A ROW has erupted as a football stand dedicated to a war hero has been sold just weeks before a community club moves into the ground.

Selkirk Football Club folded at the start of this season after running up significant debts and being unable to fulfill fixtures.

The historic club also had its membership of the Scottish Football Association stripped for breaching a number of rules.

As well as the 2017/18 squad being owned thousands in unpaid expenses and wages, utility companies, the local authority, printers, auditors and even a bus company have been left waiting on their money.

Although the Lowland League club's committee was disbanded several former officials have remained as 'points of contacts'.

And over the past couple of months they have began selling off assets ahead of handing back the keys to Scottish Borders Council at the start of May.

As well as the Bob Mercer Memorial Stand being sold to near neighbours Gala Fairydean Rovers, other items such as white goods and even signed shirt displays from within the Bobby Johnstone Memorial Pavilion have been flogged ahead of the handover.

Derek Whitehead, who is part of the new Selkirk Community Football Club, told us: "We were told that nothing could be sold during our discussions about taking over Yarrow Park yet things keep appearing on Facebook for sale sites.

"The people who ran Selkirk were given four weeks to vacate Yarrow Park and since then they've been selling off everything they can.

"We are starting up a community football club to benefit the town and I'm sure these things could have helped."

A £47,000 bequest to Selkirk Football was seized at the start of the season by Sheriff Officers acting on behalf of the company who installed the ground's floodlights.

As the remaining £17,000 balance hasn't been met ahead of the handover taking place next month the floodlights are currently being dismantled and removed.

The Bob Mercer Memorial Stand, which was opened in 2013 by then-Hearts manager Gary Locke as well as descendants of Mr Mercer, has been sold to Gala Fairydean Rovers for £4,750.

An application for planning permission is currently being considered ahead of it being moved to Netherdale.

Mercer was a former Selkirk player who went on to become Hearts captain prior to the First World War.

He was gassed during the conflict in Europe and it is believed his injuries led to him collapsing and dying during a fundraising match in 1926 at Selkirk's former ground, Ettrick Park.

Although the Scottish Football Partnership provided much of the funding for the stand, the sale comes outwith the clawback period for them to intervene.

A grant of £4,000 was provided by the Live Borders-operated funding body ClubSport Ettrick & Lauderdale for the purchase.

Live Borders sports development manager John McBay: "A grant was awarded was from our partner organisation ClubSport Ettrick & Lauderdale who awarded £4,000 to Gala Fairydean Rovers to purchase the stand from Selkirk Football Club.

"There were several meetings between the two clubs to discuss the sale and relocation of the stand and we assisted with processing the grant and put an agreement in place between ClubSport Ettrick & Lauderdale and Gala Fairydean Rovers."

No official administrators were ever appointed when Selkirk Football Club folded last year.

Although the previous committee was disbanded during an en-masse resignation, former chairman Jaydee Sharkey and secretary Sheree Davison have acted as 'points of contact' in the winding up process and ending the lease with Scottish Borders Council.

Mr Sharkey told the Border Telegraph: "We are simply following advice.

"We are trying to settle the debts associated with the clubrooms - things like electricity and gas - before they are handed over to the community club."

The new stand at Netherdale will allow Gala Fairydean Rovers to honour its licensing commitments while the iconic Peter Womersley stand is closed for maintenance.

A report is being considered by the local authority's ruling Executive committee.

A spokesperson for Scottish Borders Council said: "Discussions are ongoing between the council, charity Live Borders and Gala Fairydean Rovers on the restoration of the A-listed Netherdale grandstand.

"A private report will provide an update and seek to take forward an initial investigation of the structure.

“The report will also discuss a proposal to assist Gala Fairydean Rovers to install a temporary spectator stand to allow them to comply with Scottish Football Association requirements while the Netherdale grandstand is closed.”