POMPEY say time is ticking to return their clock which is being held by a company owed money from the club’s period in administration.
The club says the clock, which was hanging from the top of the Fratton End, was taken to be repaired but that it’s now being kept by Havant-based company Genisis 1 Ltd.
The club claims the company has since fixed the clock, then branded it with their company name and now refuses to return it. Genisis 1 Ltd is one of the companies owed money by the club after its administration.
Now, legal representatives for the club have written to the company, asking to hand the clock back in time for the start of the new season.
A letter from Verisona solicitors on behalf of Pompey seen by The News says: ‘We believe the clock was removed for refurbishment but that as a consequence of the administration your company are owed monies in relation to that work and that as a consequence you have refused to release the item back to our client company.
‘There is sympathy for your position in the sense that you are owed money but that, we regret to say, places you in the same category as all of the other creditors who were so badly treated by the previous owners.’
Pompey engagement officer Micah Hall said: ‘We are disappointed that the issue with returning the clock has become such an emotive and protracted issue.
‘Whilst we understand and sympathise with all those who are creditors of previous regimes, our view is that the Fratton end clock belongs to Pompey, that there is no legal basis for it being held by any outside party and it should be returned in time for the start of the new season.’
The club says the clock was taken away for a repair. It had been difficult to maintain due to its position at the top of the Fratton end.
It cost £650 every time it was taken down as a cherry picker had to be hired.
Mr Hall said the clock is an important part of Fratton Park and people have asked where it is.
‘The Fratton end clock is part of our ground and people have a sentimental attachment to it,’ he said.
‘Like all the other lost parts of our history it belongs at Fratton Park.’
Genisis 1 Ltd refused to comment.
Pompey are also understood to be seeking the whereabouts of a painting of HMS Victory, worth around £250,000, which for a number of years had been hung in the boardroom at Fratton Park.
FANS said they feel the clock should be returned to the club.
Nigel Tresidder, chairman of the Portsmouth Supporters Club, said: ‘It’s wrong. At the moment we are now a club of our own. We would like to have the clock back and have our own chimes put on it as well.
‘I’m not very happy about the situation.’
Barry Dewing, of the Portsmouth Independent Supporters Association, said: ‘In general there’s been a bit of rebuilding with local businesses. It’s a different club now.
‘It’s a bit surprising that they are now holding it against the present regime about what happened in the past.’