Ramon Vega has decided to break the ice and give his side of the story of his rollercoaster season at Watford in 2001-2002. The defender is fully aware that his name is still greeted with pessimism by some Watford supporters and acknowledged that he “can’t change that” even though he would like to. At the time, some accused of Vega of being a disinterested and overpaid has-been, whose best footballing years were already behind.
When he joined the club in 2001, he thought Watford had “big ambitions” and was about to enter a new period of prosperity on and off the pitch. Yet only a year later, the players had failed in their quest to secure promotion to the Premier League, leaving the club in financial disarray. Eighteen years after parting company with the club, Vega has chosen to shed some light into why things came to a head during his time at Vicarage Road.
Ramon Vega said: “Whatever the Watford fans say or think about me, I cannot change that, I can’t turn that, I’d like to but I can’t. On my part, I didn’t have anything against the Watford fans, they were right to express their feelings and be disappointed when I didn’t play well and rightly so. We footballers have good and bad performances and are judged on it. But I want the supporters to know that I was very glad to have had that Watford shirt on me, to have played for them and scored for them as well. At the time, ITV was the main broadcaster for the Championship and I was pretty much one of Watford’s high earners. After (that first season ended), I still had another three years in my contract but pretty much I could see that Watford could not afford to pay the next three years, the club was nearly bankrupt because of us. The financial difficulties did not make it nice for the club and what do you do in these circumstances? I demonstrated the way and said to the board: ‘Listen, I don’t want the club to be in a difficult situation going into next season and I am happy to cut my contract, there’s no problem’.”