Watford chairman Raffaele Riva is to stand down from his position “to focus on other business interests”.
The news comes after the English Football League (EFL) last month announced it would look into claims made by the Daily Telegraph that the club allegedly forged a document relating to Gino Pozzo’s purchase of Watford in 2014.
Watford have also launched their own investigation into the incident and Riva, who denies any wrongdoing, has now decided to relinquish his duties, with CEO Scott Duxbury confirmed as his successor.
“I have decided to step down as chairman of Watford FC in order to focus on my other business interests,” he said in a statement.
“For the past four years I have acted with honesty and in good faith in all my dealings on behalf of the club, and the club has developed and grown a great deal in this period.
“I fully refute, and will protect vigorously my integrity against, any recent speculation.
“It will always be a source of great pride and honour to have been chairman during a period that has overseen such growth.
“Watford has done exceptionally well in the current season and I wish the club and its wonderful supporters nothing but future success.”
The first stage of Watford’s investigation was completed on Wednesday.
“Today the preliminary investigation from a firm of solicitors into that matter was completed and the findings will be sent to the EFL,” read a separate club statement.
“We can assure every supporter the club acted with honesty, integrity and in good faith at every step and is not guilty of any wrongdoing and we are sure this will ultimately be recognised.”
EFL rules from 2014 indicate punishment for the alleged offence could range from a formal warning to expulsion from competitions.