Following on from the recent announcement from the SPFL, we wanted to bring our own fans an update on our position regarding the written resolution received.
Firstly, we would like to take the opportunity to thank both the SPFL and SFA for their hard work and effort in providing clubs with extensive legal opinions during this unprecedented time. The situation in which we all find ourselves in is unlike anything we have ever seen before, so we appreciate the difficulty in reaching an outcome that will satisfy all relevant parties.
We are grateful for the continued communication over recent weeks via both regular emails and video calls, in which the information provided has remained clear and concise at all times and has allowed us to remain fully up to speed on all developments across a number of areas.
We would like to put on record that we fully support the resolution put forward by the SPFL on Wednesday 8th April, as below:
“SPFL clubs are to vote on a resolution recommending the termination of the 2019/20 season in the Ladbrokes Championship, Ladbrokes League 1 and Ladbrokes League 2, with final season placings determined by points per game in league matches played to date by each club.
The resolution also recommends that matches in the Ladbrokes Premiership remain postponed for the time being, to give the best possible opportunity for the remaining 2019/20 fixtures to be played.
However, if the SPFL Board determines that the remaining Premiership matches cannot be played, the Ladbrokes Premiership would also be terminated, with final season placings determined on the same basis.”
There are a number of reasons as to why we are supporting this resolution, which we hope to outline below:
- In a letter from Scottish Ministers to the SPFL the guidance suggests that the restrictions currently in place may not be lifted until a minimum of the 10th June. However, our understanding is that it is likely to be later than this. These guidelines are in place to help to alleviate the pressure on the NHS.
- In our opinion, there is no viable space to finish the current season and we feel with over 75% of the games completed, an average points per game system is the best of all options, in which no option is great. Unfortunately, it is impossible to find a neutral ground which suits everyone.
- It is fundamental to Livingston Football Club that league prize money can be paid out, as we have a duty of care to our employees and fans to ensure we still have a football club for the following season. The only way for league money to be distributed is via the league season concluding and we must emphasise that voiding the season does not achieve this.
- From all discussions with the SFA/SPFL, it is our opinion that one thing that is paramount in fulfilling the new contracts from Sky Sports (exclusive rights holder) and Premier Sports is that the new season starts on the contractual dates, or as close to as possible within reason.
- As a club, we feel that living in this state of limbo is detrimental to next year’s revenue streams and closure is needed. Season Tickets and Commercial Sponsorship play a huge part in our business model and bringing the season to an end allows our business to focus on the new season ahead.
From our perspective, this has been an extremely tough decision to come to as we as a football club would have loved the opportunity to finish the season and push for a European spot, which was potentially worth huge amounts of revenue. Our preferred option, back on March 13th, was to finish the current league before the new one started. It has become abundantly clear that this would be difficult at best to achieve, taking into account the pandemic, financial and contractual agreements.
Finally, we would like to re-iterate our thanks to our governing bodies for all their help in these unprecedented times. We feel that it is important to provide transparency to our fans and fellow members.