Livingston could be plunged into more financial turmoil tomorrow if a court decides to freeze part of the club’s finances at the request of former chief executive Ged Nixon.
The West Lothian club are due to appear at the Court of Session in Edinburgh tomorrow as Nixon and his legal team ask Lord Tyre to ratify an “Arrestment of Funds Order”. Nixon is suing Livingston for £311,000 that he loaned to the club via now-defunct companies in 2009 to help it out of administration.
If the court decides that there is a case to answer, the cash amount stipulated by Nixon and his advisors will be ring-fenced until the case begins in March next year. Livingston, who sit bottom of the Championship due to a five-point deduction, are already suffering financial hardship after a £10,000 fine last month for defaulting on tax payments and dwindling home attendances.
The club is due to make its monthly salary payments to staff on or around December 25 and there are concerns that if some of the club’s money is frozen, there may be delays in remunerating players. If this was to happen, the club would run the risk of falling into administration and incurring further penalties from the Scottish Professional Football League.
Livingston are expecting to receive revenue later in the month when Hearts visit the Energy Assets Arena on December 27 and the club do currently have active income streams.
Nixon’s gripe is mainly with the club’s majority shareholder Neil Rankine after they fell out last year. Nixon, Rankine and chairman Gordon McDougall all loaned Livingston cash in 2009 to fund their takeover, but Nixon stood down in October last year after relations soured with Rankine. He now wants his money back. However, Livingston admitted in a club statement back in August that they paid players undeclared bonuses in 2010 and 2011, laying the blame at Nixon’s door.
Livi for Life Supporters Trust board member Don Paul said: “There is a fight going on between Ged Nixon and Neil Rankine and they appear to detest each other, and the club is stuck in the middle. It has nothing to do with the players and the fans, but it’s Livingston Football Club that is having its name dragged through the mud again.”
Livingston are understood to be £1.5 million in debt, most of which is owed to existing directors. Nobody at the club was available for comment on the latest issues facing the club when contacted by the Evening News.