Livingston have imposed a deadline of today as Kenny Miller continues to weigh up whether to become the club’s player-manager.
The former Rangers striker is believed to have other, more lucrative options to continue solely as a player. However, the 38-year-old remains very interested in taking his first step on the management ladder at such a high level.
Contractual complications are holding up Livingston’s wish to unveil Miller although the club are confident this will happen either today or Monday. But they want an answer either way by later this afternoon.
The newly promoted Premiership club had originally planned to confirm the appointment earlier this week but Miller is taking his time considering his options.
One reason for the hold-up is Miller having to scrutinise two contracts. Livingston have resolved to keep the player and manager contracts separate. So Miller will need to sign both if he accepts the challenge of leading Livingston in the Scottish top flight. A further obstacle is Miller’s agent, Dave Baldwin, currently being away in Colombia on business.
“The club have made a contract offer that stretches them,” said director John Ward last night. “But we are under no illusions Kenny can earn more money at Aberdeen or St Mirren or wherever.”
It’s understood Miller has the option to continue solely as a player at these rival Premiership clubs, with Hibs also believed to be interested in their former player.
Ward confirmed Livingston have a “robust” Plan B should Miller decide against taking up their offer. Former Falkirk manager Gary Holt has also been linked with the post. Time is now of the essence as Livingston seek to begin preparing for their opening Premiership game against champions Celtic on 4 August. “We have been reasonable,” he said in reference to Miller’s request for more time. “Things have been batted back and forth all week.”
The director stressed Livingston made no attempt to varnish the situation as they seek to establish themselves in the top flight following their surprise promotion.
“We went to great pains to make sure Kenny understands the limitations we have at Livingston,” said Ward. “We are essentially a community, provincial club. Against all expectations we are now in the Premiership. We don’t know what our gates will be next season, there is no magic money tree for when January comes and things are tough.
“I was at great pains to make sure he understands that,” added Ward. “To be fair to him he has been operating at a very high level. Clubs like Derby County, Rangers and Celtic, if they get into trouble they can just go and chuck some money at it.
“We have been careful not to paint a picture all is going to be wonderful,” he continued. “We are very hopeful things will go well but equally he has to get the warts-and-all side of things so he understands the genuine challenge we have.”
Ward is conscious time is marching on. The first team squad has been back in training since last week. Livingston’s first competitive game is just over a fortnight away, against Airdrieonians in the Betfred Cup. They are due to face Queen of the South in a friendly a week today.