St Mirren: Scottish Cup semi-finalists do not qualify for licence to compete in Europe

By Brian McLauchlinBBC Scotland
St Mirren reached the last four in the Scottish Cup with a dramatic win on penalties at Kilmarnock
St Mirren reached the last four in the Scottish Cup with a dramatic win on penalties at Kilmarnock

St Mirren face the prospect of missing out on European football after they were refused the necessary licence to compete in Uefa competitions.

The Paisley club would qualify for the final Europa League play-off round if they were to go on and win the Scottish Cup.

Jim Goodwin's side meet St Johnstone on Sunday for a place in the final.

Premiership rivals Livingston, Hamilton Academical and Ross County also fail to fulfil the required criteria.

Uefa introduced a mandatory club licensing system in 2004 to tackle issues such as financial transparency and instability, inadequate stadia, overdue payments and lack of youth investment.

While the reasons for St Mirren's refusal have not been divulged, an appeal can be lodged with the Scottish FA. Should that fail, the Court of Arbitration for Sport would be the club's final chance of reversing the decision.

The deadline for the Scottish FA to submit licences to Uefa is 31 May.

Each season the Scottish FA publishes licensing awardsexternal-link of their own - with different criteria than Uefa.

St Mirren have received an overall 'gold' rating, while other top flight sides classified 'silver' have been granted the Uefa licence.

Livingston last played in Europe 18 years ago and would qualify for the new Conference League if they finish fifth and Hibernian win the cup.

St Mirren have been absent from European competition for 34 years after their 1987 Scottish Cup victory.

Losers from the Europa League play-offs drop into the group phase of the inaugural Conference League.

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