Watford have moved to clarify what they describe as ‘erroneous media reporting’ over the club’s official complaint to the Premier League over Everton’s alleged illegal attempt to poach manager Marco Silva last season while he was still employed by the Hornets.
A report from the Daily Mail emerged suggesting that having just sold Brazilian winger Richarlison to the Toffees for up to £50m, Watford were looking to get even more money out of Everton after renewing their ongoing dispute regarding Silva.
The Portuguese coach was the subject of an Everton approach in November 2017, followed by a run of run of just one win in 12 Premier League games for Watford that directly led to Silva’s dismissal in at the end of January 2018.
Watford blamed Everton at the time, with a statement labelling that approach as a ‘catalyst’ and pointed to Silva’s head being turned to cause ‘significant deterioration in both focus and results’.
But, contrary to the Mail’s story, Watford have denied that they are seeking compensation and are instead fighting for the sake of principles.
A Watford statement issued on Thursday morning read, “In pursuing its disciplinary claim, the club has known from the outset it forfeited any right to compensation as a consequence of not following a proposed arbitration process.
“We believe this situation is not about a compensation figure but the principle of making a stand when the actions of one Premier League club completely undermine and cause intrinsic damage to a fellow member club.”
The statement also made clear that Watford believe there is ‘overwhelming evidence of a clear breach of Premier League rules’ and that one attempt at mediation has already proved unsuccessful.