FOOTBALLER Danny Swanson’s chance of a lucrative new career playing in the United States is in jeopardy after he was fined for his role in a city centre brawl.
The ex-Hibs and Hearts star - now a St Johnstone player - admitted punching a bouncer in the face during a large scale disturbance outside Finnegan’s Wake in Victoria Street.
Swanson, 32, was larking about with pals inside the packed pub when he was asked to leave by door staff.
The midfielder refused and a fight broke out between Swanson and his friends and the members of the security team.
During the fracas Swanson struck bouncer Christie Harte before staff managed to get the situation under control and threw his group out, Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard.
Swanson, who earns £1500 per week, in the Ladbroke’s Premiership, has put the chance of a big-money move to the MLS in the States at risk, his lawyer said.
The court heard Swanson - who has also played for Dundee Utd - is due to link up with an unknown MLS team but the move could now be off due to his assault conviction.
Procurator fiscal depute Christopher McKnight said violence flared in the pub at around 11pm on March 1 this year.
Mr McKnight said: “Security staff witnessed the accused and another male play fighting. They were asked to refrain from doing so but the accused refused to do so.
“They attempted to escort the accused from the locus but the accused’s friends intervened and said they would deal with him themselves.”
But when the group kept refusing to leave the busy pub one member of the door staff grabbed Swanson by the body and attempted to throw him out the front entrance.
And as the bouncer struggled with Swanson the footballers’ friends jumped in and a fight broke out.
Mr McKnight added: “The witness Harte broke free and puts the accused‘s friend in a headlock and with his other hand attempted to hold off another of his friends.
“At that point the accused came into the foyer, comes towards the complainer and punches him in the centre of his face.”
Swanson, from Leith, was bundled out of the pub. He was later identified, cautioned and charged by police.
His solicitor, Rebecca Houston said Swanson was “extremely ashamed and embarrassed” and added: “This is a conviction that may affect him going forward as he has an offer to take up a place with a team in America. Having this conviction on his record may cause difficulties with that and he may not be able to do so.”
She said Swanson has started up a property business and has been gaining his coaching badges and hoped to work with youngsters.
Fining Swanson £900, Sheriff Gordon Liddle said: “Just as you would if you were shown a red card, all you had to do was walk away.
“You were given repeated opportunities to walk away and on each occasion you refused and you ended up assaulting this man.”