Ayr United footballer sues club over dream deal block

A FOOTBALLER 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.

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