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League Two club furious as manager ‘agrees’ to become new Watford boss

League Two club Forest Green are furious as their manager ‘agrees’ to become the new Watford boss, replacing the retiring Roy Hodgson.

Football Insider first said a breakthrough deal saw the title winning Forest Green Rovers boss heading to the Hornets after they set their sights on a homegrown British manager to come in ready for the 2022/23 season.

A Watford source told Football Insider that club chiefs agreed terms with the 39 year old and were quickly confident he would take charge at Vicarage Road.

Dale Vince, Forest Green owner, says the club have received no official approach for Edwards, which has infuriated him even more and took to Sky to have a moan at what has just took place, as seen further down the article.


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.

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.

Rob joined Forest Green Rovers as Head Coach in 2021, where his attractive brand of football took the Gloucestershire side to the top of Sky Bet League Two – winning the division earlier this month for the first time in the club’s history. His efforts were recognised by the EFL when he collected the League Two Manager of the Season award.

His debut in the professional game came just after his 20th birthday and was handed to Rob by none other than the late, great Graham Taylor OBE for Aston Villa in December 2002. A successful playing career including the likes of Wolverhampton Wanderers and Blackpool was cut short by injury after just over a decade.

Rob quickly moved into coaching roles, initially within the Wolves academy. He led the Under-18 and Under-23 sides, while also experiencing an interim spell in charge of first-team affairs in 2016.

Success with Wolves’ Under-23s saw Rob win promotion to the Premier League 2, the highest division in English youth football, and his stock rose further as both Head Coach of England’s Under-16 side and a coaching role in the Young Lions’ Under-20s set-up.


Watford had held early talks with Queens Park Rangers coach John Eustace, 42, after identifying him as a top target and everyone thought he was nailed on to get it.

It’s also claimed that Millwall manager Gary Rowett, 48, was also considered as club chiefs looked for a proven Championship boss to help them potentially get them back in the top flight at the first attempt again.

The Hornets are now turning their focus to life in the second tier after their relegation was confirmed at the weekend.

“As soon as he started speaking, I knew that it was real,” Vince exclusively told Sky Sports News. “(He told me) that he had been in negotiations (with Watford) and felt it was a great opportunity for him.

“Overwhelmingly for me the feeling was disappointment, because in football people come and go all of the time. The important thing is the manner of it.

“I wish him well, but it is poor from Watford, who claim to be starting a new era, and it is poor from Rob as well. He has let us down, but he knows it, so there it is, and we will move on.”

“Watford advised Rob not to tell us specifically, so for me that doubles down on the deceit,” Vince added. “It is the kind of thing which gives football a bad name and the kind of thing which shouldn’t happen but occasionally does.

“I believe Watford have reached out today, so now there will be some more formal, more proper process to end Rob’s time here and for it to start at Watford.”

“We have got a shortlist already and will just crack on with it,” Vince said. “We will find another up and coming young coach who has got all the attributes we looked for in Rob and will go again. We just move on.

“It is hard not to let it take the shine off us what has happened, promotion and winning the title, but it won’t get in the way of what we do in the future because we will carry on operating in the way we do – open and honest with everybody.”

Vince added: “I think everything will be fine – and if there is Karma in football, we will meet Watford in the Championship in a few years’ time.”

Twitter users reacted with the League Two club furious as their manager ‘agrees’ to become new Watford boss…

@saucywfc: Their owner’s gonna flip

@cufcdanny: Not usually a fan of poaching players/managers. However, if it means shitting on @FGRFC_Official & pissing @DaleVince off them I’m all for it. Fair fucking play @WatfordFC. I like this bit of business 👏 #WatfordFC #FGR

@kieren_rees: Have Watford let Forest Green Rovers know? 😆

@aaron_bennis10: We haven’t been great but Dale Vince reeks of a spiteful bitter man who’s trying to spin the situation and shine both Edwards and Watford in a bad light. His contract was up next month, I don’t see what he has to complain about

@bogsider1980: Sorted then #WatfordFC guaranteed to draw #FGR in the #FACUP 3rd round next season

@CraigTrudgill: Where can I get odds on him to be the next manager to be sacked please?

@watfordfocus: I hope this means we’ll get more Quorn in the snack bars.

@MikeyAbrahams1: This Isn’t bacon rolls all round!

@thenamesstuart9: Rough day for our little club, I’m sure everyone feels the same, but we don’t let one little man stand in our way of what we have accomplished this season, we’ve done it together as a club, it hurts but we move on as one 💚 just don’t hire John yems🤦🏻‍♂️🤣

@RookeryMike: Dale Vince on the offensive regarding #watfordfc and Rob Edwards. Understandable considering what has just been achieved and what’s now required, but notable that he doesn’t mention the contractual status of Rob Edwards. If he was under contract he’d perhaps be mentioning that?

@JackMulhall92: Dale Vince is many things but has always come across as loyal to his managers and probably expected the same back.. no surprise he is so disappointed with the Edwards situation. Albeit the move itself makes complete sense.

@mattcrow33: However good our next manager is there will always be a pang of disappointment in my heart that it isn’t John Eustace.

@TrottersBlog: Dale Vince going on Sky Sports and having a moan.. conveniently excluding the fact Rob Edwards’ contract was up in a month. Don’t get what owners achieve by going on TV and ranting.

@watford1881: Forest Green Rovers Chairman Dale Vince is 100% Correct Watford FCs behaviour smacks of the deceit running from the top of our football club. We didnt need to act in this manner. It’s probably not a poplar opinion, but I don’t really care. I’m entitled to my opinion #Watford1881

@waynetuckwell: That is awful but not surprising. There seems to be no loyalty in football these days and Rob has now made himself a target for the boo-boys whenever the teams meet. Such a sad state of affairs.

@talkingsportzz: be mad to go with that club’s employment turnover. Only way he benefits from this is if he demands 10X his current wage and a 4/5 year deal. So if theres teething problems at the start and the owner gets his trigger finger warmed up, he get rich quicker.

@YouBaggies: Bloody hell that’s a bit sensible for Watford ain’t it? 😂

@Oli_WFC: Woy gone, duxbury still here. Woooooah we’re half way there

@RookeryStand: Interesting choice and strange that Eustace rumours came and went so fast, but either way it’s nice to see a change of approach and hopefully a longer term strategy. We will see…

@wfccaity: We did something good for once

@afcsakaa7: gonna get sacked by november

@ColinPep1: Now you have to stick with him for this to work. No sacking after a few disappointing results. He needs time, support and autonomy. Give him those three things and finally Watford might be able to return to being a stable Premier League club.

@nicharrison24: Get over it Dale 😂😂

@MrAshJS: Don’t worry, Watford will sack him in 6 months time 🤣

@Pilfry: Expect nothing less from Watford. Their a million miles away from Forest Green in terms of class.

@Tom_Sh4rman: Why any manager would leave their club for Watford is beyond me!?!???!! He could have and should have built something at Forest Green!!

@jamieflagg: Big Dale Vince sacking Edwards before he signed the new contract is the brutality I like to see 🤣🤣🐍

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