Nigel Doughty - Ten Years Of Hurt
May 1999, saw Nigel Doughty take a 40.5% stake in NFFC and with it effective control of the club. Within a month of taking over, he probably had his best day ever at the office, when one sunny day in June, Messrs Wray and Scholar announced their resignations from the club. With those two chancers out of the way, the path was clear for Doughty to take total control of the club and lead us back to the Promissed Land. At least that was the theory.
In terms of achievement, the past ten years at Nottingham Forest can be best described from a fans point of view, as an unmitigated disaster. Mr. Doughty can point to a healthy balance sheet though as a means of success, thanks to his loans/investments/handouts...call them what you like, it currently stands at around £45M! Now, although he's highly unlikely to see much of that money again, it is effectively a loan and NFFC do owe it to him. Saviour?.....Hmmmnnn.
Nigel Doughty has overseen the appointments of no less than eight managers during his stewardship, from David Platt, right up to the present incumbent, Billy Davies. Some of those appointments did have varying degrees of success. Namely Hart and Calderwood, but both were either let down with funds, or had taken us as far as they could. In hindsight, fans will look back on the appointments of Platt, Hart, Kinnear, Harford, Megson, Charlie and Frank and Calderwood as bad 'uns. Appointing managers has never been his strongest point. At various times during these appointments, we have missed the opportunity to appoint the likes of O'Neill, Pearce, Laws and Clough Jnr. Whether any of those would have done a better job is debatable, but you have to say that any of the above would have at least been met with the approval of the fans....that's something that Doughty has never taken into consideration.
Doughty will argue that it's his club and he can do what he likes with it. But the fans, as with any club are the lifeblood and without us it will die. There is a growing sense of discontent amongst Forest supporters at the moment and that discontent is aimed at him and his CEO Mark Arthur. The club is heading back to League 1 again, due to a lack of funding on Doughty's part and the inability of the club to attract new players. Maybe Doughty is feeling the effects of the recession as much as us and he has to cut his cloth accordingly. If that's the case, a little honesty wouldn't go amiss, instead of yet again keeping fans in the dark and leading us on, into thinking that a couple of signings are just around the corner. As per usual, the silence coming from the City Ground, is deafening......apart from the noises being made by Billy "yer wee upstart ye" Davies of course.
It will be ten years in May, when Nigel Doughty celebrates his anniversary as Chairman of NFFC. I really hope he isn't celebrating it with his second relegation to League 1, because right now that looks a distinct possibility. Thanks for saving us from extinction Mr. Doughty, but the rest has been awful, truly, truly awful. As a supporter of this great club for over 30 years, I can honestly say the past ten years have been pitiful to watch. A second relegation to League 1, will see many fans throw in the towel with this club, maybe the Chairman should consider doing the same if it happens.
Is he the saviour of NFFC, or the cause of all or troubles?.....You decide.