Friday, January 2, 2009

Elton May Return to Watford

Sir Elton John is expected to make a shock return to Watford just under two months after the singer walked out on the club and resigned as the Hornets’ honorary life president.

In October, the 61-year-old expressed his “deep dismay” at the direction the club was headed under the leadership of former chairman Graham Simpson and chief executive Mark Ashton and when manager Aidy Boothroyd left Vicarage Road a month later, Elton decided to end his formal affiliation with a club he has supported since childhood.

But the Watford Observer understands the former two-time Hornets’ chairman has been speaking to new boss Brendan Rodgers in recent weeks and is keen to show his support for the Northern Irishman, interim chairman Andy Wilson and the new board currently being put together.

Although he is not expected to take up a formal role initially, it is likely that Elton will eventually regain his title as Watford’s life president.

However, it is unlikely that the Academy Award winner will be a member of the new board Wilson is trying to build and that, maybe more importantly for fans, it is not thought the multi-millionaire will be pouring significant investment into the club.

The singer has been busy of late, performing his televised New Years Eve concert at the 02 Arena and he is set to fly out to China in the coming days, but was keen to declare his support for the new regime as soon as possible.

Even when Elton stood down in November he stated that he would always be a Watford fan and wished the team “every success in the future”.

But his relationship with Simpson and Ashton seemed to have reached an all time low and it resulted in him not only walking out but also withdrawing all his memorabilia from the Elton John Suite in the Rous Stand at Vicarage Road.

In the statement released before his resignation, the rock star said: “We know from other clubs that when stability and confidence go then there is a danger of plummeting freefall. I fear we could be facing that catastrophe.

“Voices other than my own have already asked the question of what has happened to the money from the sale of some of our best players and the parachute payments. Whatever investment the directors still have in the club is likely to be devalued if stability is not brought back.

“More than anything else, confidence must be brought back to the playing staff and a real sense that there is a future at the club. If the directors do not have that optimism then they should go.”

In the end he got his wish and both Simpson and Ashton have since left the club, and Elton’s likely return could be the first of several this month as Wilson looks to have at least a five-man independent board in place by the end of January.

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