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Page last updated at 16:35 GMT, Wednesday, 5 August 2009 17:35 UK

Livi relegated to Division Three

Almondvale Stadium, Livingston
Livingston can appeal against their relegation to the Third Division

Livingston have been relegated to the Scottish Third Division for breaching league rules on insolvency.

Airdrie United have subsequently been promoted to the First Division for the new season, with Cowdenbeath taking their place in Division Two.

A Scottish Football League statement said the move gave the club "the chance of continuing their league membership".

Livingston interim manager Donald McGruther said the decision was "the death knell" of the club.

In its statement, the SFL said: "At a meeting today of the Scottish Football League Management Committee, Livingston Football Club were found to be in breach of Rule 76.2, relating to insolvency.

"The sanction imposed was to place Livingston FC in the Third Division for season 2009-2010.

We've got to consider all the options that are open to us - it makes it very, very difficult

Livingston consortium
Gordon McDougall

"We believe a Third Division placement offers Livingston FC the chance of continuing their membership of the Scottish Football League."

The West Lothian club have the right to appeal against the SFL's decision.

McGruther had been placed in charge of the club's affairs after West Lothian Council took court action to recover debts owed by the club and its previous Italian owners lead by Angelo Massone.

Massone eventually agreed to sell his stake in the club for £50,000 after having refused a previous offer of half that sum.

A consortium led by former Cowdenbeath chairman Gordon McDougall then presented its business plan to save the club.

Upon leaving Hampden Park on Wednesday, where he was witness to the demotion decision, McDougall said that his consortium's plan was based on the club competing in the First Division.

McDougall said he would consult his partners, Dumbarton owner Neil Rankine and Livingston fans' representative Ged Nixon, over their next course of action.

MY SPORT: DEBATE

"We've got to consider all the options that are open to us. It makes it very, very difficult, but let's see and go back and discuss it with an open mind," said McDougall.

Prior to Wednesday's meeting at the National Stadium, the consortium had expressed frustration at being asked by the SFL put up a bond of £720,000 - in order to fulfil the club's First Division fixtures for the new season.

McDougall believed the sum requested was excessive.

However, the other nine Division One clubs had expressed deep concerns about Livingston's ability to complete their fixtures.

McGruther said he feared Livingston would suffer the same fate as the now defunct club Gretna, which lost its battle to survive in 2008 and resigned from the SFL.



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see also
Livi bond frustrates consortium
04 Aug 09 |  Livingston
Albion Rovers 3-0 Livingston
01 Aug 09 |  Scottish Cups
Clubs angry with SFL over Livi
31 Jul 09 |  Scottish League
Massone sells up to depart Livi
31 Jul 09 |  Livingston
Livingston saved from liquidation
30 Jul 09 |  Livingston
McDougall resigns to help Livi
25 Jul 09 |  Livingston
McDougall outlines plan for Livi
26 Jun 09 |  Livingston


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