Watford facing possible points deduction and fine over forgery claims

Watford facing possible points deduction and fine over forgery claims
by Nick Elliott

Watford may be slapped with a hefty fine and possibly even a points deduction after claims the club forged a banking letter.

The alleged incident occurred back in 2014 when Gino Pozzo became sole owner of the Hornets having previously entered into a co-ownership with his father.

 

The letter in question was required to prove that Pozzo had enough cash in the bank to finance Watford on his own without risk.

 

Pozzo’s reign has allowed Watford to establish themselves as a Premier League club once again having gained promotion in 2015 after utilising players from the Pozzo family’s other clubs, Granada and Udinese.

 

The EFL have confirmed that they are investigating the matter and are awaiting a detailed report from the club before the governing body take action.

 

Watford’s forged bank letter: The unanswered questions

When the Pozzo family first bought Watford in the summer 2012, they did so through a holding company called Hornets Investment, which Telegraph Sport has been told was 75 per cent owned by Giampaolo Pozzo and 25 per cent by his son, Gino. In 2014, a restructuring of all the Pozzos’ business interests saw Gino take sole ownership of Hornets Investment and therefore become the ultimate beneficial owner of Watford. The club has not responded to requests for comment on what motivated this change.

When the Pozzo family first bought Watford in the summer 2012, they did so through a holding company called Hornets Investment, which Telegraph Sport has been told was 75 per cent owned by Giampaolo Pozzo and 25 per cent by his son, Gino. In 2014, a restructuring of all the Pozzos’ business interests saw Gino take sole ownership of Hornets Investment and therefore become the ultimate beneficial owner of Watford. The club has not responded to requests for comment on what motivated this change.

 

The Telegraph Sport obtained two letters from a representative of a whistleblower, one dated July 7, 2014, and one dated July 14, 2014. The latter letter was the one which was submitted. It is unclear why two are in existence and that will surely be something both for Watford’s internal investigation and that of the EFL to establish.

Watford have declined to divulge precisely who had sight of the letter before it was submitted, but it is understood all their officials deny any knowledge it was a forgery. Any disciplinary case is likely to try to establish the extent of the club’s negligence, so ascertaining who knew what when and what checks they made will be crucial.

 

He is understood to be confident of doing so and is expected to argue his actions back that up following an investment of £21 million in the past two years.

Watford FC Football Players Team Photographs

 


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