Tag: Watford

All Aboard The Managerial Merry-Go-Round… Again

It has, dare we say it, been a tetchy two or three days for the managers of England’s football clubs. Even a breed of people that live their entire lives with a metaphorical axe suspended precariously over their heads will have offered an extra shudder at the events of last three days, which have resulted in the departure of three of their brethren from their positions, and such is the instability of the manager of any club these days that those that remain in work may well even find themselves unable to offer so much as a whispered, ‘There but for the grace of God go I’ tonight. If the form book is anything to go by, there, regardless of the grace of God, they are most likely to go in something like the short to medium term. To begin, then, at the top of the football food chain. Tottenham Hotspur may not have been the champions of England since John F Kennedy was the president of the United States of America, but modern football pays little attention to long-term trends. Spurs spent their Gareth Bale transfer window before they’d even sold that player, and the sheer volume of new recruits at White Hart Lane meant that Andre Villa Boas was always likely to face an uphill struggle in order to placate both the directors and supporters of the...

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Watford: ‘Bankrupt Baz’ Gets Banned

Of all the chancers to take their chance with English club football in recent years, Laurence Bassini/Bazini may even have been the chanciest of the lot. Championship high-flyers Watford are currently living through altogether different controversies, as their loan-heavy team challenges for a Premier League place, thanks more than most else to their status as a ‘nursery’ side of sorts for Serie A club Udinese. But the sins of Watford’s recent past nearly came back to haunt them this week, as the true nature of Bassini’s club ownership was exposed by the publication of the Football League’s Football Disciplinary Committee (FDC) “determinations.” “Bankrupt Baz”, as he is referenced in his – possibly not self-penned – Wikipedia profile, was once a “client” of the execrable Keith Harris’s investment bank Seymour Pierce (and who here is surprised at Harris’s link to this grubby tale?). And he was offered ownership of Blackburn Rovers in 2010, which was a lucky escape for Blackb…ah… Last month Bassini was found guilty of “misconduct” and “banned from owning or holding any position of authority in any football club for three years” by the FDC investigating “two financial transactions in 2011 which occurred during (his) tenure as owner and director” of Watford. Watford also breached three League regulations but the FDC deemed a “registration embargo” to be “a just and proportionate penalty,” rather than the points deduction...

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Match Of The Past: Watford FC

We continue our collection of matches from the past of the clubs of the Football League Championship this evening with Watford. Our first match comes from the 1969/70 season, and is their FA Cup quarter-final match against Liverpool from Vicarage Road. We then skip forward to the start of the following decade, for another FA Cup match, this time against non-league Harlow Town, who the Hornets seemed to have more trouble with than much of their opposition in the league as they shot through the divisions from the Fourth Division to the First Division in the years between 1978 and 1982. Our third match is another FA Cup match, this time from the 1980/81 season and features their Fourth Round match against Wolverhampton Wanderers. Our next two matches come from the middle of the 1980s, by which time Watford had become established as a force to be reckoned with in the First Division. Having got promoted there in 1982, they finished their first season as runners-up behind Liverpool in the First Division and our next match sees Arsenal travel to North London to play against Arsenal in a First Division match at Highbury from November of that year. Our fifth game is a home league match against Chelsea from September 1985, and we finish off at the start of the 1990s, with Watford facing a trip to Griffin Park...

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Watford’s Big Picture Problems

The take-over of an English football club by the owner of an Italian club passed somewhat quietly on account of the European Championships but, as Paul Grech, writes Watfords tie-in with Udinese owner Giampaolo Pozzo might just end up having a significance that reaches some way beyond Vicarage Road. As the two nations’ teams faced each other in one of the lesser balanced games of Euro 2012’s quarter final line up, another piece of business involving English and Italian football went by practically unnoticed. By buying a majority stake in Watford, Italian Giampaolo Pozzo became the latest foreign owner of an English club and, in that respect, this piece of news merited the lack of attention that it received. What makes it remarkable is that Pozzo is also the owner of Serie A side Udinese. Pozzo’s achievements in Udine have been nothing short of remarkable. A team that was constantly yo-yoing between Serie A and B was transformed into one of the more stable sides at the top of Italian football; one capable of two consecutive Champions League qualification slots despite spending a fraction of what is available to the country’s traditional giants. This has been achieved through one of the finest scouting networks allied with a scatter-gun approach of signing promising players irrespective of their nationality (but as long as they don’t cost too much). It is a...

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