Do You Still Have Faith In Gino?

Discussion in 'The Hornets' Nest - Watford Chat' started by folkestone orn, Dec 19, 2020.



  1. Yes

    39 vote(s)
  2. No

    100 vote(s)
  1. Probably. Well possibly. It just depends on how they play it. I didn't ever think they were in it for the long run, but I admit, I didn't see this coming. WOW !
  2. AndrewH63

    AndrewH63 Reservist

    I reckon West Africa with the example of Rwanda is going to be an economic power house in the next twenty years. Best Buy a club like Mikita Victory Sports FC and use that as a recruitment hub and feeder to the Premier League.
  3. hornetboy1

    hornetboy1 First Team

    With the news of Newcastle's jackpot win yesterday, it got me thinking about our long term goals under the Pozzo's.

    Even thought there's going to be a lot of blowback over the human rights issues with Newcastle, the sky's really now the limit for them and it takes them away from us a relegation candidates.

    I would of course like this to happen to Watford, but not at any cost, as appears to be the case with Newcastle. Selling our soul to the devil is not what I'd like Watford to do, even if it meant we'd be the richest club on the planet.

    So, what is Gino's vision and long term plan? We never hear from the guy, so it's all guess work. Personally, I would love for him to give an interview. He's now approaching his tenth year as owner and he can easily point to many improvements and the club has been elevated from beyond where it used to be. But what now, where do we go from here?

    For me, there has to be something more. Something we're trying to strive for. Since promotion to the Premier League back in 2014 it has been a struggle for us. Even though we were not relegated for 5 years, we were always vulnerable to it. We always made silly mistakes which would undermine our position, when it seemed unnecessary. A case in point is this season going into a season with only 4 centre backs and a rookie coach, who has already been replaced and an out of contract CB had to be rushed in already by October. These were foolish decisions the club made, but it goes hand-in-hand with some brilliance too. So I struggle to get my head around the conflicts between the good and obviously bad decisions.

    Are the Pozzo's capable of taking us to the next step? Are they able to turn us into a club who would be highly unlikely to go down. A club who are a firm fixture in the Premier League? This does not mean a top 7 club, as Newcastle have to be considered a powerhouse now. But there is a gap between 8th and 12th/13th where I believe Watford could sit.
    We're not there yet, and never have been, even though we finished 11th one season. To be a solid mid-tier side we do need investment. Is that beyond Gino? Well, obviously we're not a rich club in EPL terms, but if we got 90% of the big decisions correct, we could be established. Right now I think we're down at the 70% mark but I'm not seeing the signs that the penny has dropped as strange choices are still being made. We could really help ourselves a lot by getting the fundamentals correct in the first place. Balance of the squad and the right head coach qualified for leading a Premier League club, for example.

    In terms of kicking on, I think the relegation put us back 5 years in our development. If we don't stay up this season, we'll probably go back to square one and will be a Championship club for a number of years. So it's imperative to stay up this season and then we can start to progress.

    But what do fans think Gino is in it for? What does he want to achieve? Making money, sure, everyone wants to do that, but is it more than that? Does he want to create something really special or does he just want to tread water, bounce between EPL and EFL, making the odd high value trade here and there and live hand-to-mouth?

    I honestly don't know what the answer is. After a decade, he's improved us, but we do seem to plateau after promotion. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to be critical, but I'd just like to know are there anymore presents under the tree to look forward to. What is Watford's mid to long term vision.
    CYHSYF, hornetfan, scummybear and 3 others like this.
  4. a19tgg

    a19tgg Squad Player

    We seemed to have a vision, then Duxbury rowed back on it with his drivel on that FTRE podcast, so now it’s difficult to know what our vision is.

    Unpopular with some, but I think moving to the new ground would’ve helped attract external investment longer term. Palace recently managed it even with their dump of a ground, but they’re a far more established PL side.

    To me it seems like this is half business half hobby for Gino. From a business perspective owning us helps with his player trading model, but I do think it goes beyond that and he also does have a desire for us to do well, he just doesn’t have the financial clout for that to be limitless in terms of his ambition.
    Chumlax, SkylaRose and RS2 like this.
  5. Ágætis Byrjun

    Ágætis Byrjun Reservist

    I think his vision is very much to same as it always was from the start. To make Watford a top ten club fighting for European football. All it takes is one exceptional season but if it's going to come, I think it needs to happen when we still have Sarr - which I think is unlikely after this season.

    I don't think Newcastle will be a powerhouse anyway. QPR went through this and nothing happened. Everton the same. You need more than money to have success and up there is a basket case of a club.
  6. Jumbolina

    Jumbolina First Team

    Hard to see how we can ever be higher or more secure football wise than this. Stoke became “secure” but even they had a bad year and went down. What we currently achieve with a stronger balance sheet should be the goal imo.
    Captain Mandibles likes this.
  7. hornetboy1

    hornetboy1 First Team

    I agree. The finances are limiting. This is why I think we need another investor on board, in order to take us to the next level. If you look at the owners in the Premier League, and look at their wealth, you can quickly see it's a money league. Those with the big bucks are at the top, and it reflects like that all the way down.

    I totally agree with you regarding the new stadium. That would really have pushed us forward, however, relegation destroyed that idea for at least another 4/5 years.

    I do trust Gino, but I also get frustrated with some of what he does. That doesn't mean I want him gone, or do not value what he's given to the club. Apart from SEJ, there's not been another owner to come close to him at Watford. I'm acutely aware at how quickly we could fall if he were to pack his bags and leave the club.

    But, if we had another investor, to pump in some extra cash, combined with the intelligence of how we operate, then I really think we could go places. We'll never be a super big club, but there's not reason we cannot be a solid midtable Premier League club that pushes for Europe every season and goes deep into domestic cup competitions.
    scummybear, Muggins_77 and a19tgg like this.
  8. Faith in him ? Yes, given overall results track record since we were acquired. More plusses than minuses hence the % of time spent in the prem/top section of the champ.
    Confidence he will be able to restablish us in the prem ? No. It's just getting too tough to compete financially. I think we'll get the odd promotion every now and then but generally spend life in top half of the the champ.
  9. WillisWasTheWorst

    WillisWasTheWorst Its making less grammar mistake's thats important

    Really interesting thoughts and I agree with almost all you say. The bit that always brings me up short is the phrase "take us to the next level", because I really don't think there is one for clubs like us. Recent football history is littered with managers and owners who have left clubs because they couldn't "take them to the next level". This happy sunlit upland of upper-mid-table security exists for hardly anyone - possibly only Everton (and Spurs when they drop a bit further). You might consider West Ham are there at the moment, but look how close they were to relegation the year we went down. Everyone else who is not a regular European qualifier (with all the extra revenue that brings) is only one bad season away from the threat of relegation. Palace, Southampton and Burnley have all been in the PL for quite a long time but their turn back in the Championship will come round sooner or later.

    In years gone by our aim could have been to perhaps qualify for Europe on the odd occasion, but mainly it would have been to try and win a domestic Cup. Sadly, although this option has not totally gone, it is never going to be a priority for either the club, who are focussed on maintaining PL status, or the modern fans who don't attach any importance to it anyway.
    PowerJugs and EB Hornet like this.
  10. GoingDown

    GoingDown Pizza & Figs

    And if you think he’s going stick around for that, you are deeply wrong.
  11. Why ? He'll know he can't finance a guaranteed long term stay int he prem again. If he could sell us for £75m+ he should but otherwise we are a well located, reasonably cheap buy (c£20m?) to use as a window for network talent that he can sell on at a profit. All this cost, buying £30m players to stay in the prem, where we lose money anyway, can't have been part of the plan ?
  12. hornetboy1

    hornetboy1 First Team

    For me, the next level is being on the right side of the line. I never felt secure, even though many did, when we were in the Premier League during the first 5 years. We had too many Championship players in the squad and the defence was a big problem (still is). If you get it right, you should never really go down if you survive the first season. The newly promoted teams will always be vulnerable, unless they are a sleeping giant, like Leeds and Villa were. They are likely to spend big when they go up. You've just got to ensure your players are better than the bottom six. I say six as it gives you a cushion. Right now, I see us as 19th in the league in terms of squad. We have a lot of ground to make up.
  13. Burnsy

    Burnsy Squad Player

    I trust Gino to an extent still - but some of the decisions taken defy belief at times. And the continued radio silence. whilst once admirable, is now too long-in-the-tooth. Ultimately at the end of the day, the fans are the lifeblood of any club - and I do think Gino takes that for granted at times with his silence. No one is asking for him to do a 180 degree turn and be in the papers every week - but a statement of intent and reflection is long overdue.

    I do not however trust Duxbury. Never have, never will.
    scummybear, Chumlax, DaveWFC and 2 others like this.
  14. Burnsy

    Burnsy Squad Player

    As to the first point - I agree. But I think we have approached it with a sense that other clubs in that bracket will stand still whilst we catch them up. When the reality is the top 8 places are pretty much sewn up these days by the same clubs - and Newcastle will undoubtedly get up among them with time. Then you have other clubs who have far more money ploughed into them than we do. If the goal is what you state, we are getting further away, not nearer IMO. I don't think its a goal thats attainable without huge, prolonged investment.

    For the latter point - the money going into Newcastle is vast. It makes the money going into Everton and the money that went into QPR look like small change. And the Saudi's will be looking to show their wealth and power over Qatar and UAE owned clubs. Newcastle will undoubtedly join the top clubs - but it will take time. They need to structure it right rather than just throwing money into the wrong model. The first appointments they should be making should be savvy people who operate above the manager.
    Chumlax likes this.
  15. Ágætis Byrjun

    Ágætis Byrjun Reservist

    Sure it absolutely could work with the vast sums of cash.

    My feeling though is that Newcastle is a very special club that is arguably closer to the fans than any other club in the UK. If you're from Newcastle, you support Newcastle. If the owners fail to connect with the city then this is going to be another disaster full of protests. And knowing the Saudi's (from dealing with these ****** every day), they won't give a toss about them.
  16. Optimistichornet

    Optimistichornet Penguin Assassin

    I would say that Gino has probably earned our trust over the years. For a club our size to have had this many premiership seasons under our belt during his ownership tenure is exceptional.

    I don’t really understand the whole take us to the next level stuff. We are never going to compete with clubs like Everton, West Ham, Southampton and Villa. We do not have a big enough fan base or a big enough stadium. Realistically we are a top 10 championship club in size and profile, and honestly I’m pretty happy with that.

    I remember going to watch league games against teams like Northampton, Peterborough and Gillingham. We should embrace the good times when they occur, but I don’t think we should look to force the believe that the premiership is the norm.

    Unless we get outside investment I think we have reached our peak.
    Spoad, 3000, Chiswell and 5 others like this.
  17. a19tgg

    a19tgg Squad Player

    I think Southampton are team we could’ve aspired to match with a new stadium.

    The Dell had a capacity of 15k, so 7k less than the vic. St Mary’s has a capacity of 32k. No reason we couldn’t have reasonably gone from a 22k stadium to a 32k stadium, with all its non match day revenue opportunities as well.
    scummybear and Optimistichornet like this.
  18. LondonOrn

    LondonOrn Reservist

    An exaggeration - if we’d stayed up the squad likely would’ve have been no better than it is now, with Deulofeu out half the season, Deeney, Gray and Success still at the club taking up valuable squad places, Doucoure and Pereyra gone, to counter Capoue and possibly Welbeck still being here and any signings we would have made. So one year rather than five.
  19. WillisWasTheWorst

    WillisWasTheWorst Its making less grammar mistake's thats important

    But Southampton is a city. Their only real competition for fans for miles around comes from Portsmouth. That's very different to our situation. I any case, I think it is hard to argue that a club at the level of Southampton is in any way immune from relegation despite the size of their deadly dull stadium.
    Optimistichornet likes this.
  20. a19tgg

    a19tgg Squad Player

    That’s kind it irrelevant though, they had a 15k capacity stadium for years, then upgraded to £32k. Yes we’re in competition with with other London clubs but we’re also in a more densely populated area with better transport links to bring people in from further away. There is a good case for us being able to grow and fill a 32k stadium (as a PL club) not to mention the additional match day and non match day revenue it would generate for us (from memory at Mary’s is in the middle of nowhere). So on the basis we could eventually fill a 32k stadium, Southampton being a city then becomes redundant and we would be on par with them financially, if not more so having a more useable ground.
  21. WillisWasTheWorst

    WillisWasTheWorst Its making less grammar mistake's thats important

    When stadiums included terracing, The Dell was not so far behind Vicarage Road in capacity, but it was very cramped when all-seater. I also don't agree with the argument that being in a more densely populated area we can attract proportionately more people. The proximity of big glamour London clubs, with their own good transport links, allows new, younger or 'neutral' fans to be disproportionately attracted to them rather than Watford. I've long argued that the club needs to do more by way of inventive marketing to attract those people away from the likes of Arsenal. I'm not ideologically opposed to the club expanding but I would hate to see us playing in a 32k stadium with only 18k people in it unless Man U are visiting.
    The undeniable truth and a19tgg like this.
  22. wfcmoog

    wfcmoog Tinpot

    I'd love it if the Taliban bought us and bankrolled us to an FA Cup win
  23. EB Hornet

    EB Hornet Reservist

    As you say without Gino going public to state what he’s planning long term it’s hard to fully know.

    However, I’d say as a guess his main aim is to keep us in the Premier League and any ‘success’ beyond that would be a bonus. He gets interest paid to him every year from the loans doesn’t he? So on a personal level it’s his income.

    If that’s true then to be fair I don’t have a major issue with it. The thing I’d most like to see is us winning a cup in my lifetime, and that will only happen if we are a Premier League team. We came close a few seasons back, so if we have one of those above average years and a bit of luck with who we face each round then it could possibly happen.
    Chiswell likes this.
  24. UEA_Hornet

    UEA_Hornet First Team Captain

    I'd give my right hand for that to happen.
    andy wfc, Since63 and wfcmoog like this.
  25. BigRossLittleRoss

    BigRossLittleRoss First Team

    I agree. There is the whole swathe of outer NW London that doesnt have a natural club, and its unlikely they ll be able to get tickets to their nearest London clubs ie Spurs, Arsenal and Chelsea.

    It would take a sutained period of success ( 5-10 years) agressive marketing and a tube station at Vicarage Road would help.
  26. I think the ladies team might struggle ?
  27. Hogg-DEENEY!!!

    Hogg-DEENEY!!! Squad Player

    What will it take to keep the fans on board at Newcastle? Looking at City, they've spent a lot on the team (in addition to spending money in the community), and despite issues such as ticketing, you don't really hear much of a peep against the ownership from City fans (unless I've missed something)
  28. Hogg-DEENEY!!!

    Hogg-DEENEY!!! Squad Player

    I've said it before on these boards, but the end of 18/19 was really a missed opportunity to be anything more than mediocre, the big 6 will always be there or thereabouts, Leicester are establishing themselves, and teams like Villa, Everton, and now Newcastle and Leeds seem like they'll establish themselves in that tier below the very elite. I guess the best we can hope for now is a decent spell in the Prem like our last and maybe a cup run here and there
    SkylaRose likes this.
  29. SkylaRose

    SkylaRose Administrator Staff Member

    Personally I would rather have this myself. Getting relegated is never fun for the club, players or fans. Last thing I want is Watford to become a labeled "yo-yo club" ala Norwich. Although I would like us to aim for Europe after a few seasons of stability (again, like we came so close to before everyone downed tools).
    There is nothing stopping Watford becoming an established top level club - if the people in charge and the fans' all pull in the same direction.
  30. Hogg-DEENEY!!!

    Hogg-DEENEY!!! Squad Player

    Used to think the Pozzos were geniuses with a masterplan, but, now that other teams have caught on, and now that Udinese are no longer much of a force in Italy, the more puzzling decisions have been exposed more and more. Still, by hook or by crook (namely, a global pandemic incapacitating most Championship clubs), we're still in a better position than when they took over, and unfortunately in this day and age, I think there'd be many better owners out there who'd be interested in buying a small team in Hertfordshire
  31. Hogg-DEENEY!!!

    Hogg-DEENEY!!! Squad Player

    I wouldn't mind us becoming a yoyo club, as long as we make a genuine effort to actually stay up each time (and I don't mean spunking £100m every season)
    SkylaRose likes this.
  32. cyaninternetdog

    cyaninternetdog Forum Hippie

    I dont really have any complaints with the Pozzos, sorted the ground and training facilities out, kept us in the Prem for 5 years then when we got relegated we bounced straight back up. The only problem for me is the stability behind the scenes, managers dont stay for long and the players obviously know that too which might breed a bad attitude sometimes. Maybe the academy could be boosted a bit more but is it worth it when anyone decent can be stolen from us. We have been punching abover our weight since they took over really as realistically, without them, we are a mid to low table Championship club.
  33. We hate 48

    We hate 48 Reservist

    The last accounts filed for the year to June 20 show Gino took a £66k salary-ownership of the club is ultimately through a Luxembourg registered company he owns called Diversity Sport Investment. The only loans made were £4m in 2019 and increasing to £8.4m in 2020 on which interest of £270k was charged last year and £110k the year before.

    The bulk of our debt was to an unconnected 3rd party called 23 Capital who had lent us £70m but that looks to have been cleared last month.

    The interest to Gino is a lot compared to what most people earn but in the "millionaire Premier League" its not that much -certainly compared to the £6m interest we paid to third parties.
    EB Hornet likes this.
  34. Loyalhornet

    Loyalhornet First Year Pro

    I do . And I’m not sure why we can’t just enjoy the ride . We are a championship level club (at best )punching above our weight , I’m not sure if we can ever fully establish ourselves in the premier league and even if we do , one bad season could still see us relegated.

    At least this is so much better than the depressing 90s and the early noughties were for the most part.

    I’m enjoying being back in the prem. if we go down I’m sure I’ll be gutted but , so be it. We’ll still have a good chance of coming back up and will likely be in better financial shape than last time we got relegated .
    EB Hornet likes this.
  35. PotGuy

    PotGuy Forum Fetishist

    How to many non-billionaire owners are there in the top two divisions?

    My guess is we must be over 20 by now, probably 25 or so.

    At the end of the day, the pozzos are complete and utter paupers in the context of the current top two leagues. Their net worth is what £80m, £100m maybe? Probably barely in the top two divisions of the football pyramid in terms of owner wealth. 10-15 years ago maybe we could have become somewhat established, it is too late now.

    If we stay up a season or two, another billionaire tw at might end up buying us, but I feel that the pozzos aren't that bothered about selling up if we are not haemorrhaging their money, as it seems this is their industry and what they want to do on the day to day.
    We hate 48, EB Hornet and PowerJugs like this.

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