Watford take first step towards stability: Starting now all player contracts include 50 per cent wage reduction in case of relegation

3 June 2021

Photo: Alamy "Show me you are a Premier League player, and I will pay you as such. After you've shown me that you can come to me and ask for more money," says Watford sporting director Cristiano Giaretta.

Sporting director Cristiano Giaretta says measure has been mostly well-received by players and agents alike so far.

Players have to accept more incentive based contracts in light of the pandemic instead of a high base salary.

After numerous coaching changes over the past few years Watford have increased investment in backroom staff to become less dependant on one single person.

Giaretta has started noticing interesting trends in the transfer market in which Watford have already been busy.

Emil Gjerding Nielson nielson@offthepitch.com

It just took one year for Watford to return to the Premier League following relegation in 2020 that on the final match day ended their five-year stay in the English top flight. 

The period until then had ups and downs with particular highlights an 11th place finish in 2019, a season in which they also reached the FA Cup final only to be beaten 6-0 by unstoppable Manchester City.

But if anything, the half-decade was defined by numerous managerial changes, seven in total, with the longest-serving manager, Javi Gracia, in charge for 66 matches. 

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