Date: 6th January 2012 at 11:04am
Written by:

The following Press release has been released by Hampton & Richmond football club, and sent to Vital Pompey Towers, regarding Dan Thompson, and his arrival at Pompey.

See below for more…

DAN THOMPSON SIGNS FOR PORTSMOUTH

On 20th December 2011, the club received a formal 7 day approach from Portsmouth Football Club for them to speak to Dan with a view to offering him a professional contract. Both Chairman Steve McPherson and manager Mark Harper spoke with Dan and his agent over the week and it became clear that he wanted to sign for Portsmouth. Dan ruled himself out of contention for the both the Staines fixtures ahead of any potential signing. Dan has since been offered a scholarship with Portsmouth FC for one year, with the possibility of a professional contract in the future. He will be immediately loaned out to play for Blue Square South side Havant & Waterlooville FC.

Whilst both Steve and Mark are delighted for Dan and for the chance he now has, the club are disappointed with the conduct of Portsmouth FC in this matter. While under the strict terms of their approach they did not have to offer any funds to the club for Dan’s registration, there was always an understanding that having developed Dan over the past 4 years there would be some acknowledgement of that in the transfer. However, following discussions between the club, Dan’s representatives and directors at Portsmouth FC, they have confirmed that they will not make any payment in respect of our development of Dan over the past 4 years.

Following the discussions with Portsmouth Steve McPherson has the following comments to make ‘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. The FA protects league clubs but there is little protection for the likes of Hampton & Richmond Borough FC when ensuring a fair deal for the club, for the players we have developed from a young age.

“This will also have an effect on our policy for allowing players to go on trial with professional clubs – in future we will look to protect our own interests first. I really believe that the FA and the Premier League need to look at the double standards in place with regards to these situations and work with non-league clubs such as ourselves to resolve them.

“Otherwise, what is the point in spending time, effort and money developing these players if we can’t do the same as the likes of Portsmouth and get our Under 18’s on a contract to protect ourselves from this sort of situation whereby a league club can approach a player before his 18th birthday and pick him up for nothing, or influence him such that when he is eligible for a contract he refuses to sign one. As a club and board we have been looking at this for over a year, knowing that this situation could occur and have been powerless to stop it.


Speaking about the situation, Mark Harper said, “For me, I have wished Dan all the best for the future and hope he is successful in his time at Portsmouth but reluctantly I do understand his 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.


Mr. McPherson added, “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. We wish Dan all the best and we are sure that he will be a success with Portsmouth FC.”

“However, the manner of his departure has considerably tarnished what should be a positive piece of news for everyone connected with HRBFC. Notwithstanding the circumstances, we will continue to develop youth football through our academy and promote youngsters in the game, though all the more wary of the potential experienced in Dan’s case
.”

Thanks to Hampton and Richmond for this press release, although I think it is safe to say that they are not best pleased with us…

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