DAVIE MARTINDALE insists receiving the all-clear to continue as manager of Livingston would provide a form of ‘closure’ as his Hampden D-Day approaches.
Martindale, 46, will attend a virtual hearing next week during which Scottish FA bosses will consider whether he is a ‘fit and proper person’ to remain in charge of the Lions.
He was jailed for six-and-a-half years in 2006 after pleading guilty to drug dealing and money laundering charges, however with more than a decade having passed since that conviction, that is not thought to be the major hurdle.
The Scottish FA have historically been more concerned with the ongoing repayments of Martindale’s proceeds of crime order. But that six-figure sum has also now been cleared.
The Livi boss, who has guided his side to a seven-game winning streak to earn the post until the end of the season, pending ratification from the authorities, now faces a week of ‘apprehension’.
Martindale said: “I’m a big believer in what will be will be. I’ll take it on the chin and get on with it whatever happens.
“Hopefully it’s plain sailing and I can continue to be the manager.
“I’ve got no influence upon it whatsoever so I’m relaxed about it, although apprehensive is probably a better word.
“I had the overhang of the proceeds of crime from 2004. That was hanging over my head and has been one of the main obstacles.
“The SFA have always said in the past ‘we’re not happy with that hanging over your head’ and that’s always been the main sticking point as to why they didn’t see me as a fit and proper person.
“It’s just like owing someone money but that’s all in the clear now and has been for a wee while.
“Hopefully, with that done and dusted, it will open up the avenue for me to be a fit and proper person and to manage the football club.
“There would be a wee bit of closure from that – that I can put it away now and get on with my life, so to speak.
“It might not be the final hurdle but it would feel like it. It would feel like I’m getting there.”
And Martindale believes his journey from convicted criminal to ratified top-flight manager would serve as a welcome illustration of the rehabilitation process in action.
When he was released from prison win 2010, Martindale completed a construction project management degree at Heriot-Hatt University, worked in the property industry and ultimately became involved in football as a volunteer.
He climbed the ranks from Broxburn Athletic to Livingston, before becoming an increasingly influential figure on the training pitch and behind the scenes.
He added: “I am obviously really biased when I speak about this because I have to be an advocate of it [rehabilitation], haven’t I?
“It’s hugely important for society. There has to be a rehabilitation process that employers take part in and, at the end of the day, SFA is an employer.”
Meanwhile, Martindale insists there is a ’95 per cent’ chance Livi’s Premiership clash with Ross County will go ahead after being forced to rearrange the fixture for Sunday afternoon.
Martindale is adamant sub-zero conditions forecast for Friday evening would have ensured the game had no chance of going ahead on Saturday as planned, and praised County for being amenable to the switch.
Livingston have already seen the visit of Aberdeen earlier this month postponed due to a frozen surface at the Tony Macaroni Arena, with that match now slated to take place next Wednesday.
Martindale added: “The game wouldn’t be on for Saturday because the temperature is due to drop to minus-eight in Livingston on Friday night into Saturday morning.
“From Saturday at 10am, the temperature should start rising all the way through. So the contractors are quite confident the game will on on on Sunday.
“Ross County have been brilliant with us and, as they are travelling from a fair distance away, you are trying to help everybody out.
“The game had a 95 per cent chance of being cancelled on Saturday and it’s probably got a 95 per cent chance of being on on Sunday.”