Gino Pozzo

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Gino Pozzo
Born1965 (age 55–56)
NationalityItalian
OccupationBusinessman
Known forManaging director and owner of Watford F.C.

Gino Pozzo (born 1965)[1] is an Italian businessman and managing director and legal owner of Watford Football Club, who owns a sports investment group focused on the football sector. He is son of Italian businessman Giampaolo Pozzo and a member of the prominent Italian business-owning Pozzo family.

Gino Pozzo is married to Carla Pozzo and they have two daughters and a son together. They have been living outside London since they left Spain.[1]

Pozzo got his start in football as soon as he left university in his early 20s and has built his career around talent scouting and development of high-potential players.[1] Pozzo resides in Watford in Hertfordshire (about 15 miles northwest of central London) and is reportedly heavily involved in the day-to-day running of the football club,[2] as well as negotiating transfers between his father's football club Udinese Calcio in Italy.[3]

Over the past decade, Pozzo and his family have become notable for their multi-club ownership strategies, including transferring players between Watford F.C., Udinese Calcio, and Granada CF (with Granada CF sold to Chinese businessman Jiang Lizhang in June 2016).[4][5]

Pozzo runs an international scouting team of 25 to 30 people who seek players through attending every significant competition around the world, especially in developing markets like South America, Africa, and Eastern Europe.[6][7] Pozzo is reported to have a pattern of investing small sums of money into high-risk players. His larger clubs’ network has helped his business to minimize player acquisition costs while maximizing the profit from surging transfer fees as players are transferred and loaned among ‘sister clubs’ and later sold at a premium achieving high returns.[8][7]

Pozzo's career experience and business model has led to identifying talent at his three clubs and has been consistently applied to Udinese Calcio for over 25 years, leading some to call it the "talent factory".[9] Granada CF and Watford achieved promotion to LaLiga and Premier League, respectively, through Pozzo's network and transformation from distressed situations. Pozzo's success includes the development of the clubs' own stadiums.[6][7][10]

Watford F.C.[edit]

In June 2012, he and his father acquired Watford Football Club from previous owner Laurence Bassini.[11] Pozzo became the sole owner in 2014.[12]

Pozzo is often found at Watford's training grounds and has been known to monitor all players through GPS devices that track the players’ performance data while in training.[6] He is known to have minimal contact with players and addresses them as little as once per year, yet observes his teams locally on a weekly basis.[1]

All major decisions regarding the trading of players are made between Gino Pozzo, Scott Duxbury (chief executive of Watford Football Club), and Filippo Giraldi (technical director of WFC). They have been known to acquire many players from South America, citing lower wage costs however still being highly skilled athletes.[1][8]

Watford was recently promoted from the Football League Championship to the Premier League on 25 April 2015.[10] Since 2015, Watford Football Club's annual revenues have increased by more than £100m.[8]

In 2019, Watford made it to the FA Cup Final but were beaten by Manchester City.[13]

In 2020, Watford finished in 19th place in the Premier League and were relegated to the EFL Championship

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Burnton, Simon (17 May 2019). "'A demanding perfectionist': how Gino Pozzo did the unthinkable at Watford". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 May 2020.
  2. ^ Smith, Frank (6 September 2014). "The Pozzos increased influence in transfer deals and the running of Watford was a major factor in Gian Luca Nani departure". Watford Observer. Newsquest. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  3. ^ Smith, Frank (14 July 2012). "Former West Ham United CEO Scott Duxbury explains why the Pozzos bought Watford". Watford Observer. Newsquest. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  4. ^ Price, Harry (7 March 2013). "Why What The Pozzo Family Is Doing At Watford, Udinese & Granada Is Admirable, Not Wrong". Sport.co.uk. Digital Sports Group. Archived from the original on 3 September 2018. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  5. ^ Lolli, Andrea (11 July 2009). "ESCLUSIVA TMW – La famiglia Pozzo compra il Granada". TUTTOmercatoWEB (in Italian). Archived from the original on 3 September 2018. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  6. ^ a b c Burnton, Simon (4 August 2015). "How the Pozzo family have fuelled Watford's Premier League dreams". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 June 2020.
  7. ^ a b c Marcotti, Gabriele (26 April 2015). "The Pozzos: European Soccer's Ascendant Family". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2 June 2020.
  8. ^ a b c Ahmed, Murad (31 October 2018). "How to scout a football team". Financial Times. Retrieved 2 June 2020.
  9. ^ Smith, Rory (24 August 2011). "Udinese v Arsenal: Italian's ability to buy low and sell high puts Arsene Wenger's eye for young talent in the shade". Retrieved 3 June 2020.
  10. ^ a b Malin, Ian (25 April 2015). "Brighton 0–2 Watford – Championship match report". The Observer. Retrieved 3 June 2020.
  11. ^ "Udinese's Pozzo family complete Watford takeover". BBC Sport. 29 June 2012. Archived from the original on 27 April 2019. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  12. ^ Smith, Frank (19 December 2014). "Gino took sole control of Watford in the summer". Watford Observer. Retrieved 2 June 2020.
  13. ^ Gray, Ryan (19 April 2019). "Gino Pozzo and Scott Duxbury issue statement of thanks". Watford Observer. Retrieved 3 June 2020.