LONDON (AFP) - Cash-strapped Watford may not now go into administration after their former chairman, Jimmy Russo, appeared to relent Friday on his demand for immediate repayment of a multi-million pound loan.
Watford, who play in English football's second-tier Championship, the division below the lucrative Premier League, appeared destined for administration after Russo demanded Thursday the immediate repayment of a 4.88 million pounds loan.
That was despite the club's majority shareholder, Lord Michael Ashcroft, announcing plans to raise 7.5 million pounds through a rights issue package.
However, Russo told BBC Radio Five on Friday he was ready to talk to Watford officials. "I'm happy to suspend any legal action providing I have an appointment with them."
Under Football League rules designed to encourage sound financial management of clubs, teams risk a 10 points deduction if they enter administration.
Watford currently lie tenth in the Championship on 30 points. A drop to 20 points would see the club slip to fourth-bottom in its division, one place above the relegation zone.
Russo, his brother Vince and their fellow director Robin Wright all quit the board of the club's parent company, Watford Leisure, this week.
Follwing Jimmy Russo's exit, former Watford manager Graham Taylor was appointed interim chairman.
Taylor, speaking on Thursday - before Jimmy Russo softened his stance - was scathing about his predecessor's conduct.
"Yesterday (Wednesday) I saw an interview with Jimmy and he said he has not become a bad man overnight," Taylor told Sky Sports News.
"But Jimmy, you walked into the AGM earlier this week, nobody knew what you were going to do, you resigned, you demanded immediately your 4.88 million pounds, payable within 48 hours.
"Jimmy, that's when you did become a bad man.
"It was not in the interests of Watford Football Club."
Watford's most famous fan is pop legend Sir Elton John, who owned the club during its most successful era that spanned the late 1970s and most of the 1980s.
Under the guidance of Taylor, who went on to manage the England national team, Watford rose from division four obscurity to finish second behind Liverpool during its first ever season in the top tier of English football.
A year later, in 1984, the Hornets reached the FA Cup final, losing 2-0 to Everton.
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