After yesterday’s article in the Herald and last week’s coverage by STV and Gordon McDougall, we feel it is only right that we are fully transparent with our fans.
We had tried to conduct matters privately, however inaccurate and sensationalised headlines have unfortunately dragged this whole issue into the very public media spotlight.
We must put on Record that the board did NOT want Mr McDougall to leave the club but were left with little alternative due to his insistence of demanding monies that he felt were due to him from a deal between himself and Mr Rankine; this deal was never ratified at any board meeting and has left the club burdened with this debt. Bearing in mind Mr McDougall is the only director who had such an agreement as all others are receiving no payments in regards their director loans.
During his reign as Chairman the club ran up losses in the region of £1.8m between 2009 and 2013. In late 2013 Mr McDougall made it absolutely clear that he would not put any more money in the club at a time when substantial funds were needed to pay salaries and other costs including overdue VAT and rent arrears. The Individuals now at the club had to step in to keep the club solvent. These are the individuals who are putting their own money and time into a club that can only benefit Mr McDougall in the long term, in the hope that he can recover his director loans.
In the last two months the club has made Mr McDougall two offers. The second of which was made only 2 weeks ago was to pay him £18,000 per annum over the next 13 years (£234k) as opposed to the £26,000 per annum over 9 years (£234k) agreed under the previous stewardship of Gordon McDougall. The payments to Mr McDougall would have come from the personal funds of the same individuals who are supporting the club financially now.
Mr McDougall rejected the latest offer and confirmed he would take legal action against the club unless he was paid in full. Had Mr McDougall accepted this offer he would have continued as club chairman receiving £18k per annum with no obligation to make financial contributions to the club going forward.
The individuals at the club have stripped it to the bone in regards to the playing squad budget, and will most likely have the smallest squad in the Championship this season. Any further cuts to the playing staff or non playing staff would have been detrimental to Livingston FC in the short and long term. We would hope our fans understand the balance we have to achieve, while still remaining competitive in the Championship on and off the field.
The club successfully defended a court case earlier this year which confirmed that ALL the directors/personal loans made to the club between 2009 and 2012 were NOT repayable on demand and were only payable under special circumstances. Despite this Mr McDougall expects to receive his money where as all his co-lenders and partners at this time receive nothing.
We are unable to offer any further detail or comments due pending court proceedings on this matter. We hope that all fans can see over the past few months the changes at the club and trust the current operating committee to continue to works towards sustainability and in the best interests of Livingston FC.