Football is a beloved sport by billions all over the world, and part of that fascination stems from the experience fans have when they’re young. Children see their heroes take the field, and they wonder
Football is a beloved sport by billions all over the world, and part of that fascination stems from the experience fans have when they’re young. Children see their heroes take the field, and they wonder if that could be them someday. Gino Pozzo, the owner of Watford FC, knows just how important those early days can be.
Growing up in his Italian family, Pozzo was surrounded by relatives who were passionate about football strategy, players, and leagues. After building up the family’s woodworking business, Pozzo’s parents gifted Gino his own club in Italy in the 1980s. See how he made the journey from childhood fan to owner, and why it’s been such an important milestone in his life and the life of his family.
An Education Abroad
Gino Pozzo would travel abroad for his education, attending Harvard Business School to learn more about how to succeed in a competitive world. His father had ultimately inspired him to see what was possible, and Pozzo believed that he had the skills and instinct needed to take him to the next level. He may not have wanted to take over the woodworking business, but he had plenty of ambition in the world of sports.
Pozzo decided to move to France to find football clubs that he could afford, and he leaned on his family’s appliance business as a way to make the acquisition. He worked hard to establish himself in football, keeping close ties with family all the while. In 2012, he and his father acquired Watford FC from its previous owner, and he played an integral part in how the players were moved to fit the needs of a new program and strategy.
At the time of the acquisition, the club was struggling due to mismanagement in the English Premier League. The Pozzo family had seen enough as owners to understand why the club was failing, and just what could be done to improve both its record and financial wellbeing. It might not have been the perfect time to bid on the club, but the opportunity was ultimately too good for the Pozzos to turn down.
When Gino assumed control of the team from his father in 2014, he was fully committed to the journey. He understood the challenges ahead and the work that would go into each step of his plan, and he wanted to be present for all of them. It would mean uprooting himself and his family to live in England, which took some for everyone to adjust to the new culture, routines, and customs of the country. While it didn’t come immediately, his wife and children would embrace Britain and its people.
Budgets, Developments, and Efficiency
Gino Pozzo may have resources as the owner of Watford FC, but he doesn’t have the same budget as many of his fellow club owners. Teams like Liverpool and Manchester United are competing on a very different level because they’re able to extend sizable contracts to the best players. Gino knows that this is an uphill battle in many respects, but he’s also not one to shy away from a challenge. He’s looking forward to developing the team even further, so they’re able to tackle the gap between Watford’s win-loss record and those of teams at the top.
The foundation of his strategy rests on stability. It would be easy for a football club owner to come in and expect relatively instant success. They might assume that a team only needed a clearer direction to start moving ahead. Pozzo has learned that business, sports, and life don’t always work that way. The hard work he’s put in has already started to pay off. Watford has made it to the FA Cup final, and they’ve been promoted twice to the Premier League.
A History of Football
The Pozzo family has football clubs around the world, and part of their long-term goals involve consolidating their assets across the board. This would not only align many of their efforts, but it would provide consistency and, ultimately, morale, to players and fans alike. It may have been a long journey from childhood fan to Premiere League owner, but it’s one that many would say was written in the stars.