Date:Monday August 9 2010
It's been an almost fruitless task so far this year for Nottingham Forest in terms of player acquisitions, with only the 6 month loan signing of Chelsea defender Ryan Bertrand to show for an entire summer of negotiations.
It's probably due to the fact that these negotiations are taking so long, that Forest CEO Mark Arthur has gone public on two of the clubs' targets and in the process seems to have upset the entire Welsh nation.
In an interview with BBC Radio Nottingham, Mark Arthur confirms that both Darren Pratley (Swansea City) and Peter Whittingham (Cardiff City) are targets of the club. He also states that both players have expressed their desire to join and that both have turned down new contracts at their respective clubs.
Those comments have sparked an outcry from the Welsh clubs, with both urging the Football League to investigate. Cardiff boss Dave Jones went as far to say, 'If that's not blatant tapping-up then I don't know what is.'
The BBC bless 'em, are milking this one for all it's worth and have a shed load of quotes from all over the place. Swansea Chairman Huw Jenkins says, 'I think it'll be worth looking at. It is not right, it is not within the rules and laws of the game and I think we should look at it a bit further.' Fair enough mate.
Cardiff Chairman Gethin Jenkins couldn't resist getting in on the act as well and rather cheekily quipped. 'I would like to thank Mr. Arthur for his interest in our football club. Though I would suggest that he direct his attention towards internal Nottingham Forest issues and problems than any blatant public attempts to unsettle members of our playing squad.' That's from a man who presides over a club that spends most of it's time in court finding ways to avoid paying HMRC the monies it's owed.
The question now is whether this has soured relations between Forest and the two Welsh clubs to such an extent that any deal will be impossible to complete, or whether it merely helps the respective Chairmen to placate their fans, who might be slightly miffed at losing a couple of their best players? Time will tell I suppose, but it's all a storm in a tea cup if you ask me.
Date:Monday August 9 2010
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