Monday, 21 July 2014


As football supporters it doesn’t suit us to admit it, but for professional footballers, playing football is just a job. The majority will have the good sense to admit that they are fortunate to be involved in a profession that see’s them paid handsome wages to do something they (presumably) love, but it’s still just a job.It doesn’t suit us to think like that because these guys are our heroes. We talk about them endlessly, sing their praises and chant their names. Imagining them as people who are the same as us; working to pay off mortgages and credit card bills, ruins the mystique somewhat.

Deep down however, you know it’s the case.

So think about it for a minute. Think about the last time you got a new job. A pay rise. An improved bonus and a new company car. You were pretty pleased, right? You told your family and friends who were all, rightly, delighted for you. It was exciting and you were proud of what you’d achieved. Quite right too, congratulations. So why should it be any different for a footballer? When a player signs for a new club, it’s for one of two reasons. He’s either on the way down, or on the way up. Players in decline can usually leave without too much backlash. They’ve done their bit and are moving on. It’s best for both parties. It’s when a player is at the peak of his powers and wants to move - that’s when it tends to get a touch awkward.

Troy Deeney has had a tremendous couple of seasons in a Watford shirt. He’s scored bucket-loads of goals, performed (mostly) with pride and passion, very rarely giving the impression that’s he’s giving anything but his all. He’s a striker at the peak of his powers, and is unsurprisingly attracting interest from Premier League clubs. It has all been a bit daft up until now, Sean Dyche has chanced his arm with a few early bids, but with the Watford Observer confirming that Leicester City have just had a £6.5m bid turned down, it feels as if things have started to get serious. 

To be clear, I desperately hope Troy Deeney stays with Watford. With him in the side I believe we’d have an excellent chance of promotion and if the thought of seeing him re-united with Matej Vydra doesn’t excite you, then I suggest you check your pulse. Having said that, if he wanted to leave, I’d fully understand why. He’d in effect, be getting a promotion. A new job with better pay, bigger bonuses, potentially greater opportunities and more security for his family. All the things that you and I want from our professional careers. I think if Deeney does go, he should go with our blessing.

But why should we sell? We don’t have to. We have the Pozzos don’t we? 

Yes, we have the Pozzos. A clever, savvy, tough family who have made a success of their business interests and of their football clubs. They have made it to where they are today by knowing when the time to do a deal is right. I’m pretty certain they’ll do the same on this occasion. ON occasion I’ve been baffled to see Watford supporters questioning the Pozzo family, asking when they are going to pay a transfer fee. I always struggle to see the relevance of this. Why do they need to pay a fee? Will the receipt prove that they are serious? I’d have thought there was enough evidence knocking around already to suggest that they mean business. I dread to think how much it will have cost to sort out the mess left by Bassini. The players currently at Watford will be on the highest wages ever to be seen at Vicarage Road. You may have noticed a new East Stand appearing. These things cost money. Lots of it. There will be a time when Watford Football Club will be expected to provide something in the way of revenue, at the very least some significant entry in the “money in” column. Could you blame the Pozzo family if they took this opportunity to get a little something back? 

Ah, but if we keep Deeney and get promoted, that would be worth immeasurably more than the 7 or 8 million they’d get from selling Deeney. Parting with him now would show that they aren’t serious about promotion. Right?

Well, if Troy stayed and if we went up, then yes. They and Watford would be quids in. There are a lot of “ifs” in that sentence though, aren’t there? What if Deeney stays and we don’t go up? What if Deeney stays and gets injured after 2 games? What if, what if, what if. It’s all conjecture, guesswork and luck. It’s about making the right decision at the right time, something that I think we’d all agree, the Pozzo family have proved to be pretty good at.

Then there’s Troy himself. His choices have a big part to play in this. I’ve heard people suggest that he shouldn’t be allowed to move. Well, that’s easier said than done. Troy Deeney does his best work when his head’s in the game, when he means business. Who’s to say how he’ll perform if he’s told he can’t move. Told that he’s being denied that chance to advance his career, to earn more money, to make his family more secure. To get, let’s face it, would be a better job. I know how I’d feel…

As I said, I want Troy Deeney to stay and sincerely hope he does. If he is to leave however, there are two things that I’m conformable with. 1) That Troy will have deserved and earned his move, and 2) That in being owned by the Pozzo family, whatever deal is done, it will be right for the long term future of Watford Football Club.


  1. Spot on Mike a really good blog. The trouble is the fans love the club & the heroes just as you stated. Everybody has their price and I trust the Pozzos know Deenys pleased that we don't have to take a low offer as in the past. You ornss.

  2. My concern with selling Troy is the lack of a replacement; whilst I liked, broadly, what Ranegie brought to the team, I'm not 100% about his temperament. I'm sure the Wobserver ran an interview just after the season where Troy said, not unreasonably, that if the club accepted an offer for him, he'd consider it. I'd like him to stay, if only to see if he can get three consecutive 20 goal seasons, but 7 or 8 million pounds will help the club (as you say) in the long run.

  3. Obviously a lot of people will follow the money, but there’s more to life than numbers on a bank statement – especially when you have a lot of them. Things like commuting a shorter distance so that you can see your kids in the week. Things like working in an enjoyable environment. Things like low levels of stress. Things like being the main man.

    I’m not saying whether he’ll go or he’ll stay. But I think Troy, recently married and with two kids, has different priorities, and therefore the "tipping point" is going to be much higher.