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Scott Duxbury: 'Sean Dyche did remarkably but Watford's ambition changed overnight'
Watford's new chief executive claims Sean Dyche did a remarkable job considering the financial constraints at the club but said the Hornets’ ambition changed overnight following the takeover.
Scott Duxbury became Watford’s CEO following the Pozzos’ buyout and one of his first jobs was to tell Dyche he would be leaving the club.
But when Duxbury spoke to the Watford Observer on Tuesday night, he stressed: “It was clear Sean and his staff did a remarkable job and I don’t think people understand the financial problems that the club actually have, although now is not the time to go into it. But it is quite remarkable, given that backdrop, what they achieved under serious constraints.
“But with the Pozzos’ wealth and infrastructure, the club’s ambition changed overnight. What they want to achieve on the pitch and off the pitch, in terms of changing the infrastructure in search of success, changed overnight.
“So their idea once they had the club, in terms of what they wanted and who they wanted to achieve that ambition, changed.
“It is no disrespect towards Sean and it is more about the fact the Pozzos don’t have any knowledge of Sean. They have nothing but respect for his record but they have a clear idea about who they want to achieve their ambition.”
Zola had been linked with the Watford position for several weeks and Giampaolo Pozzo was quoted as saying Zola would be the new manager five days before Dyche was sacked.
The Pozzos’ interest in Watford stretches back to February but Duxbury claimed they were not certain Zola would be taking over until after the takeover was complete.
“It is a really difficult question to answer because we didn’t know we had the club until the day of completion,” Duxbury replied when asked how long he had known Dyche would be replaced.
“So it was soon after completion that their idea, and who they wanted, came to fruition. They went to great lengths to stress that it is no disrespect at all to Sean’s record and I am sure he will go on to be an incredible success somewhere else.”
Giampaolo Pozzo has been in charge of Udinese since 1986 and the Italian club tried to sign Zola as a player when he was at Napoli in the 1990s.
The Pozzos have stated their goal is to reach the Premier League and Duxbury believe the fact Zola is their own appointment, means they will be more patient with him should results not go their way initially.
Duxbury said: “They are not saying that their idea is better or worse but it is their idea and they believe strongly that their squad and management team can achieve their ambition.
“I think what the Pozzos said which really sums it up is that they back Gianfranco and they know it is a long term project. If he loses three or four games then they won’t panic because they really believe in what he is doing, they will invest in him.
“If they had a manager that they didn’t believe in or didn’t know then they would start questioning him so it was important that they made their own decision.
“They understood it would be unpopular with the supporters because it was a tremendous season under Sean but they have to be able to put their own people in place to achieve their ambition.
“It is just football and it is just life and I do respect their decision to replace Sean.”