Football finance expert Kieran Maguire has provided some context to Watford and their decision-making when it comes to changing managers.
Watford continued their trend of getting rid of managers after a relatively short spell in the job when they dismissed Xisco Munoz this week and replaced him with former Fulham, Leicester City and Chelsea boss Claudio Ranieri.
Given how much it costs to get rid of a manager, with The Times reporting in 2019 that Chelsea had paid out as much as £90m in compensation from 2003 up to that point, given the turnover that Watford go through, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to think that they could be wasting a lot of money in doing so.
But speaking about the issue on The Price of Football podcast, when asked by host Kevin Day how much these moves are costing the club, Maguire provided some further details about how they appoint their managers and how they manipulate the situation in their favour from a financial aspect:
“The thing is, it doesn’t cost them very much. I think what the Pozzo family have done – and by Watford standards, this isn’t particularly far into a season before they kick somebody out – I think they have break clauses embedded within the contracts.
“I think Watford are quite cute in that they find managers who want the job, put them on one or two-year contracts and therefore when they get rid of them, there’s not actually a large amount that they have to pay to buy the manager out. Or, they will say that when you sign a contract, you’ve got a maximum of three months’ pay or so on.”
TIF Thoughts on Kieran Maguire’s comments about Watford managers…
Is Claudio Ranieri a good appointment by Watford?
It certainly does come across as a rather cynical way for them to run the club, focusing more on the financial side of the game rather than trying to become a stable and settled club instead of a ‘yo-yo club’.
Whilst some of the decisions can arguably be justified, such as the second departure of Quique Sanchez Flores when he had won just one of his 10 games with the club bottom of the Premier League, to do so with Munoz when they are 15th in the league after he had just got them promoted comes across as farcical.
It just makes you wonder how long this cycle can carry on before they decide to run their club somewhat normally rather than focusing on their bottom line when it comes to how they handle the men in the dugout.