Page last updated at 11:25 GMT, Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Watford close to administration

Watford players
Watford's financial difficulties have left it on the brink of administration

Watford Football Club stands on the brink of administration following demands from creditors.

The Championship side's parent company, Watford Leisure, has been asked to pay back £4.9m in loans before the close of business on Thursday.

On Tuesday, several senior board members resigned at the company's AGM, and its shares have now been suspended.

The board warned that the company may be put into administration if "a funding solution" is not found.

Board chairman Jim Russo and senior board members Vince Russo and Robin Williams resigned from the board on Tuesday, Watford said in a statement.

The club was then asked to pay back £4.9m in loans made by Valley Grown Salads - a company that Jim and Vince Russo have stakes in.

Mr Russo was forced to lend Watford a further £1m earlier this month when the club admitted that it only had funds to cover expenses until 22 December.

Administration fears

If the club is unable to pay back the money by Thursday evening, there is a danger it will fall into administration.

Independent accountants would then be in charge of the club, and an automatic 10-point penalty on the team would be triggered.

That would see Watford drop to fourth from bottom in the Championship, one place above the relegation zone.

Former England manager Graham Taylor, a non-executive director at Watford, has taken over as temporary chairman.

The club said it would make a further announcement in due course.

Watford enjoyed significant success under the management of Mr Taylor in the early 1980s.

They rose from division four to finish second behind Liverpool in 1983 in their first season of top-flight football.

A year later, they reached the FA Cup final, eventually losing to Everton.

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FROM OTHER NEWS SITES Hornets facing uncertain future - 10 hrs ago Watford fears for future - 23 hrs ago
Reuters UK Watford FC owner faces possible administration - 24 hrs ago
AFP via Yahoo! Watford fears for future after board resigns - 25 hrs ago
The Sun Hornets edge closer to brink - 25 hrs ago

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