Laurence Bassini's no-show disappoints Graham Taylor
Watford chairman Graham Taylor has told supporters they have every right to be upset after the club's owner failed to attend a fans' forum on Tuesday.
Laurence Bassini, who has been media-shy since buying the Hornets, said he was too ill to turn up.
"I am also extremely disappointed that the owner has missed an occasion that would have been of great benefit to him and yourselves," Taylor told fans.
"Having said that, if somebody tells you he is ill, what can you say?"
Little is known about Bassini, who has had limited interaction with fans and the media since .
And on an evening when Bassini was supposed to face fans' questions, the talk was centred on the owner's absence.
"It's left up to all of us to decide how ill he is," said Taylor. "And we'll never be able to know that or whether he should have been able to come even if he is ill.
"I think you can see where I'm coming from. Unfortunately I'm going to make an assumption at the present time that he is ill. And I'm going to say how unfortunate that is."
Addressing his remarks directly to the absent owner, Taylor added: "This was a great opportunity for you, Laurence, to sit and answer questions which Watford supporters are very keen to have the answers to."
Former England boss Taylor has managed Watford on two separate occasions and has been chairman since December 2009, taking the role permanently, but on a non-executive basis, in August last year.
But he hinted at his unease with the current regime at Vicarage Road when asked about his future.
"I want the Watford supporters to know that I do care and I wouldn't be here if I didn't care," he said.
"But I want the Watford supporters to know there's no guarantee I'll stay here."
Meanwhile, Taylor has opposed Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson's view that new rules surrounding football club academies are good for the game.
Ferguson has backed move to lift the restriction on youngsters having to live within 90 minutes of their academy.
Taylor said: "I heard Sir Alex Ferguson talking the other day. Some of what he said wasn't right. But right now nobody can criticise Sir Alex after 25 years [at Manchester United].
"EPPP has been put in place for the benefit of the leading Premier League clubs so that they have a far better chance of getting the best players."