Hawick boss in footie row

A court clash between the former owner of Dunfermline Athletic and a Borders businessman was postponed at the last minute this week.

Billy Hodgins of Hawick raised a Court of Session action after quitting his £75,000-a-year post as the East End Park football club’s chief executive in October.

He is suing Charlestown Holdings Limited – Gavin Masterton’s company – for £75,000 plus a payment of £2,750 into his pension plan.

Mr Hodgins, of Hazelwood Court, claims he had no choice but to resign because of what he says were repeated and material breaches of contract.

Judge Lord Bannatyne was due to start hearing the legal action on Tuesday, but was told that Mr Masterton had been diagnosed with clinical depression and wasn’t fit to brief his legal team. His counsel, David Logan, told the judge: “It has come somewhat out of the blue. He has been under stress for some time.”

Lord Bannatyne agreed to the delay, but complained about the lack of notice. A new date has yet to be fixed.

Mr Hodgins asserts that Charlestown Holdings acted in a way that had destroyed or damaged the relationship of trust and confidence between them. To go on working would have been intolerable, Mr Hodgins insists.

The company is contesting the action and dispute the claims made by Mr Hodgins.

Debt-ridden Dunfermline were driven into administration in April by a £134,000 tax bill. A consortium of fans, Pars United, ended the administration eight months later by taking over the club when creditors – including Mr Masterton – waived their right to money they were owed.

But they were deducted 15 league points and now play in Scottish football’s third tier

There is also a dispute about the role of John Yorkston, a backer of the side, who was its chairman for 14 years and a close neighbour of Mr Masterton. Mr Hodgins claims Mr Yorkston was effectively in charge because of the shares he holds in Charlestown Holdings, acquired because of money owed to him by Mr Masterton. That is being denied.

Football legends Jock Stein began his managerial career with the club and Sir Alex Ferguson is an ex-player.