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Watford forced to close East Stand
Watford have closed the East Stand amid safety concerns.
The club have also announced delays to the development of the south-west corner of the ground.
The south-west corner, which is due to house the changing rooms, a media suite, the players' tunnel, a lounge for the managers' and players' media and a match control centre, was due to be handed over by Kia, the construction company, in September. But that has now been put back until mid-January.
"Our contractors face certain difficulties in working around football and rugby fixture schedules," said Gareth Jones, Group Director of Development for Origin Housing Group.
"As well as this the day-to-day demands placed on the stadium has taken its toll on the anticipated timescales we set ourselves to ready the structures."
The closure of the East Stand has forced the club to relocate 384 season-ticket holders and created doubts as to where the players will change next season.
The club are currently seeking approval from the council to use the stand for continued use of the media seating, dug-outs and old Directors' seating area until which time the south-west corner can be occupied.
Said chairman Graham Simpson: "The timing of the news is unfortunate but we take our responsibilities for the safety of all persons seriously and we will not willingly compromise these principles "Closure of our oldest stand was inevitable; however the decision to do so earlier than planned has not been taken lightly.
"Given our desire to continue the building programme in the south-west corner and the small numbers of season ticket holders remaining in the East Stand we felt it most effective to take the decision to close the area with immediate effect.
"Of course, much of this has been unforeseen due to the delays in the south-west corner, but nonetheless we are apologetic to those supporters who have been affected by this news."