Next Game

B'mouth v Watford

Friday, 30 January 2015, 19:45

Sky Bet Ch'ship

Last Game

Watford 7 - 2 Blackpool

Saturday, 24 January 2015, 15:00

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

was there, it was embarrassing - the team looked totally unbalanced from the off, the defence was woeful and when Mikel came off injured it got even worse with nobody in front of them. Up front on several occasions we had opportunities and nobody would shoot - it was a complete farse! On the back of Salah's performance I'm glad there is talk of getting shot...

Fly1ngh1gh
Cup defeat shames Mourinho

G

reat to see Tommy Rosicky getting some love. A wonderful player. Such a pity we lost so long to injury. I was so excited when we signed him, this resurgence only makes the absences seem more of a lost opportunity.

cheshire-gooner
16 Conclusions: FA Cup Fourth Round Weekend

A

pparently Chiles has blamed Twitter trolls for his exit. Proof that even the worst things can get great results at times.

cheshire-gooner
Adrian Chiles to leave ITV

Footer 365

Dutch FA president Michael van Praag to challenge Sepp Blatter for FIFA top job

Dutch FA president Michael van Praag is to stand against Sepp Blatter for the FIFA presidency.

Scottish football: Charlie Telfer upbeat over Dundee United's cup chances this season

Charlie Telfer believes he could end his first season at Dundee United with at least one cup winner's medal.

Capital One Cup: Sheffield United boss Nigel Clough hopes to upset Tottenham

Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough is keen to cause another upset and beat Tottenham to the Capital One Cup final.

Mail Box

You're Man Utd, For Crying Out Loud!

Defending a 0-0 draw with Cambridge on the grounds that other teams lost to lower-league opposition is not befitting of Man United. We're inclined to agree with Mailboxers...

A Massive Mailbox On A Weekend Of Wonder

We unsurprisingly have plenty of mails on a wonderful FA Cup weekend, including thoughts on Palace, Van Gaal, Phil Jones, Chelsea, Mourinho and Yaya Toure...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company