Cheltenham Town chairman Paul Baker has admitted to being gutted that manager John Ward has decided to leave the club to join League One rivals Carlisle United.
Ward has left Whaddon Road after around four years in charge, signing a four-year contract with the Cumbrians to complete his move North.
Baker told the club's official website: "The board were disappointed that John felt unable to honour his current five-year contract.
"We turned down Carlisle's initial approach, but the deciding factor was the fact that John made it quite clear that he wanted to move.
"No employer wants to have an unhappy employee and it was therefore felt the best decision for all parties would be to let John go.
"We have therefore agreed a substantial compensation package with Carlisle that reflects the amount of time left on John's contract.
"John has been an excellent manager and has built up a first-class management and coaching team which will remain, together with a relatively young but talented and committed squad of players."