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David Martindale hoping Livingston gain new fans with Betfred Cup success

Celtic v Livingston – Scottish Premiership – Celtic Park
(Image credit: Andrew Milligan)

Livingston manager David Martindale aims to deliver long-term benefits for the club in Sunday’s Betfred Cup final.

Martindale hopes to entice a significant number of fans to join their regular support by beating St Johnstone to clinch the club’s second piece of major silverware.

Livi have around 1,000 season-ticket holders and Martindale wants to grow that number to help him continue to establish the West Lothian club in the top flight.

Martindale’s side are well on course for a second top-six Scottish Premiership finish in the three seasons since they achieved two consecutive promotions.

The former assistant boss now wants to build on that league success with the help of a Hampden boost.

“That’s my ambition, I’m hoping if we can lift this trophy we maybe bump 500 season tickets on when fans are allowed back in the stadium,” he said.

“That extra revenue and the atmosphere that will create is fantastic.

“That extra revenue will give me a bigger budget to take the club forward again, because we are always going to need to be punching above our weight. But it would be nice to do that with a bit of finance behind you.

“Those 500 season-ticket holders potentially equates to £100,000 in the budget, which realistically equates to two players for me.”

Martindale’s goal might be easier to achieve if casual fans got the opportunity to enjoy a day out at Hampden to encourage them to return.

“We were all delighted we got back to playing football but as the season goes on, I think you can see how much football misses the fans,” he said.

“We went on a 14-game unbeaten run, we are in a national final. For our fans to be missing that is typical Livingston. I am gutted for them.

“But the recent exposure I have had, or the club has had through myself getting made the manager, I think has been incredible. It’s been incredibly positive.

“And I think there will be fans up and down the country tuning in to hopefully watch Livingston lift the League Cup.”

Martindale has been delighted to give supporters some much-needed cheer during the latest lockdown and hopes to give them more.

“It’s a wee bit of light at the end of the tunnel,” he said. “I have seen it on social media gathering momentum, fans getting a wee bit nervous and looking forward to watching it on Sunday.

“Hopefully they are all sitting in the house watching the game with their families. For me, even thinking about that brings a smile to my face. That makes me happy that, as a club and coaching staff and players, we have given the fans an opportunity to be sitting watching the game on telly.

“Listen, the stadium is a far better option obviously, but it’s still a fantastic opportunity for the fans to get excited about.

“I have had individual letters from fans but the club has had a lot of stuff on social media and a lot of feedback through various people.

“The fans are delighted that there is a little bit of light this weekend. The vaccination programme is getting rolled out, I think we can all see a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel. There is a cup final coming up.

“So I think the fans are in a better place and hopefully we can lift the trophy and put them in an even better place.”