Alamy Stock Photo Head coach Rob Edwards has left Forest Green and is expected to succeed Roy Hodgson at Watford.
Watford anger League Two champions as talks 'behind our backs' lead to manager's departure
The news of Rob Edwards’ appointment may come as some relief to Ireland manager Stephen Kenny.

LAST UPDATE | May 11th 2022, 5:32 PM

ROB EDWARDS WILL take over as Watford head coach at the end of the season following his departure from Forest Green.

Rovers earlier confirmed Edwards had left his role as their head coach, with owner Dale Vince hitting out at the way negotiations with Watford had taken place “behind the backs” of the Sky Bet League Two champions.

“Watford Football Club is delighted to confirm the appointment of Rob Edwards as its new head coach, effective after the conclusion of the current 2021/22 season,” a statement from Watford read.

“Rob had a contractual provision allowing him to leave Forest Green Rovers at any time to discuss employment opportunities at other clubs and the Hornets are delighted to confirm our discussions concluded today.”

The news will come as relief to Ireland manager Stephen Kenny, with The Athletic reporting that Watford turned to Edwards after discussions collapsed with John Eustace, who is combining duties on Kenny’s coaching staff with a role at QPR. Eustace was recruited in March as a replacement for Anthony Barry, who replaced Damien Duff a year earlier. 

Edwards had helped guide Rovers to the League Two title, finishing ahead of Exeter on goal difference.

However, on Wednesday afternoon the club confirmed the 39-year-old had departed following speculation over a proposed switch to the Hornets, with Roy Hodgson set to stand down at the end of the campaign.

Vince was left less than impressed by the turn of events, revealing he had called Edwards on Tuesday evening as speculation mounted.

“As soon as he started speaking, I knew that it was real,” Vince told Sky Sports News.

However, on Wednesday afternoon the club confirmed Edwards had left his position “with negotiations taking place behind our backs” over a proposed switch to Watford, where Roy Hodgson is set to stand down at the end of the Premier League campaign.

A statement from the Gloucestershire club read: “FGR confirms the departure of head coach Rob Edwards.

“Rob was a key part of the team that gained promotion to League One this season.

We’re disappointed that our support, loyalty and honesty towards Rob has been repaid in this way – with negotiations taking place behind our backs.

“We had no contact from Watford, from whom we might expect less, but in any event this kind of behaviour gives football a bad name.

“We thank Rob for all his work at FGR – forgive him the manner of his departure and wish him well.”

Updated at 17.36; Additional reporting by Gavin Cooney

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