Former Watford chairman Jimmy Russo insists it is "not his priority" to put the club into administration after turning down a plea to defer repayment of his £4.88million loan.

The Hornets look set to be forced into administration after Russo and brother Vince, the club's former vice-chairman, rejected a £7.5million rights-issue rescue package from majority shareholder Lord Michael Ashcroft on Wednesday evening.

Russo, who resigned his position on Tuesday, had demanded his money back by Thursday despite the ramifications for the club, who would be deducted 10 points and plunged towards the Championship relegation zone.

And his decision to refuse Lord Ashcroft's offer has horrified interim chairman Graham Taylor, who claimed he was "at a loss to understand what is making (the Russo brothers) take this action".

But a defiant Russo told Sky Sports News: "It's not my priority to put the club into administration. It's not what I want to do.

"I want us to sit around the table and come up with a sensible solution to take the club forward."

Russo described the proposal placed to him by Lord Ashcroft's company Fordwat Limited as "wholly unacceptable", adding: "It was a ridiculous offer.

"It entailed that I had to produce another £2.3million to buy my 30% stake back, so I get my £4.8million, then I've got to produce another £2.3million to retain my position in percentages.

"What they forgot to tell you is that they haven't offered me a place on the board. So, in essence I produce the money, I put the money into the club and actually have no say as to the way the business is being run."

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