Chairman: today heralds a new era
Watford chairman Graham Simpson described today`s announcement on the redevelopment of the club as momentous, and praised the work help of elected Mayor Dorothy Thornhill.
"This is a momentous announcement in the history of Watford Football Club," Simpson told the official site.
"Vicarage Road has been our home since 1922 and we love it here in the heart of the community. I have always said in order for this club to survive long-term we need a sustainable business. Today heralds a new era."
"I would like to pay tribute to Watford's Mayor, Dorothy Thornhill, and the Council for their tremendous support and help in getting to this stage," continued the man who brought Aidy Boothroyd to Vicarage Road. "Without them on board, our task would have been so much harder.'
Chief executive Mark Ashton said: "We believe that this is a truly unique and visionary project which genuinely integrates the football club into the community as part of the health campus project.
"We want to redevelop our stadium to offer vastly improved facilities that our supporters deserve. Our plan, to work with the local authority, hospital trust and with Origin, will create a sustainable and self-financing business which will secure the long-term future of the club.
"We are delighted to play a significant part in reinvigorating west Watford which will benefit everyone in the area and assist in providing substantially improved hospital facilities in the region," he said.
However, Ashton was quick to dismiss suggestions that investment in the team would be substituted in place of funding the new development scheme.
"At the same time, we are very conscious that we are in the business of running a football club and winning football matches, and our long-term investment in the community will not impact in any way upon our investment in new players and our commitment to our fans to build on the success of having regained our Premiership status."