By Alex Horsburgh
Updated Tuesday, 28th July 2009
It would maybe be a bit of karma if Cowdenbeath were to benefit from Livingston's demise.
Cowdenbeath FC have twice been denied promotion after finishing Champions of a Scottish League and in past history last season's second place finish would have been good enough for a step-up. The Fifers are staying tight lipped about a possible promotion on the back of the collapse of Livingston FC. Airdrie and the Fifers would benefit if the West Lothian club were to go to the wall with Spartans most likely to come into the Third Division in a League reshuffle but past history has taught the Blue Brazil not to count the proverbial chickens.
The club was a dominant force in local football for years before being elected to join the Scottish Football League in 1905. Cowden won their first ever League game at their then ground North End Park v Leith 1-0 with Willie Mercer scoring. Cowden later won the 2nd Division championship in both 1914 and 1915 but were denied a top flight place due to the election system that then applied as opposed to automatic promotion.
Cowden won the 2nd Division Championship again in 1938/9 but played only six games in the top flight before the outbreak of WW 2 closed down the official leagues in the UK. When hostilities ceased in 1945 Cowden's Championship win was declared null and void and the club spent 25 years in the basement of the SFL before gaining promotion to the old First Division as runners-up to Falkirk in 1970. Unfortunately they lasted only one season in Div 1 before being relegated back to the backwaters of Scottish football and that is where they stayed before their next promotion in 1992.
Last season's second place finish in Div 3 would have been good enough for promotion in the last half of the 20th Century but the play-off system that now operates in Scotland saw Cowden eventually go down on penalties to 4th place Stenhousemuir in a play-off final to determine who joined Dumbarton in Division 2 in May. Cowden had defeated East Stirlingshire in the play-off semi final but after two 0-0 draws in the final spot kicks saw Stenny promoted. It seemed to many ' beath fans that history was repeating itself. When are you not good enough for promotion when you finish in the top two ? ...when you are the Blue Brazil it seems.
Now Blue Brazil followers, if not the club itself, are on tenterhooks with the news confirmed yesterday that Cowden and Airdrie Utd would be promoted if Livingston dropped out of the SFL.
Cowden fans would also point to a bit of history regarding the Blue Brazil and Livi that might qualify the 'Beath for that step-up. Cowden were the first away side ever to beat Livingston at Almondvale and under Livi's former guise of Meadowbank Thistle the 'Beath inflicted the Edinburgh Jags biggest ever home defeat during Meadowbank's Scottish League existence, a 6-1 drubbing at the Commonwealth Stadium. Meadowbank moved out of Edinburgh and into Livingston and a new name in the mid-1990's.
It is ironic that former Cowden Chairman Gordon McDougall now seems the only man that can save Livi by buying them over but as the clock ticks towards the new League season it is becoming likely that the club that was elected to the Scottish League in 1974 as Ferranti Thistle to make up the numbers in a 10/14/14 League set-up will be gone sooner rather than later. The Ferranti name was later dropped when the SFL decided a company could not also be the name of a Scottish League club. Ferranti became Meadowbank when they moved from City Park to play their home games at the stadium built for the 1970 Commonwealth Games shortly before the start of season 1974/75.
Livi will go into liquidation unless owner Angelo Massone sells his shares for £25,000 by Wednesday lunchtime.
The Court of Session appointed administrator Mazars on Friday, following a move by the local council to recover £330,000 from the West Lothian club.
Livingston have been informed that they are in breach of the SFL rules regarding the potential disruption of the league programme.
If they do survive the threat of liquidation, the SFL could opt to deduct points or fine the First Division club, relegate them to the Third Division or expel them from the league.
Airdrie United finished second bottom of Division One in the last league campaign and were relegated when they lost the play-off final to Second Division Ayr United.
Cowdenbeath were beaten by Stenhousemuir in a penalty shoot-out in the Division Two play-off final.
Ger Harley (ger@scottishfitba net)
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