Flynn reveals plan to get Livingston back in SPL

LIVINGSTON chairman Pearse Flynn today vowed to steer the club back into the SPL after unveiling a three-year business plan and two new investors in the West Lothian side.

And the Irishman put speculation that he was ready to quit the Lions to an end, insisting that his long-term future is committed to the Almondvale outfit.

In a deal worth around 1million, Flynn welcomed Anthony McMullen of McMullen Properties on board and the Irish property developer will take a 50 per cent stake in the club, while West Lothian businessman Ged Nixon is also investing.

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Flynn stressed: "I want to stay involved in the club. I have sunk a lot of blood, sweat and money into the club over the last four years.

"I am absolutely committed to the football club, I love it. It is starting to get under Anthony's skin, it's already under Ged's and my skin.

"I underestimated that when you are relegated and you get into this kind of spiral, how difficult it is to get out of it.

"I have made mistakes. I maybe thought that we could come in, stick some adrenalin in and arrest this thing, but it has taken a lot longer for that to happen.

"But now I genuinely feel that we will do some development on the properties that are already here and build some sustainable revenues. Two years from now you will not recognise this place – but there will still be a football club here, right in the centre of Livingston."

The Lions were relegated in 2006 and Flynn admitted that it is vital that they get out of the First Division as soon as possible.

He added: "We don't want to be in the First Division, I think I have been very public in my hatred of the First Division, not because it is a bad league but because I think it is an unbelievably tough league to be in.

"We need to get out of it and to do that we need to invest and go forward.

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"We are unlike other clubs because they all come from a town and the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker all put money into them. We don't have that, this is still a new club in a new town and we need to build revenue streams. We have always had a plan to redevelop the assets around the stadium and I had been on the lookout for a property partner to come in because I am not a property developer.

"Anthony has come in and can do that for us, while Ged has come in because we want to give the club more of a local business feel to it."

Livingston are currently unable to sign players because of the transfer embargo placed on them in the wake of the Emmanuel Dorado controversy.

The French defender claimed that some of his wages were unpaid after the Lions' relegation to the First Division and the club were banned from bringing in new faces.

As a result they have been forced to blood several youngster under Mark Proctor and, although the likes of Leigh Griffiths has impressed, Flynn concedes he will be glad when the matter comes to an end over the next couple of months.

He continued: "We are expecting the Dorado situation to be wound up in the next wee while to the satisfaction of the SFL.

"We are going to put in place an extremely aggressive budget for next season to try and get out of the First Division.

"This year we have underachieved. We started the league with, in my opinion, the second biggest budget in the division behind Dunfermline and we are fourth from bottom so we didn't match up to that.

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"The gap between the SPL and the First Division is unbelievable. If you look at the top-flight clubs they probably all make money with the exception of Hearts and they are a bit of an anomaly.

"If you are in the First Division, no-one makes money from the league games. Queen of the South might this season because of their cup run. Our ambition is to get out of here in a two-year timescale but hopefully earlier."