Watford FC Agree In Principle To Sell To Pozzo Family
Championship League outfit Watford FC's board of directors have agreed "in principle” to sell the Hornets to the Pozzo family, according to Frank Smith of the WATFORD OBSERVER. The Pozzo family, who owns the Italian side Udinese and Spanish club Granada, have been "in advanced negotiations with Watford regarding a possible sale" (WATFORD OBSERVER, 6/18). Smith also reported that the Pozzo family released a statement through Udinese stressing that "the takeover of Watford is still not complete." The announcement read: "The Pozzo family, through its communication company, would like to point out that any news or rumours concerning the purchase of Watford Football Club has to be regarded as premature, because, even if there actually is a real interest, the dealing has not been officialised yet" (WATFORD OBSERVER, 6/19). Smith also noted that the new potential owners have indicated former Chelsea forward Gianfranco Zola "could be joining" the Hornets but said "it's too early to talk about it." The Pozzo family have "considered Zola for the manager's position when discussing the Hornets in the past" (WATFORD OBSERVER, 6/19). In London, the BBC reported that Watford Supporters' Trust "have urged the club's proposed new owners not to use the Hornets as a platform to give experience to Italian youngsters." Trust Chair Professor John Fawell said, "I would expect that if they take over that we would see Italian loan players come in. But my hope would be they are better than what we had and not just there in order to get experience." Pozzi bought Granada in '09 and has since "used the club to farm out young talent from Udinese." The result "has been positive" for Granada, who won promotion to La Liga a year ago (BBC, 6/19).