Livingston F.C.

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Livingston FC
Livingston FC club badge new.png
Full name Livingston Football Club
Nickname(s) Livi,[1] The Lions, The Amber Machine
Founded 1943; 71 years ago (1943) (as Ferranti Thistle)
Ground Almondvale Stadium
Ground Capacity 9,865[1]
Chairman Gordon McDougall
Manager Vacant
League Scottish Championship
2013–14 Scottish Championship, 6th
Website Club home page

Livingston Football Club, is a Scottish football club based in Livingston, West Lothian.

Livingston currently play in the Scottish Championship and were founded in 1943 as Ferranti Thistle, a works team. The club was admitted to the Scottish Football League and renamed as Meadowbank Thistle in 1974, and played its matches at Meadowbank Stadium in Edinburgh. In 1995, the club was relocated to Livingston, West Lothian and renamed after the town. Since then Livingston have played their home games at the Almondvale Stadium. In the ten years following the move to Livingston the club enjoyed significant success, winning promotion to the Scottish Premier League in 2001, qualifying for the UEFA Cup in its maiden season in the top flight (finishing third after Celtic and Rangers) and winning the 2004 Scottish League Cup. However, the club hit financial problems in 2004, and was relegated to the Scottish First Division in 2006. In July 2009 the club faced further financial problems and were on the verge of being liquidated before a deal was struck to save the club. Livingston were subsequently demoted to the Scottish Third Division,[2] but the club has since achieved consecutive promotions and has now regained its place in the second tier.

They are currently managed by John McGlynn who was appointed on 12 September 2013.

History[edit]

Ferranti Thistle (1943–1974)[edit]

Early Ferranti Thistle FC club badge

The club began life as Ferranti Amateurs[3] in 1943. A works team[4] of the Ferranti engineering company,[5] they initially played in the Edinburgh FA's Amateur Second Division.[3] In 1948 the club became known as Ferranti Thistle and began competing in the Edinburgh and District Welfare Association where they competed for five seasons,[3] before moving to senior football in 1953 joining the East of Scotland League.[6] During this period the club won the East of Scotland Qualifying Cup in 1963.[3] In 1969 the club acquired City Park ground in Edinburgh.[7]

In 1972 the club became members of SFA which allowed them to enter the Scottish Qualifying Cup which they won in 1973[8] which previously had not been open to them. The club's first match in the Scottish Cup was on 16 December 1972 against Duns.[9]

In 1974, as a result of the demise of Third Lanark seven years earlier, and the new three-tier format of the Scottish Football League a place opened up in the second division of the competition. After beating off competition from four Highland League sides, Hawick Royal Albert and Gateshead United, Ferranti Thistle were accepted into the league by a vote of 21–16 over Inverness Thistle.[10][11] The club faced a number of obstacles before they could join the Division as their name did not meet stringent SFL rules on overt sponsorship of teams at the time[12] and the City Ground was not up to standard. The local council offered use of Meadowbank Stadium a modern stadium built in 1970.[3] After an Edinburgh Evening News campaign to find a name for the club, the name Meadowbank Thistle was chosen. This was approved by the SFL in time for the new season.[3]

Meadowbank Thistle (1974–1995)[edit]

Meadowbank Thistle FC club badge

Having had little time to form a squad from the existing Ferranti squad, the first Meadowbank Thistle manager John Bain faced an uphill task to produce a competitive squad in time for the new season.[13] Meadowbank played their first competitive match in the League Cup, eventually losing 1–0 to Albion Rovers.[14] In 1983 the club achieved promotion to the First Division[15] but ultimately were relegated back to the Second Division at the end of the 1984–85 season.[16]

In the 1986–87 season, Meadowbank won the Second Division championship and won promotion to the First Division.[17] They finished runners-up in the First Division in the following season,[18] but were denied promotion to the Premier Division due to league reconstruction.[19]

The part-time club began to struggle, and it became a limited company in 1993[19] but was relegated a short time after at the end of the 1992–93 season to the Second Division.[20] Meadowbank suffered a second relegation in 1994–95, finishing second from bottom in the Second Division and due to the creation of a Third Division were relegated.[21] After this, Chairman Bill Hunter claimed Meadowbank had run into severe financial difficulties and were facing closure as a result. In the face of significant opposition from many Meadowbank fans who objected to the dropping of the club name and the team moving from Edinburgh,[22] in 1995 Meadowbank Thistle relocated to a new stadium in the new town of Livingston and changed name again, to Livingston F.C.[19]

Livingston (1995–)[edit]

Original Livingston FC club badge

Rise to prominence[edit]

In their first season as Livingston they were crowned champions of the Third Division for the 1995–96 season.[23] Three years later, in 1998–99, they won promotion again as Second Division champions.[24] Another promotion followed in 2000–01 when the club finished champions of First Division and gained promotion to the Scottish Premier League (SPL), just six seasons after the relocation to Livingston.[25] Livingston's first SPL campaign, 2001–02, brought more success as they finished third in the league (behind the Old Firm)[26] and qualified for the UEFA Cup for the first time.[27] Jim Leishman's side gave a competent showing in the UEFA Cup. After disposing of FC Vaduz of Liechtenstein on the away goal rule after a 1–1 draw,[28] they came up against SK Sturm Graz of Austria, and after a 14 goal, 2 leg affair they missed out on the second round, going out on the wrong side of an 8–6 aggregate scoreline.[29] The club avoided relegation the following season finishing 9th. After this season, manager Jim Leishman became the club's director of football and was replaced by Brazilian manager Márcio Máximo,[30] who resigned only a few months into the following campaign[31] and was in turn replaced by Leishman's former assistant, Davie Hay. Under Hay's management, Livingston won their first national trophy in 2004 by winning the 2003–04 League Cup after a 2–0 win over Hibernian at Hampden Park. The goals in the final were scored by Derek Lilley and Jamie McAllister.[32]

Administration and SPL relegation[edit]

The club's rise was short lived as they were plunged into administration on 3 February 2004.[33] It was 13 May 2005 before Livingston emerged from administration,[34] following a period of financial turmoil in which the previous boardroom occupants were ousted to make way for Pearse Flynn's Lionheart Consortium.[35] Flynn's first decision was to sack Davie Hay, stating that he wanted a younger man in charge,[36] and to that end appointed Allan Preston as the club's new manager.[37] While Preston's term as Livingston manager started brightly with a 3–0 win over newly promoted Inverness Caledonian Thistle,[38] the club failed to win another league game under his management, resulting in his dismissal in November with the club rooted to the bottom of the SPL.[39] Richard Gough succeeded Preston[40] and steered the club to survival on the last day of the season with a 1–1 draw with Dundee that relegated Dundee in their place,[41] but Gough refused to stay as manager past the end of that season due to family problems and returned to the US,[42] and former Celtic player Paul Lambert succeeded him.[43] On 11 February 2006, Lambert resigned as Livingston manager after seven straight defeats leaving Livingston bottom of the Scottish Premier League.[44] He was replaced by former player and coach John Robertson.[45] Despite his best efforts, Livingston were relegated for the first time in May 2006 after only picking up 18 points that season.[46] It was the worst record since the SPL began and was only beaten during in the 2007–08 season by Gretna, after they were deducted 10 points for going into administration.[47]

Livingston defend a corner from the now defunct Gretna at Almondvale Stadium in 2007.

First Division and Administration II[edit]

After a poor showing in the 2006–07 First Division saw John Robertson removed as Livingston manager on 15 April 2007.[48] His successor was announced on 22 May 2007 as former Hibernian assistant coach Mark Proctor.[49] Proctor appointed Curtis Fleming as his assistant on 26 June 2007,[50] but both were sacked in June 2008[51] after a disappointing season in which they finished seventh.[52] Livingston were taken over that summer by Italian majority shareholders Angelo Massone, Tommaso Bruno, Alessandro Di Mattia, and Tommaso Angelini after Pearse Flynn sold his shares in June 2008.[34] The Italian were thought to be close to appointing fellow Italian Roberto Landi as head coach in June[53] and he was made manager of the First Division side on 11 June 2008.[54] He and assistant Valter Berlini were then fired on 1 December 2008 after just five months in charge.[55] Paul Hegarty was linked with the job on 3 December 2008, and formally appointed two days later.[56] Hegarty was subsequently suspended as manager on 26 April 2009[57] and his contract allowed to expire.[58]

John Murphy was appointed head coach on 30 June 2009, the same day the club faced a deadline to pay debt to West Lothian Council who owned Almondvale Stadium.[59] After that was not met, legal proceedings were carried out against the club to come to an arrangement over the debt within fourteen days or potentially face again going into administration.[60] Livingston were placed into administration on 24 July 2009 by the Court of Session in Edinburgh,[61] and face relegation to the Third Division, a points deduction or being removed from the Scottish Football League entirely.[62] On 27 July 2009, it was revealed that the club were likely to go into liquidation after owner Angelo Massone said he would refuse a £25,000 offer for the club from their administrator.[63] On 28 July 2009, Massone yet again refused the offer and the administrator subsequently started the liquidation process.[64] While Livingston seemed doomed, a meeting with the Scottish Football League on 30 July 2009 secured their future, as they agreed to allow prospective new owners Gordon McDougall and Neil Rankine (part of the Livingston 5 Consortium) run the club for the following season. The next day, Massone sold his shares to the new owners and left the club,[65] and it was also announced that John Murphy had been reduced back to his previous role as goalkeeping coach, with ex-player Gary Bollan becoming the club's new manager.[66] In their first game after the new owners took over, Livingston were on the wrong end of a cup shock in the Scottish League Cup first round, losing 3–0 to Albion Rovers, a team two divisions below them.[67]

Demotion to the Third Division[edit]

Despite the prospective new owners ensuring that Livingston's future as a professional football club would be secure for the next year at least by paying a £720,000 bond to the SFL,[68] on 5 August 2009 the Scottish Football League took the unprecedented move to demote Livingston to the Third Division. A breach of rules on insolvency was the main reason behind the decision.[2][69] The administrator of the club, Donald McGruther, admitted his concern after the decision, saying that "In my view, this represents the death knell of Livingston Football Club”.[70] Gordon McDougall, a member of the Livingston 5 Consortium stated that “We've got to consider all the options that are open to us – it makes it very, very difficult”.[2] It was feared that the club could not survive in the Third Division due to a significant loss of revenue.[71] However, despite the decision and the likely financial impacts, the consortium continued with their bid to take over the club. An appeal was lodged and as a result the club refused to play their opening Division Three fixture against East Stirlingshire on 8 August 2009.[72] Because of this, the club were threatened with a points deduction, but in the event they were given a £3,000 fine for their actions. This was latter overturned on appeal, meaning that the club ultimately escaped any punishment for their boycott of the match.[73] On 7 September 2009 a further appeal to the SFA was dismissed, and the club finally accepted their Third Division fate.[74]

Title wins and First Division return[edit]

On 15 August 2009, Livingston opened their Third Division campaign against Montrose at home and ran out comfortable 2–0 winners.[75] On 17 April 2010, Livingston won the Scottish Third Division title after drawing 0–0 at home to Berwick Rangers. Goalkeeper Roddy McKenzie saved a last minute penalty to ensure the title was on its way to Almondvale.[76] The Lions ended the season on 78 points, 15 points ahead of second placed Forfar Athletic.[77] The following season on 9 April 2011, Livingston secured the Second Division title with a second consecutive title win to earn promotion back to the Scottish First Division with a 3–0 victory over Stenhousemuir at Ochilview Park.[78] On 9 February 2012, Bollan was sacked as manager after two and a half years in charge.[79] Nine days later on 14 February 2012, John Hughes and John Collins were appointed as manager and director of football respectively.[80] However, on 13 November 2012, it was announced that Hughes had left the club to take charge of Hartlepool United.[81] Gareth Evans became manager after being promoted from his position as assistant manager [82] but he was sacked on 28 February 2013 due to ‘concerns over his stewardship’. Collins subsequently resigned from his position as director of football.[83] On 25 March 2013, Richie Burke was appointed as manager along with Mark Burchill as assistant manager.[84] Livingston ended season 2012–13 with a 4th place finish in the First Division, their highest league finish since they were relegated from the SPL in 2006.[85] On 12 September 2013, Burke resigned from his post as manager and was subsequently replaced by John McGlynn.[86]

Colours and badge[edit]

The predominant club colours are amber and black, which have been used since the formation of the club in 1943.[87] The strip typically has an amber top, with the shorts normally black and the socks amber, usually with some black detail.[87] The original strip for the club during the first couple of season in the Ferranti Thistle era was amber and black hoops.[87] After this, solid amber shirts, black shorts and amber socks (occasionally black) became established as the club's home kit.[87] During the recent Livingston era the club have also used all black home strips, and a white and orange kit was used during 2002–03 season.[88] The colours of white, black, purple, blue and a red have been mainly used in the away strips.[88]

The badge used to identify the club has changed 4 times in the club's history.[89] The Ferranti Thistle badge featured a black circular base. Three symbols were incorporated into the badge; a football, a thistle and a lion rampant in the centre holding aloft a Scottish flag.[3] A new badge was then formed as the club changed their name to Meadowbank Thistle. The badge was based on a traditional shield shape with a black being the predominant colour and amber on the outer-trim. The badge features a thistle as the centre piece, with the flower part of the plant being replaced with a football.[19] As the club moved to Livingston, the badge was changed again. The design of the thistle and the football is altered slightly; with the one major change being the addition of a Latin club motto “Fortitier omnia vincit”[90] with the English translation meaning “Bravely conquers all”.[91] The current badge is modernised from the original Livingston badge but most of the features remain. The present badge also reintroduced the lion rampant in the centre of the laurel.[90]

Sponsorship[edit]

Period Kit manufacturer Shirt sponsor
1995–1998 Russell Athletic[88] Mitsubishi[88]
1998–2001 Motorola[88]
2001–2002 Jerzeez[88]
2002–2004 Intelligent Finance[88]
2004–2007 Xara[88]
2007–2008 Nike[88] Smarter Loans[88]
2008–2009 Macron[88] RDF Group[88]
2009–2010 Umbro[92] Fasteq[92]
2010–2011 Erreà[88]
2011–2012 Umbro[88]
2012–2013 Adidas[88]
2013–2014 Energy Assets[93]
2014–2015 Joma[88]

In the Meadowbank Thistle era between 1973 and 1995, the club sourced various shirt sponsorship deals largely from small business such as Ferranti, Sports Conscious, Park & Milton, Raj Restaurant, ACA and PAR Scaffolding.[94] Mitsubishi became the first major shirt sponsor of the club for the first three seasons of the Livingston era.[88] Motorola, then sponsored the club for the next four years.[88] However, Motorola withdrew their shirt sponsorship at the end of the 2001–02 season, after the company’s decline in the area. In 2002, Intelligent Finance, one of the largest employers in the West Lothian area, agreed an initial two-year sponsorship deal with the club worth an undisclosed six-figure sum.[95] The company extended their shirt sponsorship for three more years, making their total sponsorship span over a 5 year period.[88]

Smarter Loans became the club's main sponsor during the 2008–07 season,[88] before the IT solutions company, RDF, signed a two-year deal to become main sponsors for seasons 2008–09 and 2009–10.[96] However they withdrew their sponsorship after only one year, as a result of the ongoing financial crisis at the club that summer.[97] Local supply chain solutions company Fasteq became the new main sponsor for season 2009–10 after the arrival of the new club owners.[98] After four successful years as sponsors, Fasteq withdrew their sponsorship and Livingston announced that they were looking for new shirt sponsors for season 2013–14.[99] Local business Energy Assets were confirmed as new main sponsors on a three year deal in June 2013.[93]

Stadiums[edit]

Scotland U17 line up against Liechtenstein U17 at Almondvale in 2008

The club have had three main grounds in their history; as Ferranti Thistle, the club initially played in local parks before finding a home at City Park in Edinburgh in 1969.[3] before moving to Meadowbank Stadium in 1974[3] which was built for the 1970 Commonwealth Games.[100]

Livingston currently play their home games at the Almondvale Stadium in Livingston.[101] It is currently known as the Energy Assets Arena due to a sponsorship deal.[93] The 9,865 capacity stadium[1] was constructed in 1995[102] as a joint venture between Meadowbank Thistle and the Livingston Development Corporation (LDC). Part of the deal involved the relocation of Meadowbank Thistle to the town and a name change to Livingston. When the LDC was wound up, ownership of the Stadium was transferred to West Lothian Council and the council have since rented the stadium to the club.[19] The ground has hosted Scotland U21s, U19s, U17s[103] and Ladies matches.[104] As well as one home game for Gretna due to problems with their ground share at Fir Park.[105] In April 2011 it was revealed that it was possible Livingston would relocate to a new stadium around one mile from the current site due to West Lothian Council looking to sell the current site to a supermarket chain.[106]

Players[edit]

First-team squad[edit]

As of 31 July 2014[107][108][109]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Scotland GK Darren Jamieson
2 Scotland DF Craig Sives
3 England DF Jason Talbot
4 England DF Simon Mensing (captain)
5 Scotland DF Callum Fordyce
6 South Africa MF Kyle Jacobs
7 South Africa MF Keaghan Jacobs
8 Scotland MF Burton O'Brien
9 Wales FW Robert Ogleby
10 Scotland MF David Robertson
11 England FW Myles Hippolyte
12 Scotland GK Kevin Walker
14 Scotland DF Declan Gallagher
15 Slovenia MF Nejc Praprotnik
16 Scotland MF Jack Beaumont
No. Position Player
17 Scotland MF Michael McKenna
18 Scotland FW Jordan White
19 Scotland FW Gary Glen
20 Scotland FW Danny Mullen
21 Scotland GK Paul Grant
23 Scotland DF Bradley Donaldson
27 Scotland FW Mark Burchill
30 Scotland DF Darren Moffat
31 Scotland DF Shaun Rutherford
34 Scotland DF Jack Cook
35 Scotland MF Cammy Fraser
36 Scotland MF Sam Birch
37 Scotland MF Gabriel Auriemma
38 Scotland MF Ross King
39 Scotland MF Ryan Currie

Out on loan[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player

Former players[edit]

For a complete list of former and current Livingston F.C. players with a Wikipedia article, see here.

Personnel[edit]

Coaching staff[edit]

Role Name
Manager Scotland John McGlynn
Assistant Manager Scotland Mark Burchill
Reserve Coach Scotland Neil Hastings
Kit Manager Scotland Stephen Sproule
Physiotherapist Scotland Andy Mackenzie
Chief Scout Scotland Jim McArthur

Source

Former non-playing staff[edit]

For a complete list of former and current Livingston F.C. non-playing staff with a Wikipedia article, see here.

Board of directors[edit]

Role Name
Chairman Scotland Gordon McDougall
Vice Chairman Scotland Robert Wilson
Director Scotland Andy Gemmell
Director Scotland Carolyn Sumner
HL President Scotland John Bain BEM

Source

Managerial history[edit]

 
Name Nationality Years
John Bain¹ Scotland 1974–1976[110]
Alex Ness¹ Scotland 1976–1978[110]
Willie MacFarlane¹ Scotland 1978–1980[111]
Terry Christie¹ Scotland 1980–1992[112]
Donald Park¹ Scotland 1992–1994[113]
Mickey Lawson¹ Scotland 1994–1995[114]
Jim Leishman Scotland 1995–1997
Ray Stewart Scotland 1997–2000[115]
Jim Leishman Scotland 2000–2003[116]
Marcio Maximo Brazil 2003[117][118]
David Hay Scotland 2003–2004[119]
Allan Preston Scotland 2004[120][121]
Alec Clelandc Scotland 2004[121]
Richard Gough Scotland 2004–2005[122][123]
Paul Lambert Scotland 2005–2006[124][125]
 
Name Nationality Years
Alec Clelandc Scotland 2006[126]
John Robertson Scotland 2006–2007[127][128]
Dave Bowmanc Scotland 2007[129]
Mark Proctor England 2007–2008[129][130]
Roberto Landi Italy 2008[131][132]
Paul Hegarty Scotland 2008–2009[133][134]
David Hayc Scotland 2009[135]
John Murphy United States 2009[136][137]
Gary Bollan Scotland 2009–2012[138][139]
Brian Welshc Scotland 2012[139]
John Hughes Scotland 2012[81][140]
Gareth Evans England 2012–2013[141]
Richie Burke England 2013[142]
John McGlynn Scotland 2013–Present[86]

¹ Managers between 1974 and 1995, when the club were known as Meadowbank Thistle.

c Caretaker managers.

Honours[edit]

From major national honours to reserve league wins, Livingston have been successful in recent history for collecting trophies for their endeavours, and were the first club in Scotland to win all three divisions (Third Division 1995–96, Second Division 1998–99 and First Division 2000–01) in their rise to the Scottish Premier League in 2001.[143] Their most notable trophy win being the Scottish League Cup in 2004, where they triumphed in a 2–0 victory over Hibernian at Hampden Park.[144] Their most recent honour was the Scottish Second Division in season 2010–11.[145]

Senior[edit]

Reserve[edit]

  • Reserve League Cup
  • Reserve League West
    • Winners (1): 2000–01[143]

Youth[edit]

  • SFL Under 19 Youth Division
  • SFL Under 19 Youth League Cup
    • Winners (1): 2008–09[151]
  • SFL Under 17 Division
    • Winners (1): 2011–12[153]
  • SFL Under 17 Youth League Cup
    • Winners (1): 2010–11[154]

¹ This includes honours won between 1974 and 1995, when The club were known as Meadowbank Thistle.

² This includes honours won between 1943 and 1974, when The club were known as Ferranti Thistle.

Club records[edit]

European record[edit]

Livingston have qualified for a Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) club competition on one occasion. The club finished third in the Scottish Premier League (behind Celtic and Rangers) in season 2001–02 and hence qualified for a place in the UEFA Cup for the following season.[27] The club entered the qualifying round of the European competition and were drawn against FC Vaduz of Liechtenstein. Livingston were the favourites in the tie and narrowly overcame their opponents after drawing 1–1 on aggregate but went through to the next round as a result of the away goals rule.[28] After drawing the home leg 0–0 Oscar Rubio scored the solitary and decisive away goal.[28] The following round they were handed a more difficult tie against Austrian side SK Sturm Graz.[29] They were defeated in a dramatic 8–6 aggregate scoreline, losing the first leg 5–2 in Austria at the Arnold Schwarzenegger Stadium but winning the return leg 4–3 back at Almondvale was not enough to put the club through.[29] Barry Wilson scored two goals against the Austrian side which makes him Livingston’s highest goalscorer in European competitions to date.[29]

Season Competition Round Opponent Home Away Aggregate
2002–03 UEFA Cup Qualifying round Liechtenstein FC Vaduz 0–0 1–1 1–1 (a)
First round Austria SK Sturm Graz 4–3 2–5 6–8

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]

Coordinates: 55°53′10″N 3°31′20″W / 55.8860°N 3.5222°W / 55.8860; -3.5222