COUNCIL bosses have won a legal challenge to get £330,000 from former Pompey owner Sacha Gaydamak.
Gosport Borough Council took action through the courts over a deal it signed with Miland Development 2004 over Pompey’s plans for a multi-million pound training ground at Cherque Farm, Lee-on-the-Solent.
It has now reached an agreement with Mr Gaydamak’s company during a secret court hearing in Portsmouth which will see the money paid over a set period of time.
The firm will also pay interest and the council’s court costs.
Leader of the council, Cllr Mark Hook, refused to speak to The News but said in a statement: ‘We are delighted with the outcome and pleased the taxpayers are not left to bear the cost of this issue.
‘It is just sad we had to go through the court process to achieve this.
‘Miland Development 2004 has agreed to pay the full amount, plus costs and any interest.
‘Mr Gaydamak has given his personal guarantee to pay the authority should Miland default.’
It was in 2008 that Gosport Borough Council gave the go-ahead for Pompey to locate its training ground at Lee-on-the-Solent.
But the deal meant the council had to pay back £330,000 to Cherque Farm builders, Persimmon Homes.
The developer had been required to give the cash as part of a legal agreement to provide leisure amenities in the area.
But three years on the training ground plan has been abandoned.
Independent councillor Dave Smith, who was council leader at the time the agreement was signed, said: ‘I’m absolutely delighted and it proves the council officers put a tight contract together.
‘They should be congratulated for that because [borough solicitor] Linda Edwards and [chief executive] Ian Lycett worked hard. Hopefully the money will be put back into the Alver Valley project. That’s what it was there for.
‘If there is interest to be paid it should go into community projects like the Waterfront Festival.’
Pompey remain at their current training ground at the Wellington Sports Club in Eastleigh but say they have a long-term goal of having new facilities.
Council leader criticised
TORY council leader Mark Hook has been criticised for keeping quiet about details of the legal case against Sacha Gaydamak.
The council has not revealed how long Mr Gaydamak has been given to pay the £330,000 to the authority. And it has not declared how much taxpayers’ cash it has spent fighting the case.
Cllr Hook has refused to speak to The News after we broke the story last week.
Gosport council’s chief executive Ian Lycett also did not return our calls yesterday.
The News has now lodged a Freedom of Information request with the council asking for the details to be released to the public.
Gosport Lib Dem leader, Cllr Peter Chegwyn, criticised Cllr Hook over his silence, adding: ‘The public have a right to know how their money is being spent and I’m surprised the council wishes to keep people in the dark.
‘I have not been told anything either. We are all being kept in the dark and it is a matter of public interest. I would have thought Mark Hook would want people to know what is going on. It is good news we got the money back but unfortunate we have lost a sports development on a scale which we will never see again.’