Dear Councillors Walker, Boyle and McGinty,
CC: Livingston FC, Angela Constance MSP
As a local council tax payer who has also been since 2000 a regular follower of Livingston I am concerned about the mixed messages that the council is giving over the future of senior football in West Lothian.
Yesterday along with many others including Angela Constance I attended a meeting called by Angelo Massone in the Almondvale Suite. He has assured us that he has written to the council with a three month scheme to satisfy the back rent of the stadium that is due. He also outlined that the council thankfully are aware that the rates being paid are not conducive to a club in the lower division and have lowered that rental agreement accordingly.
He and Neil Rankin both told those present yesterday that they were under the impression on Tuesday evening that some of the executive officers of the council were of the mind to recommend this repayment plan to enable the team that has been part of the local community for the past 14 years to carry on trading.
On Wednesday of course the council proceeded with legal proceedings which are not only leading to a greater debt issue with the club as advise is needed to be sought and fees paid to deal with this, but may well end in liquidation of the club in a little of 11 days from now. The result of such action would of course lead to the council not getting any or much of the money it is owed, leave the loyal fans of Livingston FC without their team and the SFL with a major headache that cannot be rectified before the start of the new season.
The council tax payer in me would rather that the council gets the money it is due and looks at the plan for repayment that has been laid out.
The football fan in me knows that while there appear to be payment plans agreed with HRC and Scottish Power the biggest threat to the survival of Senior Football is West Lothian appear to be the Council who are telling the public and fans through the Courier that 'a secure future for senior football at Livingston remains [the councils] priority and [the council] hope this [legal] action will ensure the good name of Livingston FC remains intact for generations to come'. At the current state of non-negotiation with the current owner of the club and Mr Rankin who is prepared to advise and is trying to engage the fans and community in the club is that there may not be a club by the end of this month let alone for generations to come if that is the case.
There is a sense of urgency to save the club that is worse now than at any time in the last 5 years and the council are the creditors who are currently the ones posing the biggest threat. Therefore I would urge you and your council colleagues to look at the proposals put forward by Mr Massone. Balance the fact of what termination of the club would mean to the council coffers as opposed to accepting the repayment proposals.
Time is of the essence may I urge you to save West Lothian's club.