Watford close to administration

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Watford stand on the brink of administration after the Coca-Cola Championship club asked for trading in their shares to be suspended.

Following a board meeting on Tuesday night at which chairman Jimmy Russo, vice-chairman Vince Russo and director Robin Williams all resigned, the club issued a statement on Wednesday morning to end trading of their shares on the Alternative Investment Market.

"Pending resolution and clarification of their financial position, the company have requested that their shares be suspended from trading on AIM," read the statement.

"In the event that a funding solution cannot be obtained then the company may have to be placed in administration. A further announcement will be made in due course."

The departure of the Russo brothers led Valley Grown Salads - a company owned by the pair - to call in a loan of £4.88million, demanding payment by the end of business today.

The AGM of Watford Leisure plc was held at Vicarage Road and the three men all stood down after negotiations with majority shareholders Lord Michael Ashcroft and Graham Simpson over potential fund-raising failed to yield results.

Valley Grown Salads had lent Watford's holding company £1million last month in order to keep the club going until December 22.

Non-executive directors David Fransen, Stuart Timperley and Graham Taylor and CEO Julian Winter were all re-elected to the board.

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