Pompey have been branded a ‘disgrace” after sealing the signing of promising non-league striker Dan Thompson.
The Hampton & Richmond forward has signed a scholarship deal with Pompey and has been immediately loaned out to Havant & Waterlooville with a view to signing a professional deal in the future.
But the non-league outfit have blasted Pompey’s conduct and failure to pay any compensation, even though the Blues did not have to make any payment under the rules.
In a statement on their club wesbite, Hampton & Richmond chairman Steve McPherson said: ‘For the past year there was an understanding with both Dan and his agent that Dan would sign a contract with the club on his 18th birthday, with a clause inserted that we would not stand in his way if a professional club came in for him. It is my personal feeling that Dan has been put under undue pressure and may have received poor advice in this respect.
‘Having allowed Dan to have trials with the likes of Stoke City, Newcastle United, Crystal Palace and QPR and given him the opportunity to put himself in the shop window, then to receive the treatment we have had from Portsmouth FC and others associated with Dan is an absolute disgrace.
‘For a club the size of Portsmouth FC, paying players tens of thousands of pounds a week not to even make a goodwill donation disappoints us and leaves a very bitter taste in the mouth.’
Hampton & Richmond boss Mark Harper was rather more understanding of the situation that Pompey had not broken any rules.
He said: ‘Reluctantly, I do understand his (Thompson’s) position, and I am bitterly disappointed in the outcome of the whole situation.
‘I’ve spoken to the Portsmouth Academy Manager Andy Awford, and to be honest I totally understand their situation. They are also a club with financial difficulties and are uncertain of who their possible new owners could be. We have left it on good terms because I would like to see a strong Portsmouth side (with Dan in the side) come down to the Beveree for a pre season friendly.
‘What also needs to be taken into account is that Dan is only signing scholarship forms for the remainder of this season and he will sign pro forms in the summer, which could lead to a fee between both clubs. My main disappointment is Dan’s agent who has perfectly controlled the situation for his own benefit and talked a great game between Dan but also Dan’s family.’