Bassini given time to seek financial advice after being ordered to repay £4.4m

Watford Observer: Bassini given time to seek financial advice after being ordered to repay £4.5million Bassini given time to seek financial advice after being ordered to repay £4.5million

The barrister of former Watford FC owner, Laurence Bassini, asked for him to be given time to seek insolvency advice after he was ordered to repay more than £4.4 million today.

A High Court judge ruled in favour of ex-Hornets directors, Jimmy and Vince Russo, in the dispute over more than £3.6 million they paid the Stanmore businessman before and during his tenure in the club.

The judgment left Mr Bassini, who was not in court today, with a total bill in excess of £4,469,000 to repay the Sicilian business brothers, as he was also ordered to pay interest on the initial sums.

Today’s decision came after a four-day trial earlier this month. During the case Mr Justice Spencer was told the Russos had paid Mr Bassini £3.5 million just before he took over Watford FC in March 2011.

Then in May 2011 they paid him a further £135,000. The Russos’ case was the money was straightforward loans paid to Mr Bassini personally to help him run the club. The initial sum, they said, was intended as "working capital" and the smaller amount was requested by Mr Bassini to help with cash flow issues at the club.

The Russos said the loans were initially interest free but then Mr Bassini agreed to pay five per cent interest on the sums in April 2012 to appease the brothers as he had not started repaying the loans.

Mr Bassini denied the sums were loans and said they were the price of a "sham" deal to give the Russos a secret 50 per cent share of Watford FC.

He said the £3.5 million was the cost of purchasing half the shares in the club’s holding company, which he held on trust for the brothers to keep their involvement hidden.

Mr Bassini also said the £135,000, which was the sum the Russos received for their shares in Watford FC in his buyout, was paid to square the ownership deal.

Mr Bassini also denied there had been any discussion with Russos over interest.

Mr Justice Spencer’s judgement said that Mr Bassini should repay both sums plus five per cent interest on the two sums the Russos say they had agreed with him in April 2012.

Nicholas Stewart QC, the Russos’ barrister, said he calculated the interest to amount to £568,600 to date.

The court was told that the Russos had racked up costs in the case in the region of £266,000, which Mr Bassini was ordered to pay.

Mr Stewart asked that Mr Bassini pay £150,000 of the costs within 14 days. This was accepted by Judge Spencer, who rejected a suggestion from Mr Bassini’s barrister of £100,000.

Mr Stewart also petitioned the judge to award the Russos indemnity costs because of the way Mr Bassini had conducted the case.

He said: “We submit that this defence was run in a thoroughly dishonest manner and a false point was taken in relation to this transaction”.

Mr Stewart added that his clients had also been subjected to some “pretty wild accusations” from Mr Bassini.

However the judge dismissed the Russos’ application for indemnity costs.

Judge Spencer imposed a freezing injunction on Mr Bassini’s assets of up to £4.5 million until the money was repaid.

Mr Bassini’s barrister, Jonathan Crystal, ask the wording of the injunction be changed to give Mr Bassini time to seek insolvency as well as legal advice following the judgement.

Today’s judgement comes after Mr Bassini was ordered at a hearing last year to repay £959,000 the Russos also lent him during his time as Watford FC owner.

Comments (15)

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6:41pm Tue 25 Mar 14

Bonser Out says...

Expect to see a red hard hat on ebay soon, starting bid £4,000,000
Expect to see a red hard hat on ebay soon, starting bid £4,000,000 Bonser Out
  • Score: 12

8:42pm Tue 25 Mar 14

watfordrick says...

Whats the point of the FA's fit-and-proper-perso
n test if chancers like Bassini/Bazzini can buy a football club!
Whats the point of the FA's fit-and-proper-perso n test if chancers like Bassini/Bazzini can buy a football club! watfordrick
  • Score: 7

11:48pm Tue 25 Mar 14

Dazzla says...

Would just love to take this opportunity to express my delight that this crook has finally been brought to justice. He gloated when we failed to get promoted. Well HAHAHA to you you lying, backstabbing, worthless fraud.

Best thing you ever did was put our club in the hands of the Pozzos.
Would just love to take this opportunity to express my delight that this crook has finally been brought to justice. He gloated when we failed to get promoted. Well HAHAHA to you you lying, backstabbing, worthless fraud. Best thing you ever did was put our club in the hands of the Pozzos. Dazzla
  • Score: 7

6:35am Wed 26 Mar 14

John Dowdle says...

Louis Roederer Cristal Rosé - the 2002 vintage - all round, I think, in honour of the outcome of the case and in memory of Bassini's barrister's name too.
A snip at a mere £499 per bottle, including VAT, for everyone in Watford..
I am sure the little extra expense will not bother our Laurence at all.
Louis Roederer Cristal Rosé - the 2002 vintage - all round, I think, in honour of the outcome of the case and in memory of Bassini's barrister's name too. A snip at a mere £499 per bottle, including VAT, for everyone in Watford.. I am sure the little extra expense will not bother our Laurence at all. John Dowdle
  • Score: 3

10:18am Wed 26 Mar 14

demerit says...

Sicilian business brothers? Blimey Baz, there'll be horses head on your pillow in the morning....with a red helmet on.

If I was the judge, I would give him time to seek advice - I'd give him until next Tuesday.
Sicilian business brothers? Blimey Baz, there'll be horses head on your pillow in the morning....with a red helmet on. If I was the judge, I would give him time to seek advice - I'd give him until next Tuesday. demerit
  • Score: 3

12:33pm Wed 26 Mar 14

CaptainPC says...

watfordrick wrote:
Whats the point of the FA's fit-and-proper-perso

n test if chancers like Bassini/Bazzini can buy a football club!
Can you lend me a drill?
[quote][p][bold]watfordrick[/bold] wrote: Whats the point of the FA's fit-and-proper-perso n test if chancers like Bassini/Bazzini can buy a football club![/p][/quote]Can you lend me a drill? CaptainPC
  • Score: 1

12:46pm Wed 26 Mar 14

akureyri says...

Lorenzo Basini
Lawrence Bazzini
Laurence Bassini
what's next?
Laurie Bass
Lost Brass
Lorenzo Basini Lawrence Bazzini Laurence Bassini what's next? Laurie Bass Lost Brass akureyri
  • Score: 1

1:05pm Wed 26 Mar 14

HornetJJ says...

That should give him enough time to dissappear off the face of the earth!
That should give him enough time to dissappear off the face of the earth! HornetJJ
  • Score: -2

1:14pm Wed 26 Mar 14

Chris the Vic says...

interesting outcome.

Hope the Pozzos are not backed by the Russos
interesting outcome. Hope the Pozzos are not backed by the Russos Chris the Vic
  • Score: -1

1:47pm Wed 26 Mar 14

mkhornet says...

He can now put his upturned Red Helmet on the pavement to collect some small change when he goes busking in Watford High Street. Anyone suggest any suitable songs? How about Fool on the Hill.
He can now put his upturned Red Helmet on the pavement to collect some small change when he goes busking in Watford High Street. Anyone suggest any suitable songs? How about Fool on the Hill. mkhornet
  • Score: 2

1:57pm Wed 26 Mar 14

Abbotshorn says...

i'll buy the pub off you for a tenner, that way you will have less money to find..oh and i enjoyed your rant about us not getting promoted , what goes around comes around
i'll buy the pub off you for a tenner, that way you will have less money to find..oh and i enjoyed your rant about us not getting promoted , what goes around comes around Abbotshorn
  • Score: -1

2:18pm Wed 26 Mar 14

gloryhornet4 says...

watfordrick wrote:
Whats the point of the FA's fit-and-proper-perso

n test if chancers like Bassini/Bazzini can buy a football club!
The fit and proper test is :-

to confirm the person is not barred from acting as a director of a company and has no relevant criminal convictions; that the person lives where they say they do and photo ID.
[quote][p][bold]watfordrick[/bold] wrote: Whats the point of the FA's fit-and-proper-perso n test if chancers like Bassini/Bazzini can buy a football club![/p][/quote]The fit and proper test is :- to confirm the person is not barred from acting as a director of a company and has no relevant criminal convictions; that the person lives where they say they do and photo ID. gloryhornet4
  • Score: 0

9:58pm Wed 26 Mar 14

watfordrick says...

gloryhornet4 wrote:
watfordrick wrote:
Whats the point of the FA's fit-and-proper-perso


n test if chancers like Bassini/Bazzini can buy a football club!
The fit and proper test is :-

to confirm the person is not barred from acting as a director of a company and has no relevant criminal convictions; that the person lives where they say they do and photo ID.
Wasn't he bankrupt ? Does that not prevent him acting as director of a company?
[quote][p][bold]gloryhornet4[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]watfordrick[/bold] wrote: Whats the point of the FA's fit-and-proper-perso n test if chancers like Bassini/Bazzini can buy a football club![/p][/quote]The fit and proper test is :- to confirm the person is not barred from acting as a director of a company and has no relevant criminal convictions; that the person lives where they say they do and photo ID.[/p][/quote]Wasn't he bankrupt ? Does that not prevent him acting as director of a company? watfordrick
  • Score: 0

9:59pm Wed 26 Mar 14

watfordrick says...

CaptainPC wrote:
watfordrick wrote:
Whats the point of the FA's fit-and-proper-perso


n test if chancers like Bassini/Bazzini can buy a football club!
Can you lend me a drill?
Yes
[quote][p][bold]CaptainPC[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]watfordrick[/bold] wrote: Whats the point of the FA's fit-and-proper-perso n test if chancers like Bassini/Bazzini can buy a football club![/p][/quote]Can you lend me a drill?[/p][/quote]Yes watfordrick
  • Score: 0

10:42pm Thu 27 Mar 14

watfordman says...

bassini or whatever his name is will be wearing concrete boots , italian style soon ,
bassini or whatever his name is will be wearing concrete boots , italian style soon , watfordman
  • Score: 1

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