Livingston face European football exclusion

Last updated : 15 April 2021 By BBC

Livingston's hopes of a return to European football for the first time in 18 years could be thwarted by a failure to comply with regulations.

David Martindale's side sit fifth in the Scottish Premiership and are into the last 16 of the Scottish Cup. 

But an insufficient youth system and lack of published accounts could bar the club from Uefa competition. 

"Livingston FC are working round the clock to satisfy the criteria," the West Lothian club said in a statement.

"We have lost over £2m in the past 15 months and this has affected our plans to re-establish our youth academy, which is a major part of the Uefa criteria."

Livingston hope "the governing bodies would look at the progress of the club over the last three seasons, coupled with the extremely difficult circumstances over the last 15 months".

The West Lothian side also failed to submit annual accounts to the Scottish FA by the end of March, which is a regulation all Premiership clubs must comply with.

Livingston are five points behind Aberdeen with the sides finishing third and fourth qualifying for the new Europa Conference League, while the winners of the Scottish Cup enter the Europa League.

Should one of the top four win the cup then the team who finish fifth would also qualify, but a Uefa licence award is a requirement for all clubs to compete. 

The SFA says it will publish licensing awards once final placings are confirmed, while the SPFL is making no comment on the situation.