Watford FC have announced an overall loss of £21.7million in their accounts for the period between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021, which were released at the end of last week.

The figure shows an improved financial performance on the previous year, when losses of £35.6m were reported, but still shows the club feeling the impact of both relegation and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Overall income fell 52 per cent, from £119 to £57m, but that was perhaps expected, given that the previous year's accounts did not include any of the games played behind closed doors. This most recent set of figures takes into account both Project Restart and the season in the Championship when all but three games held at Vicarage Road were played without supporters, while those three fixtures with fans only permitted partial access to the public.

Broadcast revenue was almost halved as a result of relegation, but that figure could have been even lower, had it not been for the six games from Project Restart, which took place within this financial period.

The club softened the blow of relegation through player sales, with Abdoulaye Doucoure, Roberto Pereyra, Luis Suarez and Pervis Estupinan moving on for a combined fee of £56m, while other high earners, including Etienne Capoue were moved on to reduce the wage bill.

That helped wages fall overall, by 29 per cent to £68.1m from £96.2m, but were still around double the average for a Championship club at £32k a week, as the club funded its push for an instant return to the Premier League. The figure also includes promotion bonuses.

An increase in borrowing helped provide the necessary funds, with total loans up to £138m from £102.2m the year before. However, £62.2m is also owed to the club.

Severance to head coaches was down from the previous year, with a total of £6.7m paid out to Javi Gracia and Quique Sanchez Flores for 2019-20 and just £2.2m paid out to Nigel Pearson and Vladimir Ivic for 20-21.

However, that figure may rise again in the next set of accounts with Xisco Munoz and Claudio Ranieri both sacked by the club this season.

The club has already put in place some measures to ease the sting of relegation should it happen again this season, with 50 per cent salary reduction clauses and performance-based incentives inserted into new contracts last summer.

"This is the way to keep the club healthy and not kill ourselves. The seriousness of the pandemic means we need to adapt," said sporting director Cristian Giaretta at the time.

"Players have to understand the more they are playing the more money they get. Because it's not normal to pay a player who will never play in the Premier League a Premier League salary.

"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."

The sales of big name players like Ismaila Sarr and Emmanuel Dennis could also provide a cushion, should the worst case scenario play out between now and the end of the campaign.