Watford players agree to take pay cut

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The Independent Online

Players and staff at Watford have agreed unanimously to defer 12 per cent of their wages to help rescue the club from administration. The Hornets need to raise £9.5m to avoid that fate and players and staff agreed to defer a proportion of their salaries with no guarantee that the money will be paid back.

Players and staff at Watford have agreed unanimously to defer 12 per cent of their wages to help rescue the club from administration. The Hornets need to raise £9.5m to avoid that fate and players and staff agreed to defer a proportion of their salaries with no guarantee that the money will be paid back.

It will save £1.3m over two years and the club claims to have access to £6.3m from directors and investors. It is hoped to make up the shortfall with a share issue and an appeal to fans.

The new chairman Graham Simpson – the founder and former owner of the Simply Travel holiday company, who takes over following the departure of Sir Elton John in May – paid tribute to his players.

"I'm very proud and honoured," he said. "It surpasses any dream I had as a boy standing on the terraces. However my pride and joy are tempered by the financial situation."

Craig Bellamy has been fined £40,000 by Newcastle after picking up a three-match European ban for headbutting the Dynamo Kiev defender Tiberiu Ghioane last week.

The added sanction may not hurt the striker as much as the prospect of missing the two ties against Juventus, the first of which takes place in Turin next Tuesday, and the return against the Ukrainian side.

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