(Reuters) – Watford have appointed Forest Green Rovers coach Rob Edwards as their new manager following the conclusion of this season, the relegated Premier League club said on Wednesday.
Edwards will succeed Roy Hodgson who joined Watford on a short term contract in January but failed to keep them in the top flight, with their demotion to the second-tier Championship sealed this past weekend following a defeat by Crystal Palace.
“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,” Watford said in a statement.
However, earlier in the day League Two (fourth tier) side Forest Green said the Englishman was approached by Watford without informing the club.
“We’re disappointed that our support, loyalty and honesty towards Rob has been repaid in this way — with negotiations taking place behind our backs,” Rovers said in a statement.
“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.”
Watford, who have had three different managers this season, will finish the season in the bottom two along with Norwich City.
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru and Christian Radnedge in London; Editing by Martyn Herman and Pritha Sarkar)