Watford face fine and points deduction over forged HSBC bank letter

The English Premier Lague club, Watford, are under investigation after supplying falsified financial information to the football authorities.

The face a heavy fine, and possibly two points deduction, for submitting  forged banking letter when Gino Pozzo became their sole owner as revealed by The Telegraph.

The Telegraph reported having obtained a copy of the document, which it has passed on both to HSBC and the police after alerting the EFL.

“The club has been formally contacted by the EFL and is now required to provide a full and detailed response to the allegations. Once that response is received, it will be fully considered by the EFL and appropriate action will be taken under our rules and regulations,” EFL spokesperson confirmed receiving the letter.

The fabricated document states that the holding company which owns Watford, Hornets Investment Limited, had sufficient financial resources with the bank for it to issue “a cash-backed unsecured bank guarantee up to the amount of £7 million” during the 2014-15 season.

Watford’s executive deny seeking sought a falsified letter.

“In 2014, there was a restructuring of the shareholding of the ultimate parent company of Watford Football Club,” chairman, Raffaele Riva said in a statement.

“The full ownership of the club was transferred to Gino Pozzo and, to comply with EFL restrictions, it was necessary to provide certain documentation to ratify this change in the shareholding.

“I compiled some of the documents required by the EFL which related to Hornets Investment Limited, which is the holding company, including a letter of support from a bank as a proof of funds for the EFL. To facilitate this I asked a third party, X, to assist. I trusted X to do so because, at that time, we worked together on other projects. I have not worked with X since the end of 2015.

“No other individual at Watford FC was in any way involved in obtaining the letter. The letter was submitted to the EFL via Watford FC along with the other documents.

“For two years, I had no reason to believe the letter was anything but genuine. Indeed, since the letter was submitted to the EFL, Hornets Investment Limited have put into the club over three times the amount specified in the proof of funds letter. It has come as a huge shock to be notified there are doubts over the veracity of the letter.”