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Real Madrid
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By ESPN Staff

Watford chairman warns fans over transfer funds

Watford chairman Graham Simpson warned fans not to expect high-profile players to join the club following promotion to the Barclays Premiership.

The Hornets pocketed an estimated £40million after overcoming Leeds in the Coca-Cola Championship final - money which will also go on re-developing the ground.

Manager Adrian Boothroyd already knows some of the players he would like to add to the squad and has had a plan for the Premiership in place for some time - but Watford are unlikely to make a huge impression on the transfer market.

'We will not be encouraging Adrian Boothroyd to blast £5million on one player,' Simpson told PA Sport. 'We have funds, but we do not have pots of cash.

'People will compare us to Wigan, but their owner Dave Whelan is considerably wealthy in his own right. West Ham, meanwhile, spent £7million on Dean Ashton - and we don't have that.

'Adrian identified players before we went up, we have a good scouting network and we will be spending sensibly.'

Watford are also keen to improve a ground that does not compare favourably with the stadiums of some of their former rivals in the Coca-Cola Championship.

The club are understandably keen to make the most of the occasion when teams like Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal come to Vicarage Road next season.

Simpson continued: 'There were always plans in place to redevelop our main stand, even if we had not been promoted.

'We also knew that going into the Premiership would allow us to redevelop the East Stand and make those facilities better. We had made that a priority.'

Simpson has also insisted that Watford have the financial strength to hang onto players like Marlon King and Ashley Young should they receive substantial offers for the pair.

Earlier this year, the deputy chairman of the Conservative Party Lord Michael Ashcroft - a billionaire - made a reported £4million investment in Watford to become the club's new majority shareholder.

One player who will certainly not be leaving Vicarage Road, however, is veteran centre-back Malky Mackay.

Mackay was sold by Norwich and West Ham after helping both clubs to promotion to the Premiership in 2004 and 2005 respectively, but Boothroyd has confirmed the Scot will not be shown the door after doing the same with Watford.

Mackay said: 'If my ultimate goal had been to play one match in the Premiership, I could have stayed at West Ham and probably played five or six games in that league.

'But I wanted to play every week, and luckily I had the chance to do that with a club competing at the top end of the Championship.

'I've never played in the Premiership, but I have no worries about being involved. I've played at the top end of the Championship, and I've played for Scotland against countries like Spain and Slovenia.'