Livingston: SPFL deducts five points over tax breaches

Livingston's stadium
The loss of five points will hinder Livingston's chances of Championship survival

Championship club Livingston have been deducted five points for breaching Scottish Professional Football League rules relating to non payment of tax.

At a disciplinary hearing, Livingston admitted to failing to advise the SPFL at the time that they had been in default of their tax obligations in relation to bonus payments to players in 2010/11.

This meant that Livingston had been able to register players when it should not have been able to do so.

The club was also fined £10,000.

SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster said: "The tax default and reporting rules are an integral part of maintaining a fair league competition."

Livingston are bottom of the Championship, with two wins and three draws from 14 games.

The loss of five points with immediate effect leaves the West Lothian side on four points, seven adrift of second-bottom Cowdenbeath.

Livingston chairman Gordon McDougall told BBC Scotland: "The club are working with their accountants and HMRC to establish exactly how much tax is due to be paid.

"This matter was the subject of a voluntary declaration by the club. We will be making no further comment on the situation."

The club has been since the start of the season after it volunteered evidence of undeclared bonus payments.

Livingston changed their name from Meadowbank Thistle when they moved to West Lothian in 1995.

They won a place in the Uefa Cup only seven years after starting out in the Third Division but have had two spells in administration, between 2004 and 2005 and in 2009.