'We caught someone going through our bins' – Watford boss Pearson on 'hilarious' Premier League red tape


Nigel Pearson has been irritated by the Premier League's monitoring of Watford during the coronavirus pandemic, claiming officials have been spotted looking in the club's bins.

Since the English top flight's return this month, clubs have had to adhere to strict measurements during training and matches to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

The Premier League's scrutiny of clubs has been excessive, according to Pearson, but the 56-year-old is trying to approach the situation with a sense of humour. 

Scroll to continue with content

"I have found it irritating at times but also quite amusing that we have someone sitting and making notes of players' spitting when it is 32 degrees and giving us a slap on the wrist," he said to Sky Sports. "You try going out there. They are making the best of what is a very unusual situation.

"I have to smile at myself now when I see the Premier League at the training ground marking us down on simple behaviours. We even caught one looking through our bins. That was hilarious. Our club secretary caught him doing that.

"The goalposts have been shifted on one or two occasions in terms of what is allowed and what is not allowed. It has not always been clear but what we try to do is work with a bit of a sense of humour as well and a bit of flexibility so we do not let red tape get us down.

"It means you have to be creative and find different ways of working. I think there is a public perception that this is not the case but I have found the players to be very adaptable and very open to finding different solutions. We do it with a smile on our face.

"They are strange times but I think they bring out the best in people too."

Watford are in danger of falling into the relegation zone as they sit 16th in the table and just a point above third-bottom side Bournemouth.The Hornets have picked up just one point since the league returned from its coronavirus-enforced halt.

Pearson admits his side have a difficult battle job of them, but he is sure his players are determined to avoid the drop. 

"I think the players are generally speaking in a good place," he said. "It feels like a mini-tournament now. It feels like a cup tournament, an international tournament. You have a small number of games and you have to win enough games to, in our case, avoid relegation. It feels different but it is still the same season.

"March is a long time ago. We just need to cope with those differences."

He added: "It has been an unusual experience for everybody but now we are back into work mode and trying to negotiate our way through a relegation battle, which is a very tough one.

"We are working to achieve what we set out to achieve and that is retain our Premier League status. Believe me, these players are driven by performing and trying to get results."

What to read next