Watford head coach Walter Mazzarri is to leave the club at the end of the season.
The Italian will take charge of the final match against Man City on Sunday and will then depart along with his coaching staff after just one season in charge.
We understand that Mazzarri was told of the decision yesterday at the club’s training ground by club owner Gino Pozzo and chairman Scott Duxbury.
Chairman Scott Duxbury said in a statement: “After the Board discussed with Walter Mazzarri the club’s future goals and aspirations, it was decided he will be stepping down from his position as the club’s Head Coach after the final game of the 2016/17 season. We thank Walter and his staff for the contribution they have made to Watford Football Club over the past year.”
Mazzarri’s future at Watford has been the subject of speculation for several weeks after a difficult end to the season.
Watford are currently in 16th in the Premier League having lost their five games — including the 4-3 defeat to Chelsea on Monday night — and were nervously looking over their shoulder in the relegation battle before Hull’s defeat to Crystal Palace last weekend confirmed the final spot.
360Nobs understands that a number of Watford players would have looked to leave the club in the summer if Mazzarri remained in charge.
Morale among the squad is understood to be at rock-bottom, with a significant rift between the players and manager.
Squad members have been irked by the manager’s lack of English – he has taken to barking instructions at them in Italian during matches, leaving them bewildered.
And a lack of days off has also become an issue. Mazzarri granted a rare piece of down time to his staff on Tuesday.