Midfield pair’s long-running Pompey dispute settled

Former Pompey midfield pair Richard Hughes, left, and Michael Brown train in Eastleigh in 2010   Picture: Robin Jones
Former Pompey midfield pair Richard Hughes, left, and Michael Brown train in Eastleigh in 2010 Picture: Robin Jones
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Pompey have come to a resolution with Michael Brown and Richard Hughes over a long-standing employment dispute.

And in a statement, the club has acknowledged the midfield pair ‘did not refuse to play’ during the disagreement.

Back in the 2010-11 season, the duo were told they would not be considered for first-team duty in the second half of the campaign.

This was on the basis that another appearance for either would trigger new contracts at similar wages, in accordance to a clause in their deals.

At the time, the issue sparked a bust-up between then-chief executive David Lampitt and the two players.

Lampitt claimed he had made a ‘fair’ new contract offer to replace the clause, although this was strongly disputed by both Brown and Hughes.

Brown would make the last of his 57 appearances on December 26, 2010, in a 1-1 Fratton draw with Millwall.

Hughes’ final match would prove to be a 3-3 draw at Leeds two days later.

The midfielder, who amassed 165 games in nine years with the Blues, scored his first and only league goal in that Elland Road match.

The players stayed at Fratton for the remainder of the campaign under Steve Cotterill, continuing to train with the club.

However, they did not feature again in a first-team squad and both left when their existing deals ran out in the summer of 2011.

It prompted a legal challenge by Brown and Hughes, but now an understanding has been reached between all parties

In statement, the club said: ‘Portsmouth Community Football Club Limited, Michael Brown and Richard Hughes have reached a resolution in respect of the outstanding matters arising from the ending of Mr Brown’s and Mr Hughes’s employment with Portsmouth Football Club 2010 Limited in June 2011.

‘Portsmouth Community Football Club Limited understands from the players that they did not refuse to play for Portsmouth Football Club 2010.

‘Portsmouth Community Football Club Limited acknowledge and appreciate the concessions made by both players which assisted in enabling the Supporters’ Trust to acquire the club.’

– NEIL ALLEN