Yet more debt on the menu for skint Livingston

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By Michael MacLeod

CHEFS who served up food at Livingston Football Club are demanding to know who ate all the pies the struggling team were ordered to pay them £10,000 for.

The First Division club are being chased by around 16 different firms for outstanding bills and have been late in paying players and backroom staff.

The latest in a long line of embarrassments saw them held to ransom over half time pies, bar staff, waiters and chefs.

The unpaid bills add up to over £10,000 according to Ian Forbes, managing director of Chefs on the Run.

He said the club ignored over 100 phone calls from him chasing the payments, as well as emails and faxes.

Delaying tactics

The courts ordered the club to pay back the cash yesterday, but Mr Forbes, 48, says he’ll never deal with the club again – even if he does get his money.

And he had a stark warning to any companies dealing with Livingston.

He said: “The delaying tactics displayed by the Italian consortium running the club are nothing short of outrageous.

“I had a terrific working relationship with the club for four years until they came in last summer. Since then I’ve never seen a cheque from them.

“We provided all sorts of catering services for them but it makes you wonder who ate all the pies and who’s got my money.

“I would warn anybody against doing jobs for that club because it seems to be happening to companies in every walk of life.”

“I’ll never work for them again”

He also said the club tried to settle the case out of court just a day before it was due in front of a sheriff.

But he blasted: “Their terms were not at all satisfactory and I will absolutely never work for them again, even if the courts do get my money back from them.”

The case at Linlithgow Sheriff Court came a week after the club were ordered to pay £2,600 to Leader Timber – who supplied flooring for the club’s plush Carling Italia Bar.

Managing director Ronnie Malcolm, 54, said at the time: “I’m furious at them and don’t think for a second that we’ll ever see the money again because I think it looks like they’re about to go bust.

“Somebody needs to explain to the Italians how business is done in Scotland.

“For the past three years we’ve got on fine with the club, but since June when this mob showed up, it’s been a nightmare.

“They’re just not showing respect anymore.”

This week chairman Angelo Massone made a desperate plea to fans to give him their money for next year’s season tickets early.

He said in a statement to fans: “I believe that the 2009/10 season can be a very successful one for Livingston and I am calling on you to share my ambitions and back the club early, so that our playing budget can be competitive enough to challenge for the title.

“To maximise that budget, the easiest option would have been to raise season ticket prices and bank on your unequivocal passion and dedication to the club.

“But, in recognition of your loyal backing in these uncertain economic times, we have taken the decision to offer the same prices as last year up until 30 April in the hope we can entice you to buy early.”

Nobody from the club was available to comment on the court case yesterday.

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