Livingston’s woes deepened last night as the club were hit with a five-point deduction after failing to pay tax over undeclared bonuses.
The West Lothian club have also been fined £10,000 by the SPFL having defaulted on their tax obligations in relation to player bonus payments made between 2010 and 2011.
John McGlynn’s side were already two points adrift at the foot of the Championship in wake of Saturday’s defeat to nearest rivals Cowdenbeath, but have now seen that gap increase to seven as a result of yesterday’s verdict.
The club pleaded guilty to breaching SPFL rules E20, E22 and E29 at a disciplinary hearing – although it remains to be seen whether or not the club will lodge an appeal against the decision.
Livi had a transfer embargo imposed on them just days into the new season after a letter was sent to the Scottish FA and SPFL outlining the alleged offences – those payments believed to have been made by former club chief executive Ged Nixon without the knowledge of other members of the board.
A statement released by the SPFL said: “Livingston failed to advise the SPFL that it had been in default of its tax obligations in relation to payments made to players.
“As a result, the club were deducted five points in the SPFL Championship with immediate effect and were fined £10,000.”
Club chairman Gordon McDougall confirmed last night the club are working with their accountants and HMRC to determine how much tax is due to be paid, however, McGlynn declined to comment on the situation when contacted and the implications it may have on his players who now face a battle to stay in the division.
The club could incur further penalties on Friday with the SFA expected to reach their conclusion in the case involving majority shareholder Neil Rankine’s reported ties with both Championship side Dumbarton and League Two outfit, East Fife.