Aug 26 2009 by Colin Paterson, Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser
KENNY BLACK says the ongoing saga of ‘Livigate’ is hampering his signing plans.
The Airdrie United boss has admitted he can’t add new players until he knows for certain which division his side will be part of this season.
The Diamonds are currently in the First Division after clubs voted in favour of the SFL management committee’s decision to demote crisis club Livingston to the Third Division.
But the Lions are taking the appeal process to the wire and will present their case at a future meeting of the SFA executive committee.
And until a final decision has been made on the Almondvale club’s future, Black told the Advertiser he isn’t in a position to hand out contracts.
The Advertiser understands former Partick Thistle defender Simon Storey, who has played two games as a trialist, will be awarded a deal the moment the Diamonds’ status has been secured.
A revised budget has been drawn up following Airdrie’s belated promotion several weeks ago but the waiting game continues for the manager.
“We need to get a lid put on the Livingston situation,” said Black, “as this has contributed to a difficult start to the season for us.
“There needs to be a final answer on this issue as things have been lingering on for far too long.
“Our minds are now set on the fact that we are a First Division club but obviously Livingston feel that they have a case against the decision that was made.
“We can’t go out and spend whatever monies and then find out that we might be put back into the second division.
“And we don’t want to be promising new players money only for things to then change.”
On the squad front, Black has dropped his interest in former Kilmarnock midfielder Tom Nolan but is continuing his assessment of ex-Queen of the South player Ryan McCann.
Former Hamilton Accies and Queens full-back Tom Parratt is also on the gaffer’s radar although little progress has been made in attempts to sign another striker.
Black added: “We are still in the throes of analysing the trialists that have been with us.
“However, we will not be pursuing things with Tom at this moment in time.
“I can see why Kilmarnock wanted to give him another year but he hasn’t shown enough to merit a contract.
“We have a tight budget and that leaves little margin for error. If we are unsure on a player, we will have to err on the side of caution.
“We are continuing to look for a striker and we are talking to people and finding out what is out there.
“A loan signing from an SPL club is perhaps a possibility for us but the other side of that is you would then be asking a young player to come in and do an experienced striker’s job.”
The Diamonds will host title favourites Dundee this weekend and Black admits he has a number of injury concerns.
David Nixon and Ricky Waddell will almost certainly miss the match with doubts surrounding the fitness of Paul Lovering, Alan Trouten, Paul Keegan and Scott Gemmill.
Black knows everyone will be writing the Diamonds off ahead of this match and said: “That is why I wish this game was tomorrow.
“The general football public will think we have no chance so this is a time for us to stand up and take responsibility for our results.”
THIS week’s Airdrie United lottery numbers are as follows: £800 draw - 1, 4 and 18. £300 draw - 9, 13 and 15.
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