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Stirring up a hornet’s nest

Member: Nifa

Watford FC has confirmed that the club has launched an internal investigation into an alleged fabricated financial document supplied to the English Football League (EFL) and that it is taking the matter “extremely seriously”. 

The Premier League side is alleged to have supplied a forged letter from HSBC bank to the footballing authorities and could face a fine and possibly a league points deduction if the allegations are found to be true.

The correspondence, which appears to have a HSBC letterhead, says that current owner Gino Posso, who took full financial control of the club in 2014, had sufficient funds to bankroll the club and that the bank would offer him a guarantee if necessary. It adds that ‘their’ client, Hornets Investments Limited, could be offered £7million for the club’s funding.

In a statement, the club says it has been asked to provide proof of a funds document for £7m provided to the EFL by Hornets Investments Ltd in order to ratify a change in Hornets Investments Ltd shareholding.

The statement added that the club had no prior knowledge of any concerns about the authenticity of the documents and that Hornets Investments Ltd has invested over £20m into the club since the proof of funds documents were issued.

Watford added that it has instructed independent solicitors to carry out an investigation into relevant matters and to provide the EFL with the report early next month.

The lawyers will no doubt use forensic investigators to investigate the true financial position of Mr Posso.  These professionals use sophisticated software and their considerable experience to trace evidence back to its source.

Author: Roger Isaacs, 31 October 2016

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