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Ex-Watford owner Laurence Bassini agrees 25-year lease for Yellow and Red Lion pub
5:51pm Thursday 13th September 2012 in Watford FC News
Former Watford owner Laurence Bassini is no longer involved with the running of the Yellow and Red Lion pub in Vicarage Road and will not be taking profits from the business, it has been confirmed.
Watford owned the pub opposite Vicarage Road Stadium for several years but agreed to give the business, and the land, to Bassini as part of the Pozzos’ takeover in the summer.
However, two of the men who helped restore the pub earlier this year have come to an “agreement” with Bassini over a new 25-year lease, with the option to purchase the freehold in a year’s time.
Dave Hashani, who helped renovate the building, and Josh Price, who was the pub manager when the club ran the business, have come together and taken control of the Yellow and Red Lion.
Hashani did not want to discuss specific details about the deal with Bassini but he did confirm that he and Price have this week finalised the paperwork for a 25-year lease and that there is an option to buy the freehold in a year.
Price, who spent time at Watford as a youngster, stated Bassini is “out of the picture” and wants to “return the pub back to Watford supporters”.
Price said: “It has taken a while and we are really pleased to get the lease so we can carry on the work we started in April.
“With the help of my brother Neil and the Watford Former Players' Association, we want to make the pub a success and bring it back to Watford fans.
“This is a fresh start with a new company and we want to state for the record that Laurence Bassini is no longer involved with the Yellow and Red Lion and will not be receiving any profits from the pub.
“When the takeover happened I left and the pub was left in limbo. We have been trying to get the lease and along with Dave, we have managed to do that.”
Generations of Watford supporters used to drink in the Red Lion prior to matches but it was closed in 2006 shortly after the club purchased the land.
The former regime of Graham Simpson and Mark Ashton wanted to build flats and offices on the site but the idea was scrapped and it remained closed until April this year, when it was initially used on match days before opening daily in June.
Bassini was unavailable for comment.
On Friday, John Barnes and Allan Smart will be at the pub for autographs and pictures at around 6pm.