Bassini to appeal three-year ban
Former Watford owner Laurence Bassini insists he will be appealing this week's decision to ban him from any involvement in football for three years and will pursue the matter until his name is cleared.
Bassini and Watford were on Monday both found to have breached Football League regulations. An independent Football Disciplinary Commission had been investigating events concerning the Hertfordshire club, with the alleged misconduct charges arising from the handling of two financial transactions in 2011.
In a statement released to Press Association Sport, Bassini, who left Vicarage Road in 2012, said: "I am very disappointed with the findings of the Football League Disciplinary Commission, which flies in the face of the evidence that the Tribunal had before it from myself and others. I have already said that I will be appealing and fully intend to pursue this until I have cleared my name."
He went on: "When I took over Watford, as the Tribunal accepted, its finances were in a far worse state that I had been led to believe and all of my actions were focused on the need to ensure the financial stability of the club and to give it the platform from which it could succeed on the pitch.
"I believe, and the Tribunal has accepted, that at all times I have acted in the best interests of Watford FC and know that I left it in a far stronger position than when I purchased it and that it has been able to build on that to now challenge to return to the Premiership.
"Since my appeal is still pending I will be making no further statements about the findings."
Monday's statement on the Football League website read: "A Football Disciplinary Commission, in the case of The Football League vs Watford Football Club and Mr Laurence Bassini, has determined that both defendants breached Football League regulations regarding the securitisation of future transfer fees and central distributions."
Following the announcement Watford confirmed their delight at not suffering a points deduction or a fine, with the club currently third in the Championship table and just two points off the automatic promotion places.
The concluding paragraph of a statement by the Hornets read: "It is clear from the decision of the Football Disciplinary Commission that the offences which the club has been found guilty of were committed by one or two individuals who are no longer associated with the club - and without the knowledge of the full board of the club."
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