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EFL Statement: Watford Football Club

24 August 2017

The EFL charged Watford Football Club for a breach of Regulation 3.1 and 16.21 on the 19th June 2017 relating to the provision of a funding letter which had previously been confirmed as a forgery.


The letter was required as part of a Change of Control application in May 2014 when Mr Gino Pozzo became the sole owner of the Club.

The Club pleaded guilty to the charges and a Disciplinary Commission ordered it to pay a fine of £3,950,000 and costs of £350,000, meaning a total sanction of £4,300,000.

That sum was reduced from £5,750,000 to recognise that the Club fully co-operated with an investigation and that all the financial commitments of the Club, for the period covered by the forged letter, were met in full.

The Watford Chairman at the time, Mr Raffaele Riva, has been charged by the EFL and will face a separate Disciplinary Commission.

Following the independent investigation, the details of which were presented to the Disciplinary Commission, the EFL is satisfied that neither the Watford owner, Mr Gino Pozzo, nor any other director or employee of Watford Football Club was aware that the letter in question was a forgery.


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