Watford have sacked Rob Edwards as their head coach, with Slaven Bilic taking charge at Vicarage Road.
Edwards only took the helm at the Championship club ahead of the 2022-23 season after leaving Forest Green to replace Roy Hodgson following Watford’s relegation.
But the 39-year-old, who won three of his first 10 matches, leaves after less than five months with the club 10th in the Championship.
Watford confirmed Edwards departure — and Bilic’s arrival, subject to a work permit, on an 18-month deal.
Owner Gino Pozzo said in a statement: “As with all decisions taken by the board, I believe this change to be in the best interests of the club,
“We felt Rob had enough time to show us the identity of his team, however performances haven’t reflected our hopes and ambitions.
“Now we must move forward, and, in Slaven Bilic, we have secured the services of an experienced coach who has recent experience of promotion to the Premier League.”
Bilic will become the 17th permanent manager under the Pozzo family since they took over the club in 2012.
Bilic took the helm at West Ham in June 2015, overseeing a seventh-placed finish in his first season, before a run of poor results saw him sacked in November 2017.
After an ill-fated five-month spell at Al-Ittihad in Saudi Arabia, he was named West Brom head coach in the summer of 2019 and led the club to the Premier League after they finished runners-up in the Championship.
He was sacked in December of the following season after a poor start had left them 19th in the top flight.
Bilic has most recently managed in the Chinese Super League but left Beijing Guoan in January, a year before his contract was due to expire.