Watford chairman and Hornets legend Graham Taylor stated he was “extremely disappointed” the club's owner Laurence Bassini decided not to attend tonight's fans' forum due to 'illness'.
Bassini had not originally been scheduled to attend tonight's event at Vicarage Road but – along with Taylor – last month announced he would be the top table.
This was scheduled to be the first time Bassini addressed his club's supporters since he completed his takeover earlier this year.
But the Stanmore businessman's absence was not confirmed until minutes before the event at 7.30pm – although rumours had started an hour before.
Watford fan Stuart Staines kicked off the forum by stating that “as a fan who has travelled two hours to get here tonight, I am disgusted that our owner could not make it himself.”
Taylor then replied: “Speaking as the non-executive chairman, I am also extremely disappointed the owner has missed an occasion which I think would have been of great benefit both to him and the fans.
“Having said that, if someone tells you they are ill, what can you say to that?
“It is up to all of us then to decide how ill he is - and we will never be able to do that - or whether he should have been able to come even if he is ill.
“I think you can see where I am coming from. I think unfortunately I am going to make the assumption at the present time that he is ill and I am going to say how unfortunate that is because this was a great opportunity for you, Laurence, to sit and answer questions which obviously Watford supporters are keen for you to answer.
“I think that is as far as I ought to go at the moment but I think you can see where I am coming from.
“I am not at all surprised you decided not to ask me a question but to make that statement. I understand totally.”
There will be more from tonight's fans' forum posted on the website tomorrow.