Date:Tuesday June 14 2011
On Thursday June 16, Nottingham Forest will parade new manager Steve McClaren in front of the worlds footballing press, when he makes his debut press conference at the City Ground. It will be a big day for the new man in charge, who will be keen to perform well in front of the cameras and create a favourable impression amongst the Forest faithful. It should be a walk in the park for the former England and Middlesbrough manager, who is no stranger to having the pointy end of a camera lens pushed in his face. It's not unreasonable to say that there's been a mixed reaction to his appointment, but if the club consider what the fans want for just one minute, they could for the first time ever, pull off a PR masterstroke, to unite the fans and the current board.
Much has been said and written over the past 12 years to explain the reasons for the demise of NFFC and the common denominator in all of the arguments is the CEO Mark Arthur. Whilst his duties are carried out under the instructions and guidance of chairman Nigel Doughty, it is invariably Mark Arthur who is the public face of Nottingham Forest and as a result, he bares the brunt of the criticism levelled at the club.
The press conference on Thursday is an ideal opportunity for the club and Mark Arthur in particular, to draw a line under all that has happened in the past and offer an olive branch to disgruntled supporters such as myself and encourage us to embrace a new beginning for NFFC under new manager Steve McClaren. Forget about 5 year plans, 3 year plans and being serious about promotion. Forget the bullshit concerning the fictitious Doughty investment of £25m in the previous 2 years and be honest and truthful. Just tell us how it is. Above all else, do not tell us that funds are available, if the truth is that they are not. If new players can only be brought in by selling the assets that we possess to raise the necessary funds, then tell us that is so. If investment is being cut back, as has been rumoured, then be honest and admit that as well. We know we're in the middle of the worst ever post war recession, because we're living it every day. We understand that times are hard and we all have to cut our costs. Be open, be truthful and you may be surprised with the amount of support that you get. It`s the deceit and deliberate manipulation of the facts, that has driven a wedge between the supporters and the board over the years. But they do have a chance to wipe the slate clean and make a fresh start for the first time in many a year.
Mark Arthur and NFFC can go along way to rebuilding the bridges that has seen many fans desert the club in recent times. Failure to encourage and embrace a new start, will see even more fans turn their backs on the club. If the club handle this opportunity in the right manner, it could be the start of a very bright future for NFFC and a return to the big time in the Premier League. Its up to you Mr. Arthur. You decide. Opportunities like this don't come along very often.
Date:Tuesday June 14 2011
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