Livingston: New boss must fit into club's structure, says director

Livingston players celebrate promotion after beating Partick Thistle in a play-off
Newly-promoted Livingston are looking for a new manager

Director John Ward says Livingston are looking for an "adaptable" manager with "some experience" as they prepare for the Scottish Premiership.

The West Lothian club are looking for a new boss after David Hopkin, 47, told them he would be seeking a fresh challenge elsewhere.

Hopkin had led the club to promotion to the top flight with a play-off win over Partick Thistle.

"We need someone that can fit into our set-up here," Ward told BBC Scotland.

"We need someone that is adaptable and has some experience but can fit into what we do here. We don't want to disassemble or change the programmes that are going on here.

"We are not in the market and we certainly would not have the budget for a big name guy that wants to bring in three or four of his staff that he has worked with. That is not going to be the model. It will need to be someone that fits into the guys we have here now."

Former Greenock Morton and Dundee manager Jim Duffy, ex-Ross County boss Jim McIntyre and current Livingston coach John Hartson have already been linked with the job, but Ward would not confirm any applicants.

David Hopkin
Hopkin guided Livingston to successive promotions

However, he says there have already been a number of parties making it known they would be interested in the job.

"There has been lots of noise and there have been lots of people made contact about the job," he explained. "The board will have a discussion about the names being put to us. We also have some people in mind.

"We spent a long time last week putting a budget together. We know it will be three or four times bigger than last season and we hope it will be competitive enough to stay in the league."

Ward says the club have a lot of work to do off the field with much of the Tony Macaroni Arena requiring repair or renewal before the season begins with League Cup first-round group games in July.

Last season's grass pitch has already been lifted with a new all-weather surface currently being laid.

Ward says there is no way the club will get themselves into the same financial difficulties that led to Livingston twice being in administration and demoted to the bottom tier.

He said: "We are going to enjoy this season, we are going to be mixing it with the bigger teams and it will be hugely exciting for the fans. But we will be prudent and smart. We did that last year.

"We budgeted last year to essentially stay in the league, but when we found ourselves at Christmas in the top four we started looking at what potential extra funds were going to be there. We were prudent with the signings we made in January and that kept the momentum going."

Meanwhile, 24-year-old midfielder Shaun Byrne has signed a new two-year contract at Livingston after Craig Sibbald and Steven Saunders agreed to join the club for next season.

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