Pompey show red card to building firm

Roger Pearson reports on the impending High Court grudge match between Portsmouth Football Club and their builders. Portsmouth Football Club are set to take centre field in a High Court legal match over the building of the club's new stands. The club are currently embroiled in a complex and multi-pronged legal battle involving, among other things, a claim by them for more than £400,000.

They are taking builders Try Build of Cowley, Uxbridge, to court, claiming they have been overcharged and have paid for work which they say was, in fact, not carried out on the club's new stands.

A writ issued against Try Build accuses the company of negligent misrepresentation and makes the claims for £400,000 damages plus VAT in respect of allegedly defective work.

Portsmouth FC also want an order for recision of their June 1997 contract with Try Build, which included erection of a new stand and a north terrace canopy at the club's Fratton Park ground in Portsmouth.

The club claim they have paid Try Build £1,110,027 of the £1,659,140 owing under the contract. However, they claim they have since discovered that the contract valuation contained a large element of overcharging, including a charge for work which has not been carried out. They say when they entered the deal they relied on Try Build's valuation, and believed it to be correct.

As part of the deal, however, the club also entered into a separate deed with Try Build – with Blue Star Garages acting as guarantor. This is now the subject of separate litigation.

Try Build has launched its own action against Blue Star. It is suing the firm for £465,919.83 damages for allegedly breaching the guarantee.

Try Build claims in a writ just issued in London that Blue Star gave guarantees to meet the club's obligations and that, by 7 August this year, Portsmouth owed Try Build £436,947 plus interest.

However, Try Build has claimed that, in breach of the guarantee, Blue Star has failed to pay the money.

Portsmouth's writ was issued by Simmons & Simmons while Try Build's was issued by Cameron McKenna.