Watford CEO and Chairman Scott Duxbury has said it was a "huge mistake" to not tell fans that Adrian Mariappa had left the club.

Discussions took place between the defender and the Hornets regarding a potential extension to his deal, but an agreement was not reached and the player left as a free agent. 

However, no statement was released by the club confirming the player's departure, while other departing players, like Heurelho Gomes, were given the chance to say a proper goodbye via the official club channels.

Speaking at the At Our Place fans' forum on Monday evening, Duxbury said that he should have communicated with the fans and recognised the contribution of a man who has spent a total of 11 years at the club.

"It's probably a huge mistake by me and the club to not do an announcement recognising Mapps," he said. "In defence there was a long negotiation to try and find an arrangement that Mapps could stay, which went on for some time, but absolutely we should recognise the service Mapps did, he will always be welcome here.

Harrow Times:

"We weren't able to reach an agreement for him to continue, we wish him nothing but success, he will always be welcome back here and it's an absolute mistake not to, at the end of those negotiations, communicate with the supporters and explain what's happening so hopefully tonight puts that right."

The question about Mariappa was the second time the club's communications strategy had been mentioned during the forum, with another supporter asking why there had been "radio silence" other than one statement following relegation from the Premier League.

Duxbury said he was surprised by the suggestion there had not been enough dialogue between himself and supporters and said he would try to continue to keep them informed.

"I'm a little surprised to be honest that they're saying there was radio silence because something that I do pride myself on, is the communication with the supporters," he said. "When we first came here nearly eight years ago I said, 'together we can achieve great things'. If we're not together then there will be issues.

"I think, from a personal perspective, whether I've done actual interviews, it's an extremely busy time, there's a lot of transition from relegation to building a squad to get promoted, so maybe I haven't been front and centre, but I've always ensured that from a communication perspective through all our channels, the website, social media we've been at the forefront, even to the point that I was trying to explain which players weren't in the squad because they handed in transfer requests and didn't want to be part of the project. Now, there aren't many football clubs that would be so open and so candid explaining why certain key first-team players were not involved in the first-team squad. 

"I have tried, clearly, I've failed. I have tried to make sure through all the channels that we've kept an open and honest communication so all supporters understand what it is we're doing as a football club and that's certainly part of my DNA and certainly something I will always continue to do."