He may only be 24 years of age, but Livingston striker Gary Glen has had plenty off-field uncertainty to contend with during his relatively short career so far.
The frontman spent five seasons at Hearts as the Tynecastle club lurched from one crisis to the next – including several occasions when players weren’t paid on time – before relocating to the Highlands with Ross County in 2012.
After his release from the Dingwall side in May and little more than six weeks into his one-year deal in West Lothian, fresh turmoil has come with Livingston this week being issued with a player registration ban from the SPFL.
Following the club’s decision to volunteer evidence of undeclared bonus payments, manager John McGlynn has been left with his hands tied in the transfer market.
Although McGlynn has publicly stated his satisfaction with the players he has at his disposal, it is ultimately a distraction the club could do without.
“We don’t really have much to do with it, to be honest,” Glen told the Evening News.
“As players, we’ve just got to get on with it and it doesn’t really affect us with it being a transfer ban.
“We don’t know the ins and outs as we just found out the other day as well. We know we’ve got to go out on the park and concentrate on our football and try and pick up points. It’s a different situation from when I was at Hearts because we don’t really know what’s going to happen yet.
“But we’ve got a strong side here; we all get on together and there is a good atmosphere at the club so there’s nothing to worry about.”
Despite this week’s unwelcoming news, Glen admits he was thrilled when McGlynn – whom he worked under at Hearts – put in the call in a bid to entice him to the Energy Assets Arena for the new campaign.
Disclosing there were a few other alternatives within Scotland, the move back to the central belt with his hometown club was always his preferred option. “There were a few offers but I’m happy to be back down the road as I’m from Livingston myself – it’s good to be home,” he said. “My wife had moved up with me to Inverness but she’d found it quite difficult to settle up there so she’s got her family and friends back around her now. It was okay living up there but it’s not a massive place. I scored a few goals for Ross County but I didn’t really want to stay up there much longer. I spoke to my agent at the end of last season and told him I was looking to move and the club themselves weren’t giving out any new contracts.”
Glen made his league bow in last weekend’s 2-1 defeat by Hibs at Easter Road – a venue he announced himself to the Hearts support when he came off the subs’ bench and netted the second in a 2-0 win in the fourth round of the Scottish Cup in January 2009. But it was the manner in which his new employers went about their business and attacked their hosts, particularly in the second half, that has given Glen and his team-mates a sense of optimism ahead of the visit of Cowdenbeath tomorrow.
“I obviously got a wee bit of stick from the Hibs boys but that’s part and parcel of the game,” he explained. “It was good to go back and I thought we were unfortunate as we were on top in the second half and could have come away with at least a point. I thought I did okay but there is room for improvement and that will come with game time. Tomorrow will be our first game at home and it will be good to get going in front of the home fans and will be an opportunity for us to get the three points. We should be looking to go on a run now.
“I’ll be looking for my first goal as well – it would have been nice to have got off the mark at Easter Road – but it wasn’t to be.”