Whilst we appreciate that everyone is experiencing their own uncertain circumstances at present, we thought we’d keep you updated on our own position as things stand.
First, we’d like to make clear the club fully supports the decision to postpone all domestic football currently. The health and wellbeing of fans, players, staff and the general public must come first and as frustrating and inconvenient as the current situation is, protecting everyone is the number one priority. Whichever course of action the SFA & SPFL decide to take, they will have the full support of Livingston FC as it’s during this time of national emergency that we all need to pull together. No outcome is going to suit everyone but as a club, we’ll support whichever option the governing bodies opt for.
As mentioned previously, we’ve taken steps to run with a skeleton staff for the time being, with the stadium closed to the general public. The few staff members who are still entering the building have been taking additional precautions with regard to health and hygiene alongside continued efforts to keep the stadium cleansed and sanitised. At this time, no staff members, first-team players or management have needed to self-isolate.
However, first-team players are not currently reporting to The Tony Macaroni Arena and have been provided with individual training instructions to work on for the time being. This is principally to help protect the players health, but also to avoid social gatherings. We’ve also issued the players with guidelines on self-isolation where possible away from the ground.
It goes without saying that with no real idea of how long this shutdown is going to last, it will definitely be a testing period for the football club. There is a huge sense of frustration as the club has picked up momentum over recent years, with success on the park allowing the business to improve generally.
Over the past 18 months, we’ve been able to clear off historic debts and loans in the region of £350,000 through agreed debt sacrifice and repayments. We will continue to strive to further reduce historical loans to get us to a position of being fully solvent. This has been fundamental to our business model of removing director/creditor loan accounts in order to reach the ultimate goal of being debt free. That was already a huge challenge, but even in the current climate, we believe we can remain on track.
We’re incredibly fortunate to have the support and backing of our Chairman and Chief Executive at this time, both of whom have been quick to ensure that funds are available if the club reaches a stage where we do need to take advantage of their generosity.
Naturally, those funds aren’t bottomless though and with a topflight playing squad, coaching team and non-playing staff to support, challenging times lie ahead, but that is something we are aware of. There is also a core group of non-footballing staff who rely on matchday. As a club, we’ll do our very best to prevent this pandemic from adversely affecting them in any way we can. We want to recognise and acknowledge their loyalty during our own times of need.
At the same time, we’d also like to recognise the invaluable contribution made throughout our history by the Livi for Life Supporters Trust. We know we can continue to rely on them for their tireless support.
We’d like to reassure all of our extended Livi “family” that the club is working tirelessly behind the scenes to put in place ways of generating funds to help get us all through these difficult times. We’ve identified a number of avenues that we’ll progress over the coming days and weeks where fans and businesses, where possible, can help to support the football club.
We continue to follow guidance from both the UK and Scottish Governments on how best to deal with the daily impacts of the pandemic. The Scottish Football Joint Response Group also provides us with regular and valuable updates and we’ll be sure to highlight these to you as and when we receive them.
The club will continue to communicate with fans via both the official website and social media channels but if you do have any urgent enquiries, or even helpful suggestions, these can be emailed in to [email protected]
Again, we thank you all for your patience and support as we all continue to adapt to this fluid and challenging situation. Look after yourselves and those around you and be strict when it comes to washing your hands and general hygiene. And please remember, we’ll get through this by pulling together as a team, so wherever possible, keep an eye out for elderly or vulnerable friends, relatives and neighbours. Small gestures, or even just a kind word, can mean so much more to those around us in these difficult times.