Relegated Watford have appointed former Forest Green Rovers boss Rob Edwards as their new manager from the end of the current season.
The confirmation follows Edwards’ departure from Rovers, the club he has just led to the League Two title.
Forest Green had earlier said negotiations between Watford and Edwards took place “behind our backs”.
Current Watford boss Roy Hodgson is due to leave the Hornets at the end of the current campaign.
Forest Green’s owner Dale Vince told BBC Sport: “It takes a bit of the shine off winning promotion. If there’s any karma in football they’ll languish in the Championship and we’ll meet them there in a few years’ time.”
“[Edwards] said he’d been advised by Watford and his agent to keep it a secret from Forest Green which I think is pretty poor from them. It’s poor from Rob and he knows it.
“I thought I knew him better as a person.”
Watford were relegated from the Premier League after defeat by Hodgson’s former team Crystal Palace on Saturday.
In a statement, Watford said: “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.”
Edwards, 39, will become Watford’s eighth permanent manager since the start of 2018.
The former Wales international took over at Rovers last summer, having previously coached England’s youth teams, and led the Gloucestershire club, who entered the Football League in 2017, to a first promotion from League Two.
Edwards has previously managed Wolves on an interim basis and Telford United full-time.
He left Telford to work as a coach in the England Under-20s setup, eventually being named head coach of the country’s Under-16s side from 2020 before his move to Forest Green.