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Page last updated at 17:31 GMT, Saturday, 15 January 2011

Livingston seek Griffiths transfer cash from Dundee

Dundee striker Leigh Griffths
Livingston claim the payment from Dundee has never been received by the club

By Jim Spence

Livingston claim that Dundee owe them £132,250 for the transfer of Leigh Griffiths in October 2009.

The club says it agreed with Dundee that the fee should be paid in two parts, and the first amount was indeed transferred into Livi's bank account.

But they insist the second instalment was paid two days later to an account belonging to a private individual.

"It is a football debt because the agreement is between Dundee and Livi," said Lions chief executive Ged Nixon.

However, Dundee chief executive Harry MacLean dismissed the claim.

Speaking to BBC Radio Scotland on Saturday, he said: "I've got the papers here today for the administrator with everything on that, including the payments to Livingston FC.

"We are 100% certain that Livingston FC were paid the money.

"Both payments were made from Dundee FC to Livingston FC, with no other parties involved, and I can show you the paperwork for that."

Livingston were relegated to Division Three in 2009 for breaching insolvency rules after entering administration.

They now top Division Two and are adamant that they are still owed the money for the transfer of Griffiths, who will spend the next 10 days on trial at Wolves and will generate a fee of £150,000 for Dundee if he impresses manager Mick McCarthy.

Nixon told BBC Scotland: "The first part was paid by Dundee directly into Livingston's nominated bank account at the time.

"Unfortunately, the second payment does not appear to have been received at all at Livingston Football Club but would appear to have gone to a third party.

"We have investigated that and written to the Scottish Football League and I have informed Bryan Jackson of PKF (Dundee's administrator) of our findings, who has said that Dundee have paid that money.

"I do know that Dundee let those sums go from their account but I know that they have not paid it into Livingston's account."

I've told Livingston you can't expect Dundee to pay twice for the player

Dundee administrator Bryan Jackson

And Nixon added: "We are not questioning Dundee's integrity per se. I think they might very well have paid this money in good faith.

"But the financial agreement is between the two clubs and the selling club has not been paid by the buying club.

"Having sought legal advice, it is for Dundee to reclaim the money from whoever they paid and pay the people who they are supposed to have paid in the first place - Livingston Football Club."

The chief executive of the West Lothian club says that the first instalment was paid by a family member of a former Dundee director.

"The transfer fee was for £125,000 plus VAT," said Nixon.

"There was £10,000 plus VAT received at Livingston's account. The money didn't come from Dundee but I believe it came from a family member of Calum Melville.

"The question I'm asking is why, two days later, was another account credited instead of the same account, and that account being a private individual's with no VAT registered company?"

Asked whether that individual was connected to Livingston, Nixon said: "Connected in some way, yes; a club official, no - a private individual's private bank account.

"Livingston are owed £115,000 plus VAT - £132,250. VAT was 15% at the time.

"That money has not been paid to Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs and there was a cash withdrawal at the receiving account which has never come into Livingston."

Scottish First Division side Dundee fell into administration last October and on Friday failed in their appeal to the Scottish Football Association to have a 25-point penalty for doing so overturned.

Regarding the claim by Nixon, administrator Bryan Jackson told BBC Scotland: "Livingston said they were going to write to me and they have spoken to the SFL.

"I've looked at the matter and traced the money through Dundee's books. I've seen the money paid out in bank statements designated to Livingston FC.

"This player was registered 18 months ago - why is the matter being raised now?

"I've told Livingston you can't expect Dundee to pay twice for the player."

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see also
Scottish FA rejects Dundee appeal
15 Jan 11 |  Dundee
Griffiths gets young player award
09 Oct 09 |  Dundee
Dens signing Griffiths eyes title
26 Jun 09 |  Dundee
Livi lose appeal against the drop
07 Sep 09 |  Livingston
Dundee back Livi's appeal to SFL
11 Aug 09 |  Dundee

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