And Now A Few Words From The Sponsor - Adam Pye
It's just over a week since Nottingham Forest announced that John Pye and Sons - Auctioneers and Valuers, were to be the new main sponsors of NFFC for the next 12 months. It's been a busy week for Adam Pye, but he was kind enough to give up a couple of hours of his time yesterday, to answer questions from readers of Vital Forest, explain the role of his company with the club and also his thoughts on the 'imminent' takeover of the Reds'. Adam and his family are lifelong supporters of Forest and even fly the Forest flag at full mast when the Reds' are at home from the highest point, above their premises at Shipstones House. Next time you're passing on a matchday, check it out. It's an impressive sight! Thanks to Adam for answering the questions.
KF - Are John Pye and Sons the new owners or part owners of NFFC?
AP - I wish we could afford it, but no, nor would we want to. Running a Football club is not like running any other type business.
KF - Do you have any desire to play a bigger role within the future of NFFC?
AP - You can`t get any bigger than being Forest`s Main Sponsor. Can you? Just being part of Forest and its history is big enough for us.
KF - What is your definition of the word 'imminent?"
AP - I am aware of the debate that word has caused and I stand by it. Imminent means sooner rather than later. We simply believe the sale of NFFC is just round the corner and should be completed in time to aid with the acquisition of playing staff. I believe it`s just a simple matter of dotting the 'I`s and crossing the 'T`s, but wouldn`t surprise me if it was in the next 48 hours or the next 4 weeks.
KF - What is your favourite NFFC memory?
AP - I remember going with my dad (who was one of the original Golden Share Holders), to see us parade our second European Cup victory. However my biggest memory was at my dads' 50th birthday party 1980 at our house with many of the players and staff as guests. I recently found an old photograph of many of those players laughing, joking and celebrating in our front room.
KF - Is there a possibility to extend the sponsorship beyond 1 year?
AP - Our contract with Forest is for 1 year. We were hoping for a minimum of two years, but because of the impending new rules on Financial Fair Play, it`s likely that shirt sponsorship deals in the future, will play a big part of income into clubs. We think this could be up to £7m for most Championship clubs. That is in comparison to the 100`s of thousands it costs on average today to put your name on the Forest shirt and being the main Nottingham Forest club sponsor.
KF - How did the deal come about and what benefits are there for John Pye and Sons?
AP - We approached the club and have been looking at doing something like this for two years. Our family has long standing ties with NFFC and as fans of the club it was not only a desire, it was an easy decision to make. We`re very proud to be associated with Nottingham Forest and hope that in the future we can develop a relationship with the new owners. The club will have carried out their own Due Diligence on us as a company and I can say we also did our own with NFFC and even surrounding the club. I am very pleased to see our name on the front of the shirt. Can you imagine how that feels? We saw many reasons to go into business with NFFC. We took advice from the same people involved in marketing the Premiership and were advised that Nottingham Forest, is in the top 15 most recognised football brands in the UK. That will do no harm at all in raising our company profile and the great stuff we do here. It will also help get our message across and make people aware that John Pye and Sons as a business,of the great gadgets we auction and the type of companies that give these stocks to sell, for major high street retail PLC`s, as well as Government agency work we undertake nationally. We are a local family business, come good and started from very humble beginnings. Since then, we have grown to be one of the leading Auction houses in the UK.
KF - In your interview on EMT, you stated that a takeover is "imminent." Who, or what leads you to believe this and is / was it a factor in your sponsorship deal?
AP - We looked closely into what was happening at NFFC. As I said before, as well as Nottingham Forest carrying out their own Due Diligence on us, we rightly did the same with them. These are historic times for Forest and it`s great to be part of it. We are very careful about the image we have and how it is portrayed. We were delighted that Nottingham Forest decided to go with another Nottingham company and we were very pleased to put our money where our mouth is. All I can say, is that when the takeover is complete, all Forest fans will have very good reason to be happy. I know it`s difficult, but as fans we just have to be patient for a little longer. There are good times ahead!
KF - How do you think Nottingham Forest could improve their commercial activities and create new revenue streams?
AP - Its hard to comment on how the club could improve the revenue, as I have little knowledge of running a commercial football team. I have run Wollaton Sports at junior level for a few years, but that`s completely different.
I suppose as new revenue streams are concerned we need to focus on what we have. We need to look towards our newly developed academy. It`s a brilliant new facility that could be the new breeding ground for new national talent. It`s run by Nick Marshall who took over from Paul Hart and look at what Paul achieved. Nick has solid, passionate youth coaching staff, that seem good and focused at what they do. I went down as part of our due diligence and watched a couple of training sessions. The under 8`s at the moment have a lad called Taylor Anderson (no relation to Paul Anderson) who is every part a future player that could make it as a footballer and be an asset to the club. The under 9`s had an outstanding youngster too by the name of Casper, these are only two of a load of players I saw that could be really big and play a big part in the clubs future. Our academy could be the best in the country and raise serious income.
Other income could come from sponsorship deals, more web based income platforms and competitions with the fans.
The biggest income of course could come from buying young talent in home or foreign markets, developing them for investment and then selling them for a profit. But will this help us get to the Promised Land that is the Premiership? Its an age old debate.
All clubs need to find out what it is that fans want and do their best to deliver. I know it`s difficult with the City Ground, but I would love to see the executive boxes opened up and have the glass removed. It would be even better, if you could go out onto a walkway. The Forest brand is massive and should be used more to sell the club. All clubs could interact more with the fans and have improved communications. Fans should be asked, what it is they want and the clubs should do their best to deliver on that front. We plan to be involved with the fans and will be giving away signed shirts, match day tickets and help in any way we can.
KF - Who are the new owners?
AP - At the moment there isn`t a new owner, not until the dotted line is signed. I`d love to tell you who the interested parties are, battling it out, but I can`t say. I wouldn`t want to be the one responsible for ruining this deal.
KF - Where do you sit at the City Ground?
AP - For many years we`ve sat in either V1 and V2 mainly V2. That`s all set to change of course, but I still hope to be in there for a few games. The atmosphere there is great.
KF - Someone asked me to enquire about a chest of drawers, circa 12th century and made in Kuwait. They`re apparently in mint condition and he wants to know if they are worth more or less than David McGoldrick?
AP - I`m sorry to say that John Pye and Sons do not provide valuations for antiques.