Next Game

Watford v Brighton

Saturday, 04 October 2014, 15:00

Sky Bet Ch'ship

Last Game

Watford 2 - 1 Brentford

Tuesday, 30 September 2014, 19:45

Sky Bet Ch'ship

Zola quits as Watford boss

Gianfranco Zola has resigned his role as Watford manager after a run of five successive home defeats.

Last Updated: 17/12/13 at 10:01 Post Comment

Gianfranco Zola: Wrote an open letter to fans explaining the reasons behind his

Gianfranco Zola: Wrote an open letter to fans explaining the reasons behind his

Zola led the club to last season's Championship play-off final, but Saturday's defeat to Sheffield Wednesday left them in mid-table - as close to the bottom three as to the top six.

And a statement on the Watford website confirmed the Italian's resignation, after 18 months in the job, had been accepted "with great sadness".

In an open letter to supporters, Zola wrote: "I am writing this with a very heavy heart and after a lot of consideration, to tell you that I have resigned.

"First of all, this decision has not been made quickly. I mentioned after the game on Saturday that I wanted to think about things overnight and that is exactly what I have done.

"I must place Watford Football Club first in my thoughts and it is for this reason that I have taken my action.

"I feel that it is in the best interests of the team that somebody new is given the chance to bring the success which we have all hoped for and worked very hard for.

"It is for a variety of reasons, and not just over one matter or one moment, that I feel this is the right decision for me, in the best interests of the club - and I know I can trust you, the supporters, to respect my decision fully."

Ian Holloway and Steve Clarke were installed as the early favourites to replace Zola by Sky Bet, while Torino boss Rolando Maran and Udinese head coach Francesco Guidolin were also prominent in the early betting.

Former Italy international Zola, following a glittering playing career with the likes of Napoli, Parma and Chelsea, enjoyed a two-year spell in charge of West Ham between 2008 and 2010 before being sacked and replaced by Avram Grant.

He was brought to Watford by the club's new Italian owners, the Pozzo family, in July 2012.

Zola added: "Last season was such an amazing time, for the players, the staff and the supporters. And I loved that journey. Every minute of it brought a new challenge, different experiences and a lot of learning.

"I have had supporters tell me that the Leicester game in May was the most amazing moment in their time supporting their club.

"I will always remember having been welcomed so warmly to this wonderful football club, to have been supported so fully and to have been able to share moments of excitement and joy that will always live with me.

"But this game does not wait and does not stop. There is always the next challenge and a new environment ahead which means nothing is ever the same.

"For now, I want to wish the players, the staff, the fans and everyone else who has Watford Football Club at heart my best wishes for the future.

"It has been a privilege and a pleasure to serve this club and I am sure we will see each other again one day."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

put Ince in my fantasy football team, so it's no surprise at all really. I do that to players. Also responsible for De Jong and Upson being injured. Think I'll transfer in Di Maria just to ruin United....

megabrow (cufc)
F365's Top Ten Surprise Strugglers

L

ovren? £20m always seemed a touch on the expensive side, but I wasn't expecting him to be quite such a waste of money

stevenjameshyde
F365's Top Ten Surprise Strugglers

H

alf of our players have the physical presence of a 14 year old girl. I don't know why people are always shocked that they're injured.

TheWhiz
Wenger baffled by injuries

Footer 365

England: Arsene Wenger believes Arsenal's Kieran Gibbs can become next Ashley Cole

Arsene Wenger believes Kieran Gibbs can follow Ashley Cole's example and become England's first choice left-back.

Gerry Francis believes Roy Hodgson should now look to his younger players

Gerry Francis believes the forthcoming international fixtures are the perfect time for Roy Hodgson to field new talent.

Scholes blasts City 'atmosphere'

Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes has strongly criticised the atmosphere at Manchester City's Champions League tie against Roma.

Mail Box

Do City Really Need To Expand Their Stadium?

That's the question posed by one Man United fan in the mailbox after seeing the empty seats at the Etihad last night. Sadly, there isn't a single mail from a City supporter...

#Usingfootballersnamesineverydaylife

We have the last of these as well as mails on Liverpool, Wayne Rooney, QPR, Arsenal's injuries and more. It's a mailbox that's Alonso rather than Rafael, if you will...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property