Date:Monday November 15 2010
Billy may have been silent over the weekend on the subject of intent & ambition, no mention of stellar signings or diversions, he didn`t even mention January in the Radio Nott'm after match interview (I know because I won a bet from my mate who said he would.)
Yet for any fan looking on there does seem to be a is mis-communication between the manager and board. Both parties seem to have differing opinions on the aim for this season with regards to promotion or simply mid table consolidation.
As I mentioned, Billy was silent but that is probably because he had passed it onto his lawyer who has been talking in the media with regards to the subject. Reading the reports of his press comment can any fan really argue with the sentiment of what he is saying?
Yes it is Nigel Doughty`s club to do with what he wants....but what does he want? To use an old marketing campaign another contributor to Vital recently brought up.... is he serious about promotion?
So talking of Marketing campaigns for Nigel Doughty as chairman for Forest, I am sure fans would compare him to Marmite - you either love him or hate him....IS he losing supporters, well polls on the Forums seem to give the manager full backing on the recent media interviews.
Going back to the comments Billy`s lawyer has made, he said when Davies was appointed his brief was to get us into the Premiership....we were in a great position to do that last Jan, but did ND get cold feet? There seemed to be reluctance to invest in players whilst the likes of West Brom and Newcastle did, they invested in Championship calibre players to cover themselves in all positions for the business end of the season while we couldn`t find a player to improve us.
The board used the excuse that they would not waste money on players that were no better that what we had - even though at the time we didn`t even have a left back!!
Spending money may or may not have guaranteed promotion, no one can say for sure what would have happened if we got Shorey / Moses and Pratley - it may have been an expensive mistake or we may have reaped the rewards (speculate to accumulate), but what we can say for FACT is that not spending money meant another year in the Championship!!
Whilst the Baggies & Magpies fans were happy on their holidays we were getting destroyed by Blackpool at home to limp out the plays offs and left with thoughts of what could have been if in January the Chairman had showed ambition and invested, especially after we had just beaten West Brom to go 5-points clear of them and joint top with Newcastle - didn`t he always promise he would only buy from a position of strength - well over the years he has disproved that theory!
Ok when it finally sunk in we had another year in the Championship... the ever optimistic Forest fans soon got over and realised we were in a great position to push on and were already looking forward to a new season. All we needed was a quality signings. We understood another year was probably need in this division to develop the squad, 15,000 fans brought season tickets on the back of hearing promises in the summer / and start of the season from the Chairman and CEO (when Season tickets were on sale, of course) that PROMOTION was the aim - perhaps finally after 11-years Doughty had realised how to run a successful side!
Billy agreed and said we needed 3 or 4 stellar signings (the 2010 coined term for sexy signings)! .....but amazingly ND goes all scrooge on us (let`s call it the Pl**t Syndrome) and thinks we shouldn`t be spending money on new players, again saying that any new arrival must be better than what we have).
He told us the transfer market was broken and went on about only a very few in the Championship players would improve us, and that Premier league players not wanting to drop a division....which was surprising was he just trying to hood wink the fans, has he not seen the Transfers made by Championship clubs this year) what he means is they want quality players but are not prepared to pay for them!!
So after finishing third he has let the team stagnate whilst creating bad blood with the manager, a laughing stock in the media as we get to hear tit for tat responses, all leaving disillusioned fans who cannot have a say in the matter, on top of lots of players out of contract (at the end of the season) and maybe they are left wondering (like Billy and the fans) whether they can achieve their ambitions at the City Ground! !
Now he worries spending money will mean we will struggle like Middlesbrough & Bristol City, whilst conveniently forgetting the other big spenders in QPR and Cardiff. He wants us to match the likes of Swansea and Watford and do it on a shoestring budget!
Yet our income far outweighs the clubs he talks about.
On top of the additional income not budgeted by the for the play offs last season, this summer alone we sold 15k season tickets. They increased match day ticket prices. There was new sponsorship of the Bridgford stand, Greene King doing the bars etc. Another years sponsorship from Victor Chandler Plus Kit Bag 10-year contract for the club shop The money received in the Perch Transfer, extra from Dawson playing for England and the loan fees for Garner and Bennett. Increase in Sky money etc... And of course a new 3-year BBC Radio Nottingham contract - perhaps that is why they like to stay in the good books of the powers-that-be.
Colin Fray claimed recently on Radio Nottingham that Doughty has been put last season approx £13m (we don`t see it just covers a hole) yet does that mean the club is losing £250k a week???
Again we have to take their word for it, if they publish the Forest accounts we can see, but they haven`t since League One.
We will wait with interest to read the Forest accounts but we seem to be worse off now and are no better off in the league under Nigel`s reign. Again I will say if we are losing that much money then surely the club is still being badly run on and off the pitch and the amount of money we are losing is increasing! - How do other smaller Championship clubs survive? how did we survive pre- Doughty?
Didn`t Mark Arthur say money was not a problem? In fact towards the end of August he did say we have money to spend and when we enquire about players the prices go up....so maybe money is not an issue?
We may have (begrudgingly) understood if they had told us finances were tight, but they didn`t so we have expected to see the Stellar signings Billy wanted and who the fans craved (set hearts on).
But a take his point on other smaller Championship clubs like Swansea doing well and surviving?
Looking at Swansea, the Swans Chairman / board should be congratulated. They have improved the infrastructure of the club and built a new stadium but they have still invested in the side year in year out and are reaping the rewards after starting out in Division 3 ....all on far less income / history than Forest have. Just like the likes of Wigan and Doncaster, Blackpool wheeled and dealed to gamble on promotion ALL on players that would have been no doubt been turned down by our (non) Acquisition panel has not good enough for Forest!
So while other teams push on all we get is excuses and broken promises!
After the reign of ND we are no better off in the league, even more massively in debt and still lose money each week. Now if the World Cup bid goes sour it`s no new ground (so many hours and money wasted in that fancy) and maybe no new players so we have to be content to bide our time for the promising batch of kids to come through in a few years time.
And while we wait, the manager has to work with what he has (and it is not a bad team when the players are fit) but like his lawyer says he is managing though with one arm tied behind his back to get promotion as he cannot improve the side.
At the same time the fans have to be patient, we cannot complain, we cannot offer opinions, we have to pay our money and support the team, anything less will been seen as negative and used as a stick to hit us with when results go sour.
When Nigel Doughty took control of Forest he said promotion back to the Premier League was then the aim, 11 years on still we wait!
Date:Monday November 15 2010
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