Livingston CEO explains decision not to move Kilmarnock clash

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LIVINGSTON chief executive John Ward insists he sympathises with the plight facing Kilmarnock – but is adamant the only way clubs will get through this campaign is by fulfilling fixtures as scheduled.

Killie’s entire first-team squad was forced to undergo a mandatory 14 days of isolation following six positive Covid-19 tests, resulting in the postponement of their Premiership game against Motherwell earlier this month.

The Ayrshire outfit will have their full complement of players back in training on Wednesday morning but, given their period of relative inactivity, they asked Livi if the game could be moved back.

The facade of the Tony Macaroni Arena | Livingston news
Livingston’s Tony Macaroni Arena home

However, Ward has explained how St Mirren facing Hibernian without three senior goalkeepers set a precedent and, while he feels for Killie’s predicament, says he would accept the situation if the shoe were on the other foot.

If the game had been moved to next week that would also have impeded on Livi’s preparations for their onerous trip to face Rangers the following Sunday.

Ward said: “The games that have been postponed [with enough players left to fulfil the fixture] so far have been postponed by the government; the Celtic and Aberdeen games.

“The SPFL have taken the view that if a game can be played, then it should be.

“We all saw that was the case with St Mirren when they lost an entire pool of goalkeepers and had to bring in a loan.

“I do have sympathy with Kilmarnock but it would be no different if we were in their position. We are all living with this virus, dealing with it the best we can and trying to get through the campaign.”

Dyer stated on Monday: “I asked if we could have the game put back two or three days. That was a no. So we sent an email to the league and they said Livi didn’t want to respond. It’s not great because we’re all here to help one another.”

However, Ward does not believe normalising the changing of dates is good for Scottish football as a whole, with many other clubs bound to have similar issues and very few free dates in the calendar moving forward.

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Ward continued: “We do need to work together to get through this season completed – but there’s a recognition that every club is going to have an issue at some point and, in any group calls we have had, the prevailing opinion is that we need to get games played.”

But Ward added: “If the SPFL was to decide the game was to be postponed we would abide by that.”

 
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