BREAKING: Championship side Watford FC sack 16th manager in 10 years

Image of Slaven Bilic. Credit: Wikipedia - By joshjdss - West Ham Vs Birkrikara, CC BY 2.0,

Slaven Bilic has been sacked by Championship side Watford FC, their 16th manager to be fired in the last 10 years.


Watford FC has announced this afternoon, Tuesday, March 7, that Slaven Bilic has been sacked as their manager after only six months in charge. This brings the total number of managers fired in the last 10 years by the Championship club to 16.

Chris Wilder – the Middlesborough and Sheffield United boss – will replace the 54-year-old Croatian at Vicarage Road as the Hornets attempt to fight their way back into the Premier League. He arrived at the London Colney training ground today to meet his new squad of players.

A statement released by Watford read: “The Hornets are pleased to confirm the appointment of Chris Wilder as Head Coach on a contract until the end of this season. An experienced manager at both Premier League and Championship level, the 55-year-old has overseen successful promotion campaigns at several clubs; notably taking Sheffield United from League One to the top flight in the space of three seasons”.

“Wilder then led the Blades to a ninth-placed finish on their return to the Premier League, the club’s highest league position in nearly 30 years. Having begun his managerial career with Alfreton Town and Halifax Town, Wilder achieved his first promotion with Oxford United, guiding the U’s to Conference Premier Play-Off glory in 2009/10”, it continued.

“He then won the League Two title at Northampton Town in 2013/14, earning his first of two ‘Manager of the Season’ accolades. Joining Sheffield United in 2016, Wilder took his boyhood club from League One to the Championship with automatic promotion in 2016/17, then delivered promotion to the Premier League in 2018/19, winning his second ‘Manager of the Season’ award in the process”, it added.

The statement concluded: “Most recently manager at Middlesbrough, Wilder joins the Hornets with immediate effect and with 11 games remaining in the quest for promotion from the Sky Bet Championship”.

Bilic was previously the manager at West Bromwich Albion and West Ham United and since taking over from Rob Edwards last September his side has struggled to make any real impact in the division.

Last weekend’s goalless draw with Preston North End left Watford three places and four points adrift of the playoff places. They have picked up just 14 points from a possible 36, with only 10 wins from 26 matches played. His predecessor Edwards didn’t fare a lot better, being shown the door after only 10 matches in charge.

“If we were in a more comfortable position higher up the table, or if it was earlier in the season, I might look at things differently, but we were looking to get back on the winning trail here and we didn’t”, Bilic said after the Preston game.

He added, “I think if one of the two teams deserved to win the match it was us, but simply we didn’t do enough to do that. We can say we stopped them but that wasn’t our aim, we wanted the three points and we’ve come up short”.

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Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at