Watford face potential points deduction over bank forgeries

The incident took place in 2014

Watford face potential points deduction over bank forgeries

Picture by Daniel Hambury PA Archive/PA Images

Watford FC's owners have been accused of forging bank letters in 2014, that helped the current owner take sole charge of the club.

Gino Pozzo took ownership of the club in 2012. His family currently own the Serie A side Udinese, and at the time were also owners of Granada, in Spain. 

According to The Telegraph, the team could face a heavy fine and potential points deduction over the letter, which was purported to be written by HSBC Bank. Only two teams have ever been deducted points in the Premier League era. Both Middlesbrough (three points in 1996-97) and Portmouth (nine points in 2009-10) were relegated.

The letter was written when Watford were still in The Championship. The team were promoted at the end of the 2014-15 season. They finished in 13th place last season, and currently lie in ninth.

In one of the alleged forged letters, the bank claim that the clubs owners Hornets Investments Ltd have enough funds and a bank guarantee worth £7million from the bank.

As Watford were not a Premier League club at the time, the investigation is being led by the English Football League. An EFL spokesman said they had made contact with the club.

“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.”

There is no proof that the Pozzo family has any involvement in the reported forgeries.