As the football season cranks into action, Watford have scored an early goal in a PFI partnership with West Hertfordshire Hospitals trust.

As the football season cranks into action, Watford have scored an early goal in a PFI partnership with West Hertfordshire Hospitals trust.

The trust hopes to share£80m-£100m of its costs by building a new hospital in Watford as part of a development encompassing a new stadium, housing, a hotel and conference centre.

The deal demonstrates how a little imagination can transform local health. Huge savings, a great environment for the new hospital, and the possibility of using the football club to push messages about sport and health bring flair to the dry accounts of PFI deals. Having to invite Sir Elton John to open the new facilities will be a small price to pay.