Writer: Tom Bodell
Date:Tuesday November 8 2011
Watford Fans Forum First-half: Off-field matters
Sean Dyche (SD), Adrian Mariappa (AM), Ross Wilson (RW), Professor Stuart Timperley (ST) and Graham Taylor (GT).
[On Mr Bassini's non-appearance]
GT: 'If someone tells you he is ill, what can you say to that. I'm going to make an assumption at the present time that he is ill.'
[On the S.West corner development]
GT: 'Down now to two preferred tender bidding companies. Indicative costs just over £2m.'
ST: 'We would expect this to be starting in the near future. We believe we're really on the edge of doing that.'
[On bond re-payments]
ST: 'The bondholders have an agreement with the owner. There is a repayment schedule between 3-5 years.'
ST: 'It is very comforting for us that some of the bonds will be re-paid over a period of time so we can complete some of these projects.'
[Watford Supporters Trust Chairman Graham Sterry asking why Mr Bassini has failed to respond the Trust's letters either through a letter or meeting]
GT: 'I don't run the club. I'm not making an excuses. I'm a non-executive chairman. I am not aware of those letters.'
[On the lack of leadership within a non-executive board]
ST: 'We lost an extremely capable, able chief executive [Julian Winter]. We also lost his number two. That leaves a vacuum in the centre of the club.'
'We've re-structured the board recently to bring together the key executives. We're trying to re-activate the leadership club.'
[On Red Lion Pub & East Stand]
GT: 'The contractors are soon to start work to the floors & walls. We're continuing to look at a number of options to provide value.'
'If I was a Watford supporter down there, I'd be asking the same questions, so you're not upsetting me.'
ST: 'There is very strongly the intention to do it. It is certainly our expectation will be done & completed after these other projects.'
[On the continued sale of our top players & how difficult it is to retain the star names]
GT: 'Sometimes a club the size of Watford, we have to let players go for the best price at the right time.'
'How can you stop someone who is within 12 months of the end of his contract going to a Premier League club?'
SD: 'It's getting more and more difficult for us to keep players.
'Danny Graham was a situation of getting every penny you can. The same with Will Buckley. Don Cowie was a different one, we didn't want to lose Don.'
SD: 'What can you do about it? Money talks. We all have a price whether your a brickie, a plumber or a plasterer.'
[On the poaching of our players by Cardiff City]
GT: 'It is something that has always happened in football. In '77 when I joined Watford two of my first signings were from Lincoln City.'
SD to GT: 'You nasty, nasty man. That's outrageous!'
SD: 'We do fight for those situations, we don't just say 'off you go'.'
[On Don Cowie's departure to Cardiff City]
RW: 'The Don situation was just a disaster for the club. Upon looking at the contract, there was a definite problem. Don did leave after being made a significant offer.'
[On the pitch]
GT: 'I was disappointed, as far as I understood the situation there would be a leveling and a new pitch put in.
'The pitch has to be a priority.'
ST: 'After the last game of the season, we will move in to do the pitch. God it's about time it was done because if we get a weekend with a rugby match, soccer match and it's raining...'
GT: 'I was very pleased when I thought we'd parted company. In my view it was never a proper partnership.'
'If you don't do the pitch, you can't have Saracens back Laurence.'
RW: 'We know how it affects Watford depending on which category we end up in. We will certainly be part of category 1 or 2.'
'I'm sure we'll end up in category 1/2. Nick Cox [Head of Academy] & I are drawing up two business cases to board as to where we'll be.'
GT: 'It would cost a fortune for us to be a category one club.'
[Graham Taylor on his future]
GT: 'When I agree to come back it was under certain conditions. I left football management of my own accord.
'I don't want to come back into football full-time. If I'm not doing the job or people want to replace me, that's fine.
'I'm as concerned as you at time, but I'm on the inside.
'I'm sorry I can't give you a concrete answer but I hope you understand why.'
[How much does Laurence Bassini listen to GT & ST]
GT: 'He does listen. Whether he takes notice of us is...reliability - not his strongest point.
'I think people should be second, or other opportunities.'
'I like to think we have an influence.
'I want the Watford supporters to know I do care, but I can't gurantee I'll stay here.'
REMEMBER, @Vitalwatford for real-time coverage if you can't get to your radio tonight.
Date:Tuesday November 8 2011
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