Livingston transfer ban lifted in time for pre-season

Almondvale, home of Livingston. The club has had its transfer embargo lifted. Picture: Wiki Commons
Almondvale, home of Livingston. The club has had its transfer embargo lifted. Picture: Wiki Commons
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LIVINGSTON have been handed a boost ahead of the new season after the Scottish FA lifted the West Lothian club’s transfer embargo.

With less than a week to go before players return for pre-season training, the club will now look to tie up a number of players on new deals as well as potentially bringing in new faces.

The club were hit with a registration embargo after former majority shareholder Neil Rankine flouted dual ownership rules by owning a controlling stake in both Livingston and East Fife.

The SFA punishment left the Lions with just three senior players contracted to the club - Scott Pittman, Darren Jamieson and Jordan White.

But former deputy chief executive of West Lothian Council Gordon Ford has become the largest single shareholder, with a stake of 40 per cent, and the SFA removed the embargo after being shown evidence of the shares transfer at a Hampden meeting earlier this week.

The club is now expected to get a host of first-team players signed up on new deals as well as bringing in new players.

Regular starters Keaghan Jacobs, Darren Cole and Danny Mullen are expected to be among those extending their stay at Almondvale.

Manager Mark Burchill, who steered the club to Championship survival at the 11th hour last season, told the club’s website: “The signing embargo being lifted is fantastic news for the Club, and we can now move forwards in building a squad for the forthcoming season.

“It has been a frustrating time for myself and everyone else involved with the Club. And now with this news, alongside Gordon Ford being named as the new majority shareholder, hopefully this is the beginning of a new and exciting era for Livingston FC.”

Livingston avoided relegation from Scottish football’s second tier on a dramatic final day as a late penalty saw them finish eighth, despite a five-point deduction earlier in the season, while Alloa finished in the play-off spots and Cowdenbeath were automatically relegated.