Watford owner Gino Pozzo has sent fans an open letter admitting the Hornets made “mistakes surrounding the team” leading to relegation.
And he promised significant changes to make them “ready to face the challenges ahead” after Watford’s return to the Championship.
Pozzo, whose family had never previously tasted relegation at any of the clubs they owned in Europe – Udinese, Granada and Watford – suffered the drop for the first time on Sunday.
But in a rallying message to supporters, jointly signed by executive chairman Scott Duxbury, Pozzo insisted Watford would not be defined by their return to the second tier.
He said: “There is obviously huge disappointment at losing our Premier League status, we cannot pretend otherwise. What league we play in, however, does not define the football club.
“We will not allow the core values of Watford FC to become diluted simply because we are not playing in the Premier League.
“Everything we have achieved as a club over the past eight years should not be forgotten.
“The fact that we have transformed Vicarage Road and built a club of true substance – with links to the community that are the envy of many – is a source of great pride. What we did for our NHS neighbours during a time of true crisis should stand as a beacon for what this club embodies.
“We have always said we are here for the long-term and we will not allow this one moment of great disappointment to stop the continued development of this club over the next eight years and beyond.
“This is not to detract from mistakes that were made surrounding the team this season. We have to be scrupulously honest with ourselves and admit our efforts surrounding the team were not good enough.
“We will make changes where the team is concerned and those changes will make us stronger, ready to face the challenges that lie ahead and rekindle the passion that has always been a hallmark of this great club.”
Pozzo’s first task is to install a fourth head coach in 12 months after sacking Javi Gracia, Quique Sanchez Flores and Nigel Pearson during a turbulent season.
Claude Puel, the early favourite to succeed Pearson, is believed to be reluctant to operate in the Championship.
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