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Two parties claiming control of Watford's Former Players Association reach agreement regarding event
The two parties claiming to control Watford's Former Players' Association have come to an agreement to support the club's 1982/83 Reunion Evening.
Neil Price set up the FPA three-and-a-half years ago, alongside Hornets legend Graham Taylor, but was recently made redundant from his sales job at the club, which led to a dispute over who will now run the association.
Price claims the organisation is separate from the club as he created the FPA and worked for three months unpaid to establish it, with the club then deciding to offering the ex-Watford defender a sales role afterwards.
The 1984 FA Cup finalist has previously stated that he plans to continue to run it the association and had the support of Taylor.
Watford, on the other hand, believe they control the FPA and have been describing it as 'our official Former Players' Association' in previous club articles on their website.
The disagreement resulted in Price deciding to organise a similar event to the 1982/83 Reunion Evening on the same night at the Yellow and Red Lion Pub, which is run by his brother Josh and Dave Hashani.
On Monday Price claimed a number of Watford's players from that era were unhappy with the club and would be attending his event instead.
One of the grievances, according to Price, was that the club had not set up a benevolent fund for the players, which was agreed when the FPA was set up in 2009.
However, on Tuesday the Hornets confirmed the fund was to be established for the first time and that Taylor, and a number of the players who Price expected at his event, were coming to the Reunion Evening.
Further discussions between the club, Price and Taylor have taken place this week and all parties have agreed to support the event and will then discuss the long-term future of the FPA after October 26.
The club have this morning released a statement which read: "All parties connected in any way with the former players of Watford FC have come together to give a ringing endorsement to the 1982/83 Reunion Evening, to be held on October 26 in the Vicarage Road Legends’ Lounge.
"Graham Taylor – former chairman and manager through the halcyon 1980s period – has confirmed his attendance for the event, with many of the playing squad and staff from that history-making season already looking forward to being there.
"Plans are being progressed to expand the reach and depth of the club’s association with its former players; one such initiative already in place being the creation of a Benevolent Fund to which a percentage of profits from all relevant events will be assigned.
"Discussions for further expansion will continue after the event and the Club is delighted to confirm Neil Price will be involved in these.
"In the meantime, everyone connected with Watford FC and its former players are very much looking forward to welcoming Hornets' fans who've booked to be part of what promises to be a very special night."
The club statement had been agreed with Price, who added: "All parties have the best interest of the supporters at heart and we do not want them to lose out when it comes to the event.
"I am delighted to be entering into dialogue with the club moving forwards. It is all I ever wanted with regards to the FPA and hopefully we can find a reasonable solution.
"I helped organise the Reunion Evening so I always wanted it to go ahead but other circumstances clouded things slightly.
"But we are delighted it is going ahead and that the club now want to enter into negotiations to work out what is best for everybody."
Click here to read last week's article about the dispute.