It has been made official: Watford appoint Rob Edwards as their new head coach. The deal for the former Forest Green Rovers boss is effective after the conclusion of the current 2021/2022 Premier League season.
Watford Appoint Edwards as Head Coach
Edwards Set to Replace Roy Hodgson
The imminent arrival of Rob Edwards at Vicarage Road will see the 39-year-old succeed current manager, Roy Hodgson, who is set to depart at the end of the season after his side were relegated to the Championship following defeat at Crystal Palace on Saturday. Hodgson succeeded Claudio Ranieri in January this season but fell like many before him in the Watford hot seat.
This season, Edwards led Forest Green to the League Two, title pipping Exeter City on goal difference and securing a place in League Two next term. Rovers will be competing in the third tier of English football for the first time in their history, albeit without the man who spearheaded their feat.
Watford Football Club is delighted to confirm the appointment of Rob Edwards as our new Head Coach, effective after the conclusion of the current 2021/22 season.#WatfordFC
— Watford Football Club (@WatfordFC) May 11, 2022
Prior to Edwards’ 12-month spell with Forest Green, the former Forest Green boss coached at various levels as England U16s head coach as well as an assistant role with England U20s. The former Aston Villa, Blackpool and Wolverhampton Wanderers player also coached Wolves at the U23s level before his successful stint at the New Lawn.
Forest Green Were Unaware of Negotiations
The controversial reception to the deal on the Forest Green end was emphasised with the club expressing their discontent at how negotiations occurred and ultimately ended with their title-winning manager departing.
In a statement published on the official club website, the club thanked the Welshman and his assistant, Kyle Richie, for their services to the club despite being unaware of the negotiations.
According to FGR Media, “Rob and Richie were 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.”
Forest Green Chairman, Dale Vince, weighed in on the appointment on Twitter. Vince said: “Watford can’t read a contract or are careless of the truth – there is no such provision – and how would it even make sense to leave a club before going to talk to another?”