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Russo's Resign

Russo's Resign

During tonights AGM, Watford Leisure PLC Chairman and Vice-Chairman, Jimmy and Vince Russo resigned their position's on the board of the clubs parent company.

The pair, who have leant Watford in the region of £5m, want that some repaid as soon as possible and in cash, this figure was secured against the club's Vicarage Road Stadium. Most recently the brothers leant Watford another £1m to keep the club going until December 22nd at which time tey would 're-evaluate' the situation.

It was only last year that previous chairman Graham Simpson did something remarkably similiar, resigning just before his public trial began leaving the Hornet's in disarray.

And as recently as Friday, talks began between the Russo's, ex-Chairman Simpson and majority shareholder, Lord Michael Ashcroft. Evidently though nothing positive came of these talks and Watford are now left with the very real possibility of Graham Simpson returning to the board as Chairman.

Furthermore, close business associate to the Russo's and non-executive board member, Robin Williams has also resigned his position from the Watford Leisure PLC board.

Golden Boy, Graham Taylor eventually acted Chairman for the duration of the AGM and admitted his surprise at the resignation of the Russo brothers.

It is believed that the Russo's attempted to buy out Simpson and/or Ashcroft but their offer fell on deaf ears leading to their resignation.

The problem is, that with a £5.5m shortfall, AND ~£5m owed to the Russo's, the remaining board members need to help Lord Ashcroft locate his wallet or broker some sort of deal between the three parties which sees the club's future secured, and all within seven days!

So, the salient fact's are these -
1. We are without Chairman and Vice Chairman.
2. We owe the Russo's circa £5m, a fee secured against the stadium, which now could be sold from underneath our feet.
3. We have only enough money to last until December 22nd at which time new funding MUST be found.

Personally I believe a great deal of grattitude must go towards Jimmy and Vince for bailing the club out repeatedly for the past few months when the mess created was done after they had disgracefully and without reason been removed from the board.

Before anything positive can be sorted regarding the clubs future however, there must be a truce called between Ashcroft, the absent shareholder, Simpson the disgraced former Chairman and the Russo brothers, the ousted would-be saviours.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Date:Wednesday December 16 2009
Time: 3:15AM


This is not quite the end of things, it is payback time for The Russos for what happened when Simpson was forced to resign last season. They knew it was coming and moved to protect themselves 2 weeks ago by upping the stakes and securing their various loans against the stadium. The ball is now back in Simpson's / Ashcroft's court; let's just hope they pick it up and there are further developments by the weekend..
16/12/2009 07:19:00
The w/e may be to late.. i see that the R's have requested their loan be repaid by 5pm 16th Dec. As the R's arranged the finance and drew up the paperwork, i would guess the contract is pretty water tight. The hand has been dealt and we await a response, the interesting thing is that their are two bids on the table, to which us shareholders have NOT been afforded any information yet. It is total brinkmanship and we have to wait and see who folds, but if both main parties are stubborn, which seems to be the case, the only people who will suffer, are us the fans.
16/12/2009 10:19:00
The other thing that really does surprise me is that Graham Taylor say he knew nothing of the pending resignations, which seems really strange.
16/12/2009 10:20:00
Yes, I've seen that demand for immediate repayment of their £5M that is clearly impossible and designed to force the hands of the other parties. Regarding the buy-out offers, it is interesting to note that the market capitalisation figure is now under £3M so the major issue is the outstanding loans. I think GT was just looking to distance himself from the Salad Bros decision and meant he wasn't informed of their decision in advance. Ps: This site has been so quiet I thought it had gone into administration!
16/12/2009 10:29:00
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