A former director of Livingston Football Club is now suing the Scottish Championship side for repayment of loans in a legal action that a judge was told put it in “a very difficult position”.
Senior counsel for Livingston FC, Kenny McBrearty QC, told the Court of Session in Edinburgh: “This action is having a very considerable adverse effect on them.”
He said: “We are coming to a crucial point in the footballing year when effectively the defender is seeking fresh investment and seeking to put forward season tickets for sale.”
The West Lothian club is being sued by Gerard Nixon over loans made to it when he served as a director of the Almondvale side up until his resignation last year. The club is contesting the move.
The action was originally raised at Livingston Sheriff Court but a sheriff sent it to the Court of Session because of its importance and following a brief hearing today (wed) it was put out as a commercial action.
Mr Nixon has sought to get money back from the loans and maintained that the loan was repayable on demand.
The club claims that money advanced took the form of a director’s loan and had terms attached such that it was not repayable on demand.
Gavin MacCall, counsel for Mr Nixon, said it did appear that there was an acceptance by the club that there were “at least significant sums of money” loaned to it by him.
He said some of the amounts involved were “quite small” but there were also five-figure sums. He said: “The pursuer (Mr Nixon) has no desire to allow matters to drift.”
Mr MacCall asked that three days of court time be reserved for later in the year for a hearing in the case.
Mr McBrearty suggested an initial hearing could be restricted to dealing with whether the money was effectively “a soft loan” which Livingston said was common in football.
The senior counsel said the club came to court openly acknowledging it was in a very difficult position as a result of the action.
The judge, Lord Tyre, fixed a procedural hearing in the case next month and ordered that witness statements be lodged in advance so that he could form a view on whether issues raised in the action could be dealt with separately.