Watford's potential new investor Laurence Bassini has confirmed he did change his name after being declared bankrupt.

Last week the Watford Observer revealed Bassini and his close friend Panos Thomas were the potential investors currently in talks with Watford's major shareholders over a potential takeover.

One concern among supporters this week has been the confusion surrounding whether Bassini was in fact Laurence Bazini, who was made bankrupt in 2007.

The 40-year-old confirmed his name was spelt Bazini previously and that he changed the spelling because of the bankruptcy.

Bassini said: “The reason for the change was four years ago my father found a hotel which I invested in quite heavily and helped him with it.

“It just didn't work out how it should have, he left to do other things and I was left to deal with it all.

“I tried everything to save it but I didn't and it lost several million pounds. As a result I had to go bankrupt. I was bankrupt for about a year.

“Businessmen have their highs and lows, that was a low at that time for me. After the bankruptcy, people say things so I changed my name to have a fresh start. That was the reason for it.

“I haven't changed it by very much, I just changed it that way because at that time it was what I wanted to do.”

The hotel was the Fox at Ibstone near High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, which is now the Fox Country Inn.

Bassini confirmed he had been on benefits after the bankruptcy but insists it was only for a brief period.

He said: “When I was bankrupt there was a period when I was on benefits, as I said there are highs and lows in a businessman's personal life and in business.

“It was for several months, maybe five or six months but it was a short time.”

Bassini said he was from a wealthy family and that they played a big part in helping him as he tried to start again. But stated his family is not currently part of any proposed takeover.

“If we make an offer and I need something from the family then they may help but generally no [they are not involved],” Bassini said.

“I come from a very wealthy and successful family. I have a brother who is a barrister, I have a brother who is in the perfume world, has a branded perfume name and it is very successful and I have a brother who is a graphic designer.

“So I had the family's support when I needed it and if I needed money and I was able to go out and trade and things I needed to do to make money again.

“I have had people around me who I have done business with who have supported me if I needed it.”

More to come from the Watford Observer's exclusive interview with Laurence Bassini later today.