Watford

Many football clubs in the UK officially got started in the late 1800s. Either by an assembly of enthusiast to the game or by branching out from an already existing sports foundation. And in the case of Watford Football Club, it all stems from Watford Rovers that saw the formation in 1881. When a group of teenagers asked for permission from the Earl of Essex to play football in the Cassiobury Park, all on an amateur level. Yet, it all changed when the West Herts Club sporting grounds came to be in 1890. Where the Rovers became a permanent fixture, as a consequence, the Club changed its name to West Herts in 1893, shortly after joining the Southern League Division 2 in 1896. Long story short, the rival Clubs West Herts and Watford St Mary’s ended up merging into one, forming Watford in 1898.

UEFA club coefficient ranking

Due to not being active enough in the European League’s, Watford has no position in the UEFA club coefficient ranking program. As such, there is not that much to report in that aspect. Although, the presence of the greater London area Clubs in the UEFA ranking is quite high. However, some do think that just because situated in between the M25 motorway ring doesn’t automatically qualify you as a London Club. That is the case for Watford, and technically the Club is located in Hertfordshire. Nevertheless, looking at the inside of the M25, we find 4 Clubs on the current (2020) ranking. Like Arsenal F.C (10th), Tottenham Hotspur (13th), Chelsea F.C (14th), and West Ham United F.C (89th). So, let’s look at the domestic League instead, the English Premier League or EPL for short.

How many times have Watford won the Premier League title?

Actually, Watford has of yet not triumphed its competition in the top-flight Leagues in the UK. Nor in the First Division that ran between 1888 to 1992, or the EPL that took over after the previous highest League after the English football league system (EPL) saw rearrangement. And the Clubs current (2020) best-preformed position is a 2nd place in First Division in season 1982/83. Yet, let’s see what honourable wins the Club has to its name.

Titles, Trophies, and Triumphs by Watford

Listing the wins from Watford is sadly not a long story with back to back championship title and wins after wins. Yet, the Club did out-play its opponents on multiple occasions. So let’s take it all in chronological order, starting with 1 Southern Football League Champions ship (1914/15). And 1 Football League Third Division South Cup (1936/37). But also 1 Football League Third Division title (1968/69), 1 Football League Fourth Division win (1977/78), and 1 Football League Second Division victory (1997/98). In fact, since the re-entry in season 2015/16 to the EPL the Club has finished between 11th to 17th position after a complete season.

Kit and colours

After the merge of West Herts and Watford St Mary’s in 1898, the Club started to play in green, red, yellow, and black home colour combination. That changed for the season 1909/10 where an all-black and white variation got used until 1923 when they adopted a blue and white game kit until 1959. Which marks the introduction of the now worn yellow/gold and black combination, whit the red attributes later added in season 1976/77. In regards to the away kit, there been multiple colours and combinations in use. And from season 2019/20 the Club plays in an all navy blue kit. Plus, the Clubs also has opted out of the idea to house the third kit.

Watford’s social responsibilities

The community reach-out project got pushed out in the early 90s by the manager Taylor. That at that time only consisted of 1 staff, using football as a promotion tool for the Club. But also as a means of getting more people involved and to participate in the sport. Although the situation 25 years later is far better. Where the number has rouse from 1 to 21 full-time employees and around 50 part-time workers. All are running different activity projects, in the Hertfordshire, and London Boroughs, Hillingdon and Harrow. And according to the Club themselves, they have 3 important attributes they focus on. First, the mission and most essential work surround the positive effect sports can have on a community. That goes well with the 2nd, vision. That is to improve the area and impact lives in a positive manner. All guided by key values like integrity, inclusivity, and Passion.

Stadiums and capacity

As briefly revealed in the introduction of Watford, the Club did have different venues from where they took on its competition in the early days. However, the more noticeable relocation came in 1922 when they moved from Cassio Road to the Vicarage Road Stadium. That has gone through some extensive expansion work on 5 occasions. Where it reached its current capacity of 22,220 in 2017. However, it’s reported that the home grounds still are in an expansion phase that will see the increased number 30,000. Although, it’s still in a planning stage and no spade has broken grounds as of season 2019/20.

Watford transfers and rumours

Watford’s fan base

The official nickname for Watford is “The Hornets,” due to the yellow and black striped introduced in 1959. And according to available statistics, the Club manages to attract around 20,000 people on all the home games. Putting them in the low segment of average attendance in the EPL. In fact, “The Hornets” comes in on the bottom 3 Clubs for season 2019/20. With AFC Bournemouth (20th) with 10,500, Burnley F.C (19th) on a 20,260 average attendance, and finally Watford F.C (18th) with 20,839 tickets sold. But it doesn’t mean the Club lack support, and as well as the UK fans, there are groups of people founding Hornets chapter all across the globe. Like the US, Argentina, Brazil, Norway and more European countries, to mention some of them.

Women football in Watford

The women’s team, Watford FC Ladies, got on its way in 2013. But it was not before 2014 the official status as an affiliated branch came to be, and both the men’s and women’s teams fell in under a uniformed banner. Where the women have won titles including FA Women’s Premier League Southern Division (2006/07), Reserve Southern Division 2 (2012/13). But also 5 (2004/05, 2005/06, 2006/07, 2007/08, 2009/10) wins in the Hertfordshire County Football Association Women’s Challenge Cup.

Stakeholders and other financial interests in Watford

Since 2012 the prime owner of the Club has been the Italian businessman Gino Pozzo. Followed by when he eventually sold his assets in the LaLiga Club Granada FC for £33 Million. Du to build and put full focus on Watford instead. And it only took the new owner 3 seasons to end a long dry spell for the Club, as they finally got back to the top-flight League, EPL in season 2015/16. Other than the main owner, the Club also has more interest partners like an online sportsbook, battery manufacturer, and an airline amongst more prominent names and companies.

Fun facts and other pub quiz trivia

Did you know, that the moose looking animal the Club has on its crest is actually a male deer, more specifically a “hart.” Which was the term used in old English to describe a five years old red deer stag. And according to football records, it’s supposed to reflect the heart of Hertfordshire. Also, they did play with a hornet crest from 1959 that reflected on the yellow and black colour kit combination. This until the introduction of the “hart” in 1978. Plus, to score you some extra points in the next pub quiz, Watford has also unofficially got called the Yellow Army and The Golden Boys on occasions.