Forest Green Rovers chief furious after Rob Edwards negotiates Watford deal in secret

Rob Edwards Forest Green May 2022

Forest Green Rovers chairman Dale Vince says that Watford went behind his back to approach head coach Rob Edwards over their manager’s job.

Edwards, 39, guided Rovers to the Sky Bet League Two title, finishing ahead of Exeter on goal difference. The former Wolves interim boss oversaw a remarkable season in his first job as a full-time manager, in his very first season.

However, on Wednesday afternoon the club confirmed Edwards had left his position. And Vince has said that Watford and Edwards “went behind his back”.

Edwards is set to get the Hornets job with Roy Hodgson set to stand down at the end of the Premier League campaign.

But the news came as a surprise to Vince, who said he called Edwards on Tuesday to dismiss the talk.

“I first heard when I called Rob last night because the media speculation had become intense,” Vince told Sky Sports.

“For the last week we have been saying this is not right because, firstly Watford had not contacted us, which would have been the right way to go about it and secondly Rob has not said anything and we have absolute faith in him.

“I called him last night because it was getting a bit tense and as soon as he started speaking I knew it was real.

Asked what Edwards said, he replied: “That he had been in negotiations and it was a great opportunity for him. He felt a bit bad about it and it was all a bit intense for him.

“I said that overwhelmingly for me there is a sense of disappointment that you did not tell me. People come and go in football all the time, but the important thing is the manner of it.

Official Rob Edwards statement

“And to have negotiations done behind your back is not a nice thing.”

An official 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.”