gig for Livingston”; quite a few reputations being put on the line there, I suspect!
Now onto the final match to be covered, the visit of our brothers-in-administration, Motherwell. Having been played off the pitch by Partick in midweek, it was only in keeping with what I’m beginning to suspect is actually club policy, that we really put them to the sword.
Orco: “Superb first half performance and enough done in the second half to ensure we'd win the game.
That was an incredible display of refereeing from Mr Freeland. The penalty award was as puzzling to the Motherwell players as the fans. The foul on Makel in front of goal, late on, was blatant but by that time I wasn't in the least surprised it wasn't given. OK we won the game but the unnecessary bookings he dished out could be costly later in the season when suspensions start to kick in. That said, Rubio's was deserved. By the time he got it he was lucky it was his first.
Well done the players! More of the same next week.”
Livipaul: “get in!
what a response to any slaggings the team had received after that mid week result
just what was needed!”
Mellow_yellow: “Was that just wonderful or what? As well as the team playing as well as hey did and to see goals like that Almondvale..... did my heart good!
Brilliant, lads, we knew you had it in you; and you knew you had it in you as well.
Hope today wasn't the last we see of Quino.”
Spike: “Fantastic first half yesterday. Passing was excellent, lots of ideas, and plenty of bustle.
Lilley was brilliant yesterday, he got his head on everything and linked up well with Fernandez and Makel.
My Man of the Match was Lovell though. Right from the start he went full-on into a 50-50 with the Well captain (Adams) and came out on top, effectively showing who was in charge for the game. Also kicked the S*** out of any attacks Well tried ot make in the first 45.
I also thought, despite giving fouls away (it's football, not ballet, Shed) Rubio made some good tackles yesterday, and carried out the dirty work very well, leaving the more eye-catching stuff to the other defenders.
Makel's passing was a great yesterday, O'Brien was much improved and full of energy. The full backs were immense (great goal by Jamie Mac). Wee Scott did quite well in the 2nd half.
Only black mark was JP Not-fit-to-Govern. I've worked out why I dislike him. Not only is he crap, but he is a complete wimp, and if you watch him he [flinches] out of any physical contact whatsoever! I dare anyone to disagree with me! It's all very well doing smug keepy-uppy at the half-time kickabout, but you have to be manly as well, JP!” I’m a big fan of Spike’s match summaries. He does a far better job that the BBC – maybe “media darling” instead of working in a pharmacy would be a better option for you?
Keithc: “I thought this was the best 45 mins by a Livi team for ages. Well at times looked shell shocked and we were showboating and coasting. It could have been 6 at half time if Makel and Fernandez had not wasted their chances.
Lilley was almost a one man demolition team. Gone yur sel big man.
The atmosphere hasnt been like that for years either.
Well done to the team and to the crowd that bothered to turn up.
Now things that [tick] me off about today.
Empty season ticket holder seats. WHERE ARE YOU WHEN YOUR CLUB NEEDS YOU???? [a fair point]
The people of West Lothian that didnt turn up to help this wounded club. The same folk that claim to support other teams yet I bet havent been within 10 feet of a turnstile.
These people make me MAD” I have a secret…I have a life outside of football (and the messageboards, believe it or not). It was February 14th, maybe people were away or had other plans? That said, you’d like to think people would make a bit more of an effort as it was the first home game after the worst of news. It’ll be interesting to see how attendances do in the coming months – if nothing else, we’re going to get a truer indication of just how “core” our core support is.
THE COMMUNITY RALLY ROUND
I’m going to finish on the Trust open meeting. There is too much in the way of administrative and technical posting to cover here, so I’ll just briefly cover the main quotes from BrianW’s post-meeting comments.
“Todays meeting exceeded all of my expectations. Over 300 Livi fans packed into the Almondvale suite to bring to an end the first phase of setting up the trust and move us into the second phase. I can’t thank everyone involved enough for the time and effort put in to make this happen. The organisation, guests and fans were absolutely fantastic today – even Charlie did his usual turn for the proceedings.” [£19.5m…£19.5m…]
“In the last 2 weeks we have raised approx £4000 [of which about £2,500 was collected in the buckets on matchday] which will be placed into the OLSC bank account. Once we have the minutes from this meeting and recorded who the voluntary committee is going to be, we can then open the trust bank account. As soon as the new account is opened, we will transfer all of the trust money in.
We collected contact details for over 150 folk interested in being trust members.
We asked for volunteers who would be willing to get actively involved. OVER 100 FOLK VOLUNTEERED. [about half to a third of our away support] Some with specific skills and others who were willing to help in any way they could.”
People seem to have taken to the Trust in a big way, and quite rightly. I was at the meeting and feel, as I have for a while on this issue, that Supporters Trusts are the way forward – not just for our current crisis, but into the future. One day this Trust is going to own Livingston Football Club. It may be five, ten, twenty or fifty years, but one day it will get there. We owe it not only to ourselves and our community, but to our kids and their kids, to ensure that this works right from the start – that means getting as many people as possible into it, and quickly. I firmly believe that community ownership of clubs is going to be what saves the entire of Scottish football from the folly of its recent actions – it’s going to take the sport back full circle to where it started and where it belongs, with the fans. It’s easy to say, but when I looked around at the determination of those who attended the meeting to ensure that Livingston Football Club will not be a mere footnote in an SFA yearbook, the statement took physical form.
Over already, you say? But it was so brief this time! Clearly, a lot has happened over the past three weeks since the last review (slight skip in the fortnightly timing, but it took me a week to read all the posts). I thank you if you are still here.
Things that would ordinarily have been of interest, but have had to be put on the back burner include:
- Archie’s Brother; welcome to the site, but you picked a bad week to talk about Captain Courageous!
- The soft drinks poll ran out of fizz, with Irn Bru on top by a large margin
- Charles Darwin Esq likes the word “merkin” (and a fine word it is too)
- David Bingham is a goal machine
- Scotland slain by Wales (Berti must go, seemingly)
- Lion Consortium (I’ll cover this one in more detail next time, when we have some detail)
- Red Ultras reckon their displays outdo ours – well, we’ve got a final to trump you with …
- The Jambos team bus was attacked (aren’t all the busses maroon – how could they tell?)
- Happy birthday Kay
As I said at the start, the story of Livingston FC is a remarkable one. The jibe of having no history is rendered utterly meaningless by a glance at our achievements. The jibe of having no soul has been rendered similarly meaningless by the actions of the supporters who are starting to fight to save the club that they so dearly love. Administration may well prove to be the coming of age that Livingston FC and its supporters have unknowingly needed. It’s sink or swim time, now or never. Get involved – now is the time to stand up and be counted. Administration is not going to just go away. The more people who help, be it manning a bucket, handing out leaflets, donating their spare change, setting up the Trust, or even gorging on an extra pie at matches, the better the chances that we’ll come out of this smiling, and closer together as a support and community than ever before. Think about it.