GRAHAM SIMPSON insists the money from the record sale of Ashley Young to Aston Villa this week will not be used to redevelop Vicarage Road.

The Hornets' coffers were swelled by a cool £8m - rising to £9.65m with various add-ons - on Tuesday after the two clubs concluded a deal that smashed the £2.3m Chelsea paid for Paul Furlong in 1994.

The money generated by the sale of Furlong helped build the Rookery Stand but the Watford chairman said the funds Villa have deposited in Watford's bank account will be invested in the team and the infrastructure of the club.

The £9.5m shortfall in the proposed £32.5m redevelopment of Vicarage Road will still be raised by "sensible", long-term bank loans or equity. There is also £3.8m still owed to the directors but they will be repaid as was originally scheduled.

"The money isn't going to be used to develop any stand," said the chairman yesterday (Thursday). "We already have a three-year plan in place to develop this stadium, we have gone public on that long before the money for Ashley came in. We have already becoming self-sustaining as far as that is concerned.

"We know we have got a chunk of money that will help develop the club on a larger scale. We are very, very ambitious in terms of where we want to take this club. A good part of this money will come back to Aidy to use as and when he needs it."

Although Watford have over £10m - they had a bid of £3.25m for Collins John turned down before Young was sold - burning a hole in their pocket, Simpson insists the club will not be held to ransom as they look to try and bring players in before the transfer window closes next week.

"I've made a couple of phone calls for Aidy for a couple of players since we have sold Ashley and the prices being quoted are ludicrous," he said.

"We've supported Aidy from day one and we will continue to do so. When we were still having financial problems last season we found money to get Marlon, we found money to buy Darius. But we are not going to pay over the odds and perhaps we have to let everything calm down."

With players of the required quality viewing Watford as an unattractive option, does Simpson agree that it would it be wiser to spend the money in the summer rather than panic buy now?

"That's a good point," he said. "We'll get what we can now to enable us to hopefully stay in the Premiership and then we'll regroup in the summer and use the money as and when we need it.

"Things will have died down then and then Aidy can seriously look at the players he feels we need to take us to the next level instead of us blowing the money now."

Eyebrows were raised when the club initially turned down a bid of £7m for a player who has only had half a season at the top level but Simpson "genuinely felt the lad was worth more than that".

However, the chairman, after consultation with the manager his fellow board members, felt West Ham's offer of £9.65m - subsequently matched by Villa - was too good to turn down.

"There were mixed emotions," reflected the chairman. "In one respect it was difficult as we believe we had a smashing player and a nice young man on our books.

"But on the other hand it wasn't difficult to turn down, for two reasons really. We knew he was ready to move on and we believe it was a tremendous offer for the club.

"We can now use that money to take the club to the next level. As a business I believe we have made the right decision."

It is all a far cry from the days when Simpson incurred the wrath of the fans for accepting a derisory offer of £250,000 - rising to £375,000 - from West Bromwich Albion for crowd favourite Paul Robinson in October 2003.

"I had to reluctantly accept that offer as we were in such a poor state financially," he recalled. "To then be talking in terms of millions and millions for Ashley shows how far we have come."