Watford fined $5.1m for giving false financial information

Markets Associated Press

Watford has been fined nearly 4 million pounds ($5.1 million) for supplying falsified financial information to allow Italian businessman Gino Pozzo to become the club's owner.

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Watford pleaded guilty to submitting a forged bank letter to provide proof that Pozzo had enough funds to take over the club before the 2014-15 season. The team was in the second-tier League Championship at the time and won promotion to the Premier League that season.

The English Football League, which runs the three divisions below the Premier League, said in a statement Thursday that Watford's chairman at the time, Raffaele Riva, has been charged and will face a separate disciplinary commission.

The league said it was "satisfied" that neither "Pozzo nor any other director or employee of Watford Football Club was aware that the letter in question was a forgery."

Including costs, Watford's total sanction was 4.3 million pounds ($5.5 million).