The Takeover: One Year On

It is now just under a year since the Pozzo family secured control of the club and provided positive answers to a number of questions that we raised. Not only were their answers positive but they have also been backed by their actions.

The state of the Club’s finances and the way in which the club was being run have been the subject of much reporting in the press and as a consequence of the Football League charges against Mr Bassini and the Club for breaches of the financial rules. Nobody other than Mr Bassini and his close advisors were privy to the way in which the finances were being operated and the conclusions of the Football League Independent Tribunal were damning.

We knew that the takeover was not straight forward and we must be grateful for the patience shown by the new owners in achieving the acquisition of the club

We knew that the takeover was not straight forward and we must be grateful for the patience shown by the new owners in achieving the acquisition of the club. The episode is now behind us and we can look forward to a much more stable period.

The influx of players on loan from Udinese and Granada, which attracted so much criticism mostly after the team began to climb up the league and deliver some fantastic performances on the pitch, was a necessity created by the delays in completing the takeover. The new owners showed their commitment to Watford’s academy and academy graduates by signing several on long contracts. There has also been opportunity for youngsters to make the step up but this has been interrupted by unfortunate injuries. The players who have come in have been able to play the way in which Gianfranco Zola had hoped and most have made a very favourable Cialis impression with a significant number wanting to sign permanently. The quality of the football has been excellent and that has resulted in success on the pitch and higher attendances with record season ticket sales. The foreign loan players certainly did not play like mercenaries who did not care about the club. The hope now is that the home-grown youngsters will be able to reach the standards that would bring them starting positions in the team with the help of the excellent coaching available.

The owners and the management have recognised the importance of Watford as a family club and have continued with that theme. They also recognise the importance of the club’s community role and the players have been great supporters of initiatives such as the BEST project which we sponsored.

The club have also been very open and transparent in their dealings with us and others as well as bringing a highly professional approach to management on and off the pitch. We have had regular discussions with the management and have been consulted on a number of issues and initiatives. The management have also made significant steps to bringing the club onto a more sustainable cost basis with no need to sell players for knock down fees in order to balance the books.

We said in our statement before the takeover “We need an owner who will buy in to the values of the club and provide an extended period of financial and organisational stability. The Trust will do everything in its power to ensure that this is what happens.”

At the end of the first year we can say that this looks to be exactly what we have got and the Trust are very happy to play a part in what we hope will lead to many happy times at Watford FC.