Foot­baller sues club over his dream deal night­mare

Player claims Hon­est Men did not play fair over po­ten­tial trans­fer

The Sunday Post (Newcastle) - - NEWS - By Gordon Black­stock GBLACKSTOCK@SUNDAYPOST.COM

Afoot­baller is su­ing his former club for block­ing a dream move. Former Scot­tish Un­der-21 player Jonathan Tif­foney has launched the le­gal ac­tion against Ayr United over loss of po­ten­tial earn­ings and op­por­tu­nity. The case claims the Cham­pi­onship club stopped him play­ing in Scot­land’s top di­vi­sion six years ago. Last week, Ayr Sher­iff Court heard a deal was bro­kered to take the 21-year-old to Dundee FC af­ter his con­tract at Ayr United ex­pired in 2012. That deal would have seen him paid £400 per week, which works out at just over £20,000 per year. At the time Ayr United paid him just £125 a week, which he will claim was not enough to even cover travel costs. The court heard former Sky Sports TV pun­dit and cur­rent Dundee FC man­ager Neil McCann made the deal to take him to Tay­side. Tif­foney, now 27, and ex-Scot­land and Rangers winger McCann shared the same agent at the time. The case claims that de­spite Tif­foney be­ing out of con­tract, Ayr United – nick­named the Hon­est Men – re­fused to let him go for free be­cause they had helped de­velop the young player. In­stead they de­manded com­pen­sa­tion from Dundee who re­fused to match their val­u­a­tion. The com­pen­sa­tion wran­gle saw Tif­foney frozen out of both clubs. His le­gal claim says Ayr United had not filled out pa­per­work in time mean­ing he should have been al­lowed to leave for free. Tif­foney re­fused to com­ment but a source close to the case said he was “de­ter­mined to pur­sue it”. The source said: “The way some young foot­ballers have been treated in Scot­land is ap­palling. Their am­bi­tions to make it have seen some clubs take ad­van­tage of them. Jonathan was a first-team reg­u­lar but Ayr re­fused to pay him like one.” While the row rum­bled on, Tif­foney used a loop­hole to get back in the game by play­ing as an un­paid am­a­teur at Al­loa FC in 2013. Tif­foney went on to play in Ire­land but re­turned to sign as an am­a­teur with Al­loa as his row with Ayr United con­tin­ued. He also played at Brechin FC. He now plays in non-league foot­ball in Eng­land. In 2014, Tif­foney was placed on the sex of­fend­ers’ reg­is­ter af­ter shar­ing an ex­plicit video and pic­tures of his ex-girl­friend with his friends. He was found guilty and given an 18-month com­mu­nity pay­back or­der. Sher­iff Seith Ire­land told the court that Tif­foney had be­trayed the vic­tim who had been left dis­traught at giv­ing ev­i­dence. Ayr United did not re­turn our calls.

Jonathan Tif­foney, play­ing for Ayr United, says the club blocked his big move

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