Ex-St Johnstone winger Martin Lauchlan is suing a former club in a £17,500 bonus row.
Mr Lauchlan claims he is owed the cash from his time with East Kilbride FC.
He was manager of the Lowland League side when they won the 2016/17 title and beat Buckie Thistle in a SPFL play-off semi final.
The ex-player alleges a bonus agreement was made with a club director who apparently told him he could be “trusted” and was a “wealthy man”.
Mr Lauchlan is now suing East Kilbride FC at a civil hearing at Glasgow Sheriff Court, amid claims he did not receive money said to have been owed.
East Kilbride deny the accusations and insist the action should be “dismissed”.
Hired with bonus promise claim
Courts papers state Mr Lauchlan – then manager of junior side Rossvale – was approached in January 2016 by Paul Kean – a company director of East Kilbride FC.
It is said on March 18, 2016, Mr Lauchlan met with Mr Kean to discuss his appointment.
This included claims Kean stated the club offered “a good bonus system”, ranging from £5,000 to £20,000 for winning certain games or tournaments.
Mr Kean allegedly read the figures from a piece of paper.
The court papers state: “Mr Lauchlan requested the piece of paper from Mr Kean.
“Mr Kean refused but permitted Mr Lauchlan to take his own note of the bonus information.
“At the conclusion of the meeting, Mr Lauchlan indicated he was in agreement with the terms discussed… including payment of bonuses.
“Mr Kean assured him that he could be trusted, that he was a wealthy man and that bonuses would be paid.”
It is claimed the talks resulted in a “binding contract” between them.
Mr Lauchlan would allegedly share any bonuses with his assistant manager.
Papers state Mr Kean informed Mr Lauchlan the club’s main objective was to be promoted from the Scottish Lowland League into SPFL League Two.
The document adds: “If results went well – and there was sponsorship money which was not spent – there could be a bonus available.”
It is said Mr Lauchlan started at East Kilbride on March 21, 2016 and they went on to win the league in early April 2017.
The court papers claim Mr Lauchlan telephoned Mr Kean to discuss payment of the bonus and was told to wait until the end of the season.
EK later won a play-off semi final against Buckie Thistle but lost out in the final to Cowdenbeath.
Mr Lauchlan, it is claimed, telephoned chairman Mark Horner to “raise concerns” about the bonus payments.
At a meeting at Mr Horner’s restaurant, Mr Lauchlan was said to have been told his contract was not being renewed and he should talk with Mr Kean about any alleged outstanding payments.
Kean allegedly said the club would deduct a sum from the bonus “to reflect a signing fee for one of the players.
Mr Lauchlan was later paid with £2,500, with his assistant receiving £2,000.
The club state this payment was made on a “discretionary basis” to “recognise the achievement in managing the football team and winning the league.”
The club claim Mr Lauchlan’s assistant was paid the same, rather than the lower sum.
Decision at later date
Mr Lauchlan – now boss of Petershill Juniors – alleges he is “contractually entitled” to “payment of bonuses” as a result of the apparent “terms agreed”.
The court document claims: “Of £20,000 bonus payments due, £2,500 has been paid. £17,500 accordingly remains due.”
East Kilbride FC insist it “did not offer or agree payment of bonuses and that therefore no payment is outstanding.”
The club says “no bonus structure” was offered and that the club’s annual budget had to be raised from sponsorship as the side had “no other meaningful income”.
A hearing took place last week.
Sheriff Alayne Swanson adjourned the case to consider her decision.
A judgement will be made at a later date.
Lauchlan was signed by Sandy Clark for St Johnstone in the summer of 1999 for a reported £50,000.
He was released three years later after just a handful of appearances.