LIVINGSTON Football Club have come a long way since they made the move from Edinburgh in 1995. Formerly Meadowbank Thistle, the club roared their way through the divisions to take their place at the summit of Scottish Football within six years.

A third place finish followed, and that achievement won Livi the right to a UEFA Cup place in season 2002/2003, bringing European football to the 'Vale just seven years after starting life in Division Three.

In those seven years, the Lions picked up the three Scottish Football League titles available to them and won their way into the UEFA Cup. But greater success was to follow in March 2004.

After a late 1-0 win against Dundee in the CIS Cup semi-final against Dundee at Easter Road - courtesy of a Derek Lilley penalty - Livi secured their passage into their first ever major final at Hampden Park.

Despite their opponents - Hibernian - being tipped favourites for the cup, goals from Derek Lilley and Jamie McAllister upset the odds to bring the CIS Cup trophy back to West Lothian with a 2-0 victory.

That success however was achieved only two months after the club entered administration. That situation continued until May 13 2005, when the Lionheart consortium led by Pearse Flynn secured full control of the club.

Lionheart ensured the continued survival of the club throughout the years following their purchase of the club, but sadly presided over the relegation of the team to the Scottish First Division.

In June 2008, a new consortium of Italian businessmen - Angelo Massone, Tommaso Bruno, Alessandro Di Mattia and Tommaso Angelini - invested in Livingston Football Club, taking control from Lionheart.

Their tenure was short lived, with an interim manager put in charge of the club in July 2009 to oversee its affairs.

At that point, a consortium including current Chairman Gordon McDougall acquired control of the club, which was quickly demoted to the Third Division for what was adjudged as a breach of the SFL's insolvency rules.

Yet nearly three years from that day, and after successive promotions, the Lions sit proudly on a stable financial footing; with manager John McGlynn and assistant Mark Burchill at the helm.

In 18 years, Livingston - brought to West Lothian by visionary local businessman Bill Hunter - has experienced success beyond the imagination of many. That success came at a price, but now the club and its supporters can look forward to new, positive challenges.

 
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