Livingston refuse to play

Scottish season in turmoil as debt-ridden club fight demotion by snubbing fixture

The start of the Scottish Football League was thrown into chaos last night after Livingston refused to play today's Third Division fixture against East Stirlingshire. The SFL relegated the debt-ridden club from the First Division on Wednesday for breaching the league's insolvency rules.

Livingston have now decided to appeal that sanction and insist they will not play a Third Division fixture until their case is heard. The appeal was lodged by interim manager Donald McGruther, who has been running Livi for the past fortnight.

McGruther, of administrator Mazars, was appointed by a court in Edinburgh after West Lothian Council took legal action to reclaim a £330,000 debt. He has been frantically attempting to negotiate the sale of the club to a consortium led by former Cowdenbeath owner Gordon McDougall, ex-Dumbarton chairman Neil Rankine and ex-Livi director Ged Nixon.

In a statement on Livingston's website, McDougall said: "We, the consortium, understand that the appeal submitted from the interim manager, Donald McGruther, has now been received and acknowledged by the Scottish Football League.

"Accordingly, Livingston Football Club remains a First Division football club at this stage and therefore is unwilling to fulfil a fixture in the Third Division. Before the appeal was lodged, Livingston Football Club informed SFL chief executive David Longmuir that they were able to fulfil the First Division fixture at Ross County on Saturday 8 August."

A separate statement from the consortium added: "From the consortium's perspective, we regret the need to take this step and the implications it could have on football people throughout Scotland, but we feel strongly that this action is entirely justified.

"Additionally, the consortium are delighted to announce that we have made substantial progress on finalising the purchase of the club and will be working over the weekend and hope to be in a position in the next few days to conclude the purchase."

Meanwhile, Heart of Midlothian appear to have landed the most difficult draw of British teams in the Europa League qualifying round with a tie against Dinamo Zagreb. The Croatians were eliminated from the Champions League after a 3-2 aggregate defeat to Salzburg in the third qualifying round.

The Hearts manager Csaba Laszlo, however, is remaining positive about his team's chances. "They are a very famous club but, with the right preparation, it is a game I believe we can win," he said. "It's possible to win, it's possible. It's better to have this than to have Everton or Werder Bremen. Dinamo Zagreb are the champions of their country and they've come from the Champions League.

"It's a big club, it's a huge club, one of the biggest clubs in Croatia. But I think if we prepare well and concentrate on our job, we have a good chance to qualify."

Voices
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
News
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas