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Watford have avoided the possibility of a points deduction but been hit by a partial transfer embargo after former owner Laurence Bassini was banned from any involvement in football for three years.

Bassini and the Hornets were found to have breached Football League regulations, but the worst case punishment for the Championship promotion-chasers, a deduction, was not imposed.

The embargo and ban follow an investigation into the handling of two financial transactions during Bassini's time at the club in 2011.

A statement on the Football League website said: "A Football Disciplinary Commission, in the case of The Football League vs Watford Football Club and Mr Laurence Bassini, has determined that both defendants breached Football League regulations regarding the securitisation of future transfer fees and central distributions."

Watford responded to the ruling with a statement, published on their official website, in which they said they were "pleased to confirm" that they had received neither a points deduction nor a fine.

"The club has been made the subject of a transfer embargo but wishes to emphasise that the embargo referred to falls under Regulation 19 of the Football League Regulations," the statement explained.

"This is not an absolute bar on transfers, but rather a mechanism by which transfer business can be conducted by the club provided that the prior authorisation of the relevant football authorities has been obtained.

"It is clear from the decision of the Football Disciplinary Commission that the offences which the club has been found guilty of were committed by one or two individuals who are no longer associated with the club, and without the knowledge of the full board of the club."

Watford are now owned by the Pozzo family and managed by Gianfranco Zola, who has guided them to third place in the Championship table, only two points off the automatic promotion places.


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