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Fit and proper verdict

Martindale given all-clear by SFA hearing

David Martindale (SNS)

David Martindale: second chance (SNS Group)

Livingston manager David Martindale has been given the all-clear by the Scottish FA to continue in his role following a hearing into whether he is a ‘fit and proper person’.

Martindale spent three-and-a-half years in prison after pleading guilty in 2004 to being involved with organised crime.

But football has offered him a chance to make good and since taking over as Livingston manager earlier this season his team have been on a long unbeaten run, winning nine and drawing two, and have reached the Scottish League Cup final.

He is now being tipped as a potential manager of the year, a claim that will be firmed up if his team lifts the trophy at the end of February.

His case was heard by the Professional Game Board.

“I’d like to thank every single person on social media, the fans, pundits and media, for their support,” he said Martindale, who has spoken openly about his conviction more than a decade ago.

His case won support from Phil Scraton, emeritus professor of law at Queen’s University Belfast who sat on the Hillsborough Independent Panel.

Livingston MP Hannah Bardell and Kilmarnock boss Alex Dyer also said he deserved a second chance.

Speaking about his past last month, he said: “From 2004, I’ve been actively doing everything I can to change my life.

“I was part of the wrong crowd. I paid a heavy price but the heaviest price wasn’t what I paid it’s what I done to everybody else. It was the family, it was my family, it was the victims of my crime, so to speak.”

Frimpong moves to Germany in £12m deal

Celtic full-back Jeremie Frimpong is expected to move to German club Bayer Leverkusen in an £11.5million move which will provide a welcome boost in revenue in the current climate.

However, the 20-year-old’s decision to leave has left Celts manager Neil Lennon disappointed.

Lennon told the Daily Record: “Yes I feel a bit let down because we felt we could progress him further and we offered him a new deal which would have kept him here for another two or three years but it was down to the player’s personal ambition.

Jeremie Frimpong with Neil Lennon (pic: SNS Group)

“It didn’t come as a surprise at all. This has been in the offing for the past couple of months. We offered the player talks for a new deal a few months back but he declined and made it clear that he wanted to leave, despite our best efforts to keep him.

“We’ve received a very robust offer for him and, after talking about it at length, we think it’s the best thing for the club going forward.

“Obviously, we’re now looking to bring in a right-back to play in that position.”

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