Friday, August 7, 2009

No Friday Fun in today's blog, as we feel the need to comment more on the Livingston debacle and follow up on Wednesday's post.

Just when you thought that the whole situation couldn't become any more embarrassing for the Scottish game, there's a new twist.

I was away on Thursday and expected to come home to find that Livingston FC had finally been put out of their misery and we could move on to looking forward to the season ahead, albeit with just 41 League teams.

Like a persistant cockroach, they just won't die it would seem and they're determined to try and take the dignity and reputation of Scottish football down with them.

Livingston were given the right to appeal Wednesday's decision to demote them two divisions. No one expected they would, as not only do they have little hope in succeeding with any appeal, it would also disrupt the whole League campaign. But appeal they did today, throwing confusion and problems in every which way.

The SFL were now faced with the following options.

Option 1. Keep Livingston as a First Division club pending the appeal, meaning they would play a game away to Ross County and Airdrie and Cowdenbeath would play a Second and Third Division game respectively. If Livingston's appeal failed, all the games would be voided and new matches needed to be replayed involving the six teams (Arbroath and East Stirling being the other clubs affected). Certainly not ideal and penalising other teams by having to play and put on extra matches when they have done nothing wrong in all this.

Option 2. Postpone all three games, and future games involving the Clubs, pending the appeal being heard. Apart from throwing the three Leagues into chaos, Ross County and East Stirling indicated they would be looking for compensation if this decision was made to covers costs such as programme printing and catering.

Option 3. Promote Airdrie and Cowdenbeath, as decided on Wednesday, and let them play their appropriate games against Ross County and Arbroath. Demote Livingston and make them play East Stirling. All pending the appeal and if Livingston win their appeal, these games would be voided and again new matches needing to be played.

What a shambles and one that probably hasn't been experienced by any other League in the world.

The SFL settled for option 3, possibly because they know that any appeal will not be successful.

Livingston have responded to this by snubbing the fixture and saying they will not turn up at East Stirling. The Shire are now left in the crazy situation of putting on the match, fielding a team, kicking off and if their opponents are not there, winning the game by forfeit.

Livingston's actions will also surely now mean that if they fail to win their appeal, they will be kicked out of the SFL for failing to complete a fixture.

Lessons have to be learned from all this and quickly. The appeal has to be heard as soon as possible to stop any future disruption.

As for Livingston. Their actions will just have infuriated everyone so much that they can have no hope of winning the appeal. The sooner they're removed from the Scottish game, then the happier we will all be.


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