Well if there is one thing you can say with certainty about Watford, it’s that there is never a dull moment (Saturday’s drab encounter with Derby the exception that proves the rule).
If it’s not relegation it’s promotion. If it’s not players being threatened with deportation, its players we can’t get rid of. Condemned main stand? Yep, got one of those. Acrimonious dealings with ex-Managers? Check. Boardroom battles and impending financial disaster. Oh yes indeed.
As the fallout from Tuesday’s AGM continues, things are looking increasingly bleak for the future of Watford Football Club. At the time of writing, the Russo’s are expecting the full repayment of their £4.8million loans by 5:30pm. Call me a cynic, but something tells me they aren’t going to accept Nathan Ellington and a job lot of WFC advent calendars in lieu of payment.
This correspondent doesn’t pretend to know the ins and outs of what is going on in the corridors of what little power is left at Vicarage Road, but it seems to me the Russo’s are our only hope. They have made an offer to buy the club outright, which includes the servicing of the much publicised £5.5million funding gap. However, the newly aligned axis of Ashcroft and Simpson aren’t playing ball for whatever reason, and are reluctant to sell. Presumably they have their eyes on Watford’s only tangible asset, Vicarage Road Stadium.
As it stands the Russo’s offer remains on the table, and my understanding is that if it isn’t accepted by close of business today, administration at the very least is inevitable. The implications of this are well documented and utterly terrifying for a club the size of ours. Clubs have been sailing close to the wind for some time and analysts have long predicted that a major club will fall. We can only hope and pray it isn’t ours.
There is no reason it shouldn’t be Watford – we’re no different to any of the other clubs out there, it’s just this time it’s us in the firing line and it really doesn’t feel like much fun.
I’m sure that many will argue it will take the collapse of a high profile club for the game and the various governing bodies to take the situation seriously and look at ways in which the future of football can be safeguarded. How that can be achieved is anyone’s guess, but what is clear, is that football in its current guise isn’t sustainable. The Top 4 clubs have driven up the cost of players and their wages to such a level that there is no hope of any club outside the elite competing with them. Try to compete and the financial strain will almost certainly eventually cripple your club. Don’t attempt to compete, and well, what’s the point? Your club will eventually lose its fans to the armchair and Sky Sports and ESPN.
I haven’t got the answer to either Watford’s woes or those of the game at large. Someone has to start thinking about it though, as soon it won’t be just clubs under serious threat of extinction, but the game itself.