Watford F.C odds, like every side in the Premier League, are ever popular. Odds for Watford to stay in the Premier League have become more popular to bet on, after the club retained their top flight status in 2016 and have invested heavily in their playing staff.
So odds on Watford to stay up are common, as are Watford relegation odds. The Premier League is one of the toughest leagues in the world, and there is often surprise relegations or mid-table sides getting dragged into a relegation battle season upon season.
Watford manager odds are also popular. The Hornets have had 14 managers in ten years, with the club gaining a reputation with falling out with managers and replacing them even after a short time. Odds on the next Watford manager are available often, depending on the latest Watford manager news, even if the team are performing well as the history of Watford F.C has shown.
Watford are a football club based in Hertfordshire, England and play in the Premier League. Watford are one of few clubs who have played in all four professional divisions in the English football system. Only 14 years of their 137 year history have Watford played in the top flight.
The history of Watford Football Club begins in 1881. Henry Groverand founded a football team and named them Watford Rovers. For their first decade in existence, Watford Rovers mainly played in friendlies and amateur cup competitions. The club made their first FA Cup appearance in the 1886/1887 season.
An amateur side, they played at various locations in and around Watford before moving to Cassio Road. The Cassio Road move was the result of joining up with West Hertfordshire Sports Club, and led to a name change to West Hertfordshire. In 1896, West Hertfordshire were awarded a place in the Southern Football League. Two years later, the team joined forces with another local side Watford St. Mary’s, and this merged side was renamed Watford Football Club.
In 1903, Watford were relegated to the Southern League Second Division. A team manager was employed, John Goodall, who immediately gained promotion with his new club. Goodall left the club in 1910 and five years later Watford won the Southern League title for the first time.
Football was suspended for the duration of the First World War. Once football had resumed, Watford finished runners-up in the Southern League and with that, they resigned from that division and joined the new Football League Third Division.
The Third Division at this time was split into two leagues - the Third Division South and the Third Division North. Watford kept their place in the Third Division South for six years, when they finished the 1926/1927 season in 21st place, second bottom of the table. At this time, clubs had to reapply to stay in the division if they finished in the bottom two. The final votes were conducted by the teams in the First and Second Divisions, each one voting for Watford to be re-elected.
Watford F.C history continues with the following 13 seasons being spent in the Third Division South. During this time, Watford won the Third Division South Cup, before football was suspended once again due to the start of the Second World War.
After football resumed for the second time, Watford continued their adventures in the Third Division South. In the 1950/1951 season, the club finished in the bottom two once again, and once again the club had to apply to be allowed to stay in the division. For a second time, First and Second Division clubs voted unanimously for Watford to retain their place.
For the 1958/1959 season, the Football League was restructured. The Third Division South and Third Division North merged to make the Fourth Division. Two years later, Watford achieved promotion to the Third Division.
The 1960’s was an inconsistent time for Watford. They achieved fourth and third twice in the Third Division, but also finished 17th twice. As the decade approached its end, Watford won the Third Division title, and with it promotion to the Second Division.
However, their time in the Second Division was short, and after just three seasons in the second tier, they were relegated back to the Third Division. Financial worries had affected the club and resulted in Watford selling their best players just to keep the club afloat.
Watford continued to struggle, and after three years in the Third Division, they were relegated back to the Fourth Division in the 1974/1975 season.
Behind the scenes at Watford, things were changing. Elton John, the famous singer and Watford supporter, took over as chairman in 1976. In the 1977/1978 season, Elton John brought in Graham Taylor, the future England boss, in as manager and this change brought instant success. Watford sped to the Fourth Division title and with it and English football record for that season - they won more matches and scored more goals than any other team in the country, as well as losing the least amount of matches and conceding the fewest number of goals.
Success continued, and Watford won back-to-back promotions. Three years later, and Watford reached the First Division for the first time in their history, and securing three promotions in the space of seven years.
Watford’s first season in the First Division was another triumph. They finished in second place, ensuring European football for the following season. However, over the next four years, Watford lost some of their best players and Graham Taylor left to take the manager’s job at Aston Villa.
Dave Bassett was hired and fired after he led the club to the brink of relegation. Steve Harrison was brought in, but Watford still returned to the Second Division. The following four seasons saw Watford try and fail to gain promotion back to the top flight.
In the 1992/1993 season, following the formation of the Premier League, the Second Division was renamed as Division One.
Watford’s attempts to regain promotion continued, but failed. Despite managerial changes, including the return of Graham Taylor, the club faltered and relegation to Division Two finished the 1995/1996 campaign.
The next two seasons saw a period of backroom reshuffles. Taylor became Director of Football while Kenny Jackett was given the manager's’ role. Jackett was then given the assistant manager’s job, with Taylor returning as boss and with it promotion was gained by winning another Second Division title.
Watford again won back-to-back promotions, a fifth place finish ensuring the club a play-off place, where they eventually beat Bolton Wanderers to claim another promotion to the top flight, and their first in the Premier League.
However, Watford’s time in the Premier League was short-lived. Finishing bottom of the Premier League table, Watford suffered relegation back to Division One and Graham Taylor retired shortly after.
Financial problems were never far away, and Watford suffered badly in the early years of the new millennium. Gianluca Vialli, who had replaced Taylor as Watford boss, resigned after a disagreement over wages and the club looked like it was heading towards administration. Players and staff agreed a deferral deal on their wages to lighten the pressure on the Watford board, but a large number of players were released.
The 2004/2005 season saw Watford finish in 18th place in Division One (that season renamed the Championship), their lowest league position in ten years. However, the following season, Aidy Boothroyd’s first full season in charge, saw Watford finish in third position and they returned to the Premier League after a play-off final victory against Leeds United.
It was to be another single season Premier League adventure for Watford, though, as they finished bottom of the table and were relegated to the Championship once more.
Watford almost made an instant return to Premier League life, but were defeated in the play-off Semi-Finals. Five seasons later, Watford had another chance to gain promotion, but once again suffered play-off heartache, suffering a Final defeat at the hands of Crystal Palace.
They weren’t to wait too much longer though. In the 2014/2015 season, Watford gained automatic promotion to the Premier League, finishing second to Bournemouth by just a point.
It was third time lucky for Watford as they maintained their Premier League status for the first time. The 2018/2019 season is Watford’s fourth consecutive season in the English top flight.
The first Watford F.C crest featured a hornet, based on the club’s nickname. Watford were originally known as the Blues, but after a kit colour change in 1959, the club’s fans adopted The Hornets as their new label.
In 1974, a new Watford crest was designed. This new badge employed the image of Harry the Hornet, the club’s mascot.
Four years later, another new badge was designed. This one featured a diamond shape with a black and yellow background and instead of Harry the Hornet, a Hart was used. The Hart, a red male deer, is the symbol of Watford’s location in Hertfordshire. The new badge also used the Watford name in a rectangle above the hart.
In 2001, there was a minor change to the Watford crest. The badge stayed similar to the old Watford badge, but the font that ‘Watford’ was printed in was altered to a more modern style.
Watford colours are well known throughout the world of football for their distinctive yellow and black kits. However, it wasn’t until 1959 that these colours were worn.
In the early history of Watford F.C, the team played in yellow, green and red striped shirts with black shorts and black socks. From 1909 to 1914, the shirt was changed to all white. This was again altered, with the shirt colours changing to black and white stripes.
In 1927, Watford began to play in blue shirts, white shorts and blue socks, giving rise to the nickname ‘The Blues’. For the next 32 years, Watford colours stayed essentially the same, although for short periods during that time black socks were worn instead.
1959 saw the creation of the famous black and yellow kit we know them for today. For the following 20 years, Watford’s kit consisted of yellow shirts, black shorts and yellow socks, though the sock colour alternated between yellow, black and white.
In 1979, the black shorts were swapped for red shorts, and red socks completed the kit. Since that time, Watford have alternated between red shorts and black shorts. For the last five years, though, Watford have worn black shorts, alternating between black and yellow socks.
When the club first formed, there was no set Watford stadium. As Watford Rovers, the club played in a variety of locations around the town of Watford.
Following the merger with West Hertfordshire Sports Club, the team played their home games at Cassio Road. When West Hertfordshire and Watford St. Mary’s joined forces, Watford F.C used Cassio Road for 32 years before the move to their current stadium.
The Watford football stadium is Vicarage Road. The initial owners of the Vicarage Road stadium were Benskins Brewery, which gave rise to the club’s first nickname ‘The Brewers’. The Watford F.C stadium remained owned by Benskins until 2002, when Watford bought the stadium outright.
However, financial issues led to Watford having to sell the ground and lease it back the season after purchasing it. A campaign called ‘Let’s Buy Back The Vic’, where Elton John donated the proceeds of a concert performed at the ground along with a huge number of fan donations, was successful in 2004, and the stadium was re-bought.
The Vicarage Road capacity currently stands at 21,977, after the capacity was reduced following the Taylor Report which suggested all football grounds should be all-seater stadiums. The Watford stadium layout contains four all-seater stands - the Vicarage Road Stand, the Rookery Stand, the Graham Taylor stand and the Sir Elton John Stand.
Watford F.C supporters are traditionally located in the Watford area and other parts of Hertfordshire and North London.
Watford have a huge rivalry with Luton Town. The two clubs met regularly in the late 19th century, and did so until 1937 when Luton gained promotion. In the 1960’s the two clubs found themselves in the same division again, and crowd violence and sendings-off in matches enhanced the M1 derby as one of the fiercest in the country.
The two sides haven’t met since 2006, a game which finished as a 1-1 draw.
There are a number of Watford F.C supporters club. The Official Watford Supporters Club maintains close links with the club, and allows any fan to join regardless of whether they hold season tickets.
One of the most famous Watford fans is Sir Elton John, who became the chairman of the club in 1976 and still holds Watford shares to this day.
The current Watford owner is Gino Pozzo. His father Giampaolo bought the club in 2012 from Laurence Bassini, having also owned the Italian club Udinese and the Spanish club Granada. Giampaolo transferred ownership to his son, and Gino oversees the running of the club.
The Pozzo family have invested heavily in the playing staff, using their links with Granada and Udinese in particular to help strengthen the Watford squad.
Sir Elton John, a previous owner of Watford, and Graham Taylor, previous manager and director of football, have both been made Honorary Life Presidents.
Luther Blissett leads the Watford all-time appearance maker list. Blissett made 503 appearances between 1976 and 1992.
Blissett also leads the way in the Watford all-time top goalscorer list, scoring 186 goals in his Watford career.
It’s Cliff Holton though who holds the record for the most goals scored in a single season. Holton scored 42 league goals in the 1959/1960 season when the club were plying their trade in the Fourth Division.
The biggest win in Watford history came in the Southern League Second Division, when in 1900 Watford beat Maidenhead 11-0. In the Football League, Watford’s biggest win occurred in 1924, when Watford beat Newport County 8-0. This feat was repeated when Watford beat Sunderland in the First Division in 1982.
Watford currently have a first team squad of 25 players, not including the Watford academy squad.
Notable ex Watford players include John Barnes, who won 31 caps for England whilst playing his club football with the Hornets; Kenny Jackett, who spent his entire playing career at Watford and also earned 31 caps for his international side, Wales; Luther Blissett, the Watford leading appearance maker and goalscorer, and who played in every Football League division with the Hornets; and Cliff Holton, whose record of scoring the most goals in a season for Watford still stands.
The Watford players salary are reported to be amongst the lowest in the Premier League. However, since the club retained their Premier League status, Watford player wages may be increased.
The current Watford player of the year is goalkeeper Abdoulaye Doucoure. Doucoure won both the Graham Taylor OBE Player of the Season and Players' Player of the Season awards.
There is also a Watford Hall of Fame. The latest inductee is Tom Walley, a former player, youth coach, reserve manager and first-team coach.
The current Watford F.C manager is Javi Gracia. Gracia took the reigns at Watford in January 2018.
Gracia replaced Marco Silva, who lasted just seven months in charge. Silva took charge after the dismissal of Walter Mazzarri. Mazzari replaced Quique Sanchez Flores, whose stay at the club lasted for just one season. In that 2015/2016 season, though, he consolidated Watford’s Premier League place and took the Hornets to an FA Cup semi-final.
Flores, in turn, replaced Slavisa Jokanovic, who took Watford to their second place finish in the Championship in the 2014/2015 season.
There were three Watford manager this season, Oscar Garcia stayed for just four games before being replaced by Billy McKinlay before Jokanovic took over.
Watford F.C have never won a major trophy. Their honours include two second tier runner-up places (First Division 1982/1983 and the Championship 2014/2015); two Championship play-off wins (1998/1999 and 2005/2006); and FA Cup runners-up (1983/1984).
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