Date:Tuesday May 17 2011
For the second year in succession, the season has ended in Playoff heartbreak for Nottingham Forest FC and it`s supporters. Instead of licking our wounds today and looking forward to a summer of strengthening and rebuilding, the club is clouded by uncertainty amidst boardroom fallouts and speculation over many of the first team players futures and that of the manager as well.
At the end of the day, it was a valiant effort by Billy Davies, his backroom staff and the team, who in my opinion, finished the season in as good a position as we could have hoped for at the start of the campaign. A 6th place finish in the table and another Playoff semi final exit, is about as good as I had hoped for, due to the lack of investment in the team last summer. As many predicted back in August, we were staring at a repeat performance of the previous season, where we came so close, yet finished so far away from a side looking capable of winning promotion to the Premier League. In many respects, this season has been a carbon copy of the 2009/10 campaign, but without the necessary investment.
I make no secret of my feelings towards the Chairman Nigel Doughty, who is regarded in such high esteem by many within the NFFC fanbase. He's the 'Saviour of the club' according to some, but to me he's the man who has held us back, stagnated the club and stunted the progression that he supposedly seeks. Any blame for the clubs' failure to achieve promotion this season and last, lies fairly and squarely at Nigel Doughty's door, due to his refusal to back his manager and give him the necessary tools to do his job. We can argue for ever and a day, over the additions of Majewski, Findley and Tudgay, but in the end, it wasn't enough. The loan signings of Bertrand, Ramsey, Konchesky and Boyd, did no more than paper over the cracks and little in the way of bolstering the squad. It was too little, too late. Yes, I know it isn't my money, but I wasn't the one pretending to have ambitions of attaining Premiership status, or hoodwinking the fans into buying into his Premiership dream. A dream that has little chance of coming to fruition, the way he currently runs the club.
Instead of turning this into just another end of season rant by just another disgruntled fan, I'd like to suggest a way for Nigel Doughty to address a few of the issues concerning a sizeable section of supporters, who put into the coffers of NFFC. First and foremost he needs to sort out the future of Billy Davies and he needs to do it now. The last thing the club needs right now, is another summer of speculation about which club he`s going to pop up at next. There is already speculation that Doughty is actively seeking Davies' replacement and the man being linked with the role, is none other than the man who masterminded the rise of Swansea, Roberto Martinez. Offer Billy Davies a new contract and offer it to him now. Not next week or next month, he needs to do it now and halt the speculation that is set to engulf us once again. He also needs to clarify which players will be staying and which ones will be allowed to leave. We already know that Wilson is on his way to Celtic, but there are growing rumours that the likes of Camp, Moussi, Cohen, McGugan, Earnshaw and Tyson, are set to leave the club. Many of these players have been rather stupidly allowed to run their contracts down and are going to go for free, unless of course the Chairman gets them tied down with new deals, or funds adequate replacements. This again needs to be sorted, before the rumour mill gathers pace. Another thing the Chairman needs to think about, is a little honesty with the fans. No more bullshit about 'stellar signings' and no more telling us we are a big spending club, when the evidence very much suggests we are not. Unless these matters are addressed and soon, the club runs the risk of ruining the progress made over the past two years, especially if the rumoured cutbacks are going to take place. Another reason why Nigel Doughty has to be honest with the fans.
The manager has stated that he sees his future at NFFC and that there is still work to be done. That news is refreshing and welcome from my point of view, I just hope it`s the Chairman's as well. We all know that Billy Davies has his faults and that he could start a fight in an empty room, but his record stands up to scrutiny and he`s the man who has come the closest to achieving the Chairman's dream of getting back to the Prem. He does get up the Chairman`s nose and ruffles the feathers of the suits, he often does the same to fans too. But his time at the club has shown that he does get the job done and that if backed as he deserves to be, then he will achieve the ultimate goal. In his two and a half years here, he has saved us from almost certain relegation and attained a top 6 finish twice. That to my mind is worthy of a new deal and shows he has taken the club as far as he could, with the resources he has been given and that he has fulfilled the remit set out by the Chairman when he was appointed. It's time to act Mr. Doughty. It's all up to you.
Date:Tuesday May 17 2011
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