A football club has been instructed to pay more than £7,000 in unpaid wages after a player’s contract was dubbed “a sham” by a Tribunal.

Judge John Hildebrand slated the terms of employment that semi-professional side Whitehawk had set out for their former midfielder Duncan Culley.

He ordered that the Brighton-based club pay Mr Culley a total of £7,429.69, the amount that was owed from his spell with them last year.

The Tribunal heard that the 29-year-old had played six games at the start of the previous campaign before being dispatched on loan to Lewes in September.

He subsequently launched legal action against the club, accusing bosses of an “unauthorised deduction” from his wages.

At the heart of the dispute was the fact that the player had agreed to sign for £500 a week.

However, the final version of his contract was for £35 a week, with Mr Culley instructed to claim the remainder of his earnings by invoice.

He grew increasingly perturbed when he did not receive any further payments after the first three had been made.

The Tribunal, which took place in Croydon, was asked to consider the case and the Judge ruled in favour of the player last month.

Mr Hildebrand said: “I find the arrangement between the claimant and respondent was a sham.

“The sums he claimed represent his wages. There is no basis for saying that he was paid a relocation allowance. [Mr Culley] was entitled to have the full amount paid direct to him.”

The player, who has since joined Hampton and Richmond Borough Football Club, said he had been disappointed by the dispute as he had “really enjoyed” his time at Whitehawk and the support of the fans.