This statement includes details of:
- State of the Nation
- Full Time Club Status
- Profit Making Club
- Future Plans
- Season Tickets
As a Livingston fan it has been a fraught few weeks, and understandably you are frustrated and a little deflated. Behind the scenes it has been equally difficult. Since relegation became a reality, the operations committee have been crunching the numbers and looking at all of the current outstanding business issues and commitments, to determine the clubs ongoing status as a full time club.
However, the good news is that the club remains viable and will continue to be West Lothian’s only full time professional football club. The reality is however, for this to continue, we as Livingston supporters will have to get active, passionate and creative.
State of the Nation
The club has, effectively, been run over the past season by an operations committee. Despite the on-going legal disputes between previous board members and the legacy issues (such as the industrial tribunal that was reported in the media as a potential doomsday scenario for the club) the business of the club still had to be continued and it has fallen to these committee members (who are all volunteers) to make sure this happened.
More Good News
In this period, Livingston FC, has traded and made a small profit in each of the past three years. Undoubtedly, the addition of Rangers and Hibernian to the Championship and their huge away support, have been a large contributory factor to this.
This week has seen the final arrangement to reach a settlement on the club’s behalf with Gordon McDougall, come to a conclusion. The shareholding is back with the club and a new board will be formed in the near future. Unfortunately, the dispute and subsequent court cases that led from this, proved to be extremely public and damaging to the image of the club. Nevertheless, this chapter is now concluded and we can look to the future.
The committee can also confirm that settlement has been received from G. Nixon, after the recent court ruling.
For the first time since administration, the club is in a secure position and is being run by a team of people with no vested interests or ambitions to sell the lease on the football ground to a developer or supermarket chain. The club is in compliance with all of its legal and football obligations and there is no more legacy bad news in the background.
In order for the club to be successful and to continue as a full time entity beyond the coming season, we need your help and investment. The budget for this year will show a loss based on current costs and income projections. However, we want to ensure that the club bounces back to the Championship at the first opportunity. In order to do this, we need season ticket sales to grow. We need local businesses to invest in the club through sponsorship and corporate membership.
We plan to have five youth teams next year, including an under 20s team. This has been the catalyst for the quite unparalleled talent that we have seen come through the club. We also plan to introduce the grassroots initiative, basically tickets for school children and local football clubs this is where many of our current fans first heard about the club and it became the vehicle through which they grew to love it. Local businesses are going to help sponsor this initiative.
We need you to renew your season ticket. We need you to encourage friends, colleagues and family to come along to games and to encourage them to come back if they haven’t been for a while. If we could get back to the days of 1,000 plus season ticket holders, we would be able to meet all of our obligations and invest further in the team. Season ticket prices will be available by the end of the week, and all operational committee members will support the launch by purchasing their season tickets for the forthcoming season.
To paraphrase the famous speech by John F Kennedy; “it is time for fans to ask not what the club can do for them, but what they can do for the club”.
If you can invest in your season ticket to watch your team and perhaps invest some of your time promoting and helping to run the club, then you will become part of the club’s DNA and the future success. All of us, working together, with common passion and drive to make Livingston FC part of the community and something we are all proud to be part of. We will be aiming to announce a fans forum over the coming months, where you can discuss our ambitions for the coming season.
We feel the club has lacked continuity over the last few years. For a football club to thrive it needs to be run successfully off the field. In recent years the constant change of staff and short term goals has made this difficult. How can a business understand their customer without customer insight and input? We aim to change that; one of our main objectives will be to achieve continuity. Let’s all get behind the club and work towards the positive future and leave the past where it belongs “in the past”.
Be proud, be positive, be Livingston.