Month: September 2002

28th September 2002- New Division One, Sheffield United 1 Watford 2

This was the first game played after the players had been asked to take a 12% wage cut as the seriousness of the club’s financial position, in the wake of the collapse of ITV Digital and the overspending of the Vialli era, became clear.

Icelandic striker Heidar Helguson was at the centre of two pivotal first-half minutes as Watford toppled high-flying Sheffield United.

Within the last seven days the severity of Watford’s financial mess has been dramatically highlighted, the club’s staff both on and off the pitch have volunteered an unsecured 12% deferment of wages, and administration has been spoken of as a serious possibility for the first time. One of the most distressing weeks supporting the football club that many of us can remember.

The 100 Greatest Watford Wins- No.31: The extravagance of the Vialli era, the reckless spending, expensive long-term contracts and the collapse of the broadcaster, ITV Digital, had pushed the club to the brink.

21st September 2002-New Division One, Watford 3 Crystal Palace 3

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Guardian report:Routledge, booked in the second minute for a foul, was dismissed by the referee Andy Hall for a second yellow, which meant red – pretty much the colour of Trevor Francis’s face as the Palace manager tried to convey his frustration.

BSAD imageBSAD report:the sheer energy of it all was thrilling, and the honesty and commitment was more than welcome.

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More games from 21st September at https://oldwatford.com/tag/sep21/

17th September 2002- New Division One, Preston North End 1 Watford 1

The game was open from the off, with both sides committing men forward and finding big spaces to attack when the other’s attacks broke down. Early Watford chances, somewhat inevitably, involved Webber… first a wicked cross from the left that Ardley did well to get a volley to but could only deflect lamely towards Moilanen, then fashioning a gap from an Ardley corner to test the keeper from 25 yards.

10th September 2002- League Cup First Round, Watford 1 Luton Town 2

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BBC SportJoint probe launched into trouble

Luton Town pulled off a shock Worthington Cup first round giant killing act at bitter rivals Watford in a match marred by scenes of violence.

guardianDouble probe into Watford violence

BSAD imageBSAD report:Police vans are parked all along Vicarage Road, and the stadium is blocked off completely to contain trouble at the Red Lion corner. We retreat to avoid the rising tension among the gathering crowd behind the police line, taking a safer route around the allotments. We arrive, entering the Rookery to see a mob from the away end marauding in front of the lower Rous. The atmosphere is poisonous. The mob surges, recedes, surges again, bored by the lack of resistance. A lone lunatic attempts to jump into the Rous near the halfway line to fight, taking no notice of the children around his chosen target; the corner flag is used as a missile; someone takes a kicking; a group of self-appointed moral defenders charges up the touchline from the Rookery to take on the invaders. It’s madness. There are no police inside the ground.

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