Livingston’s signing embargo is lifted

Livi chairman Gordon McDougall. Pic Ian Rutherford

Livi chairman Gordon McDougall. Pic Ian Rutherford

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Livingston are looking forward to “functioning normally again” after having their signing embargo lifted.

The West Lothian club were hit with an indefinite ban on registering players in mid-August after volunteering evidence that they had failed to pay tax on undeclared bonuses. It was claimed former chief executive Ged Nixon made these payments – reported to be in the region of £30,000 –without the knowledge of other directors.

They were subsequently found guilty in November of breaching three SPFL rules in relation to the matter and were hit with a five-point deduction and a £10,000 fine. However, the Lions, six points adrift at the bottom of the Championship, are now free to sign players again after settling the matter with HMRC on Hogmanay.

The troubled Almondvale club issued a statement on their website yesterday welcoming the latest developments, which will allow recently-appointed manager Mark Burchill to strengthen his squad for what promises to be a formidable battle against relegation.

“Our accountants, Curle & Co, finally completed negotiations with HMRC and our chairman, Gordon McDougall, personally made full payment of the agreed sum yesterday afternoon,” read the statement. “We now look forward to functioning normally again in 2015, now this handicap has been lifted.”

McDougall added: “We were working with one hand behind our back, so this is good news.”