Marco Silva: Watford want to take a stand over Everton's approach

Everton manager Marco Silva
Everton appointed Marco Silva as their new manager on 1 June

Watford have said their ongoing dispute with Everton over what they call an "illegal" approach for former manager Marco Silva is not about compensation but "making a stand".

The Hornets reported Everton to the Premier League after they tried to hire the Portuguese manager last season.

Silva, 41, was sacked in January with the Hertfordshire club citing Everton's approach as "the catalyst."

He then replaced Sam Allardyce as Everton boss on 1 June.

The two clubs have gone through a failed mediation process and the Hornets are still pursuing the disciplinary action.

Despite the dispute, Watford sold Brazilian forward Richarlison to the Toffees for a reported £50m this week.

Silva was managing Watford when they signed Richarlison for £11.5m from Fluminense in 2017.

In a statement on their official website Watford said: "In pursuing its disciplinary claim, the club has known from the outset it forfeited any right to compensation as a consequence of not following a proposed arbitration process.

"We believe this situation is not about a compensation figure but the principle of making a stand when the actions of one Premier League club completely undermine and cause intrinsic damage to a fellow member club."

What happened with Everton and Silva?

Richarlison (left) with Marco Silva at Watford in August 2017
Marco Silva was part of the management team that brought Richarlison to Vicarage Road last year

Dutchman Ronald Koeman was sacked by Everton on 23 October - shortly after a 5-2 home defeat by Arsenal left them in the Premier League relegation zone, despite having spent £140m last summer. Allardyce then took charge on 30 November.

Everton were understood to be willing to pay approximately £10m in compensation for Silva, who signed a two-year contract with Watford in the summer after leaving relegated Hull City at the end of last season.

Previously, Silva guided Olympiakos to the Greek title and claimed a Champions League group-stage victory at Arsenal in September 2015, and has also tasted Portuguese Cup success with Sporting.

At the time of Everton's interest, Silva declined to pledge his long-term future to Watford both before and after a home win against West Ham United on 19 November - but the Hornets still made it clear they were unwilling to release him.

At the time of the approach, Silva said: "I don't want to talk about Everton. It's not where I work. It's a big club, nothing more."

He later said that the speculation was "not a problem" for him and that "this type of interest in players and coaches happens but it is not fair to question our commitment".

However, the Hornets went on a run of one win in Premier League games and dropped to 10th in the table, five points above relegation, before Silva was sacked.