Date:Tuesday September 19 2006
When Mr Doughty took ownership of Forest the club was financially on it's knees. He was immediately saddled with £20M worth of debt, an entire 1st team squad that was on the transfer list and shares in the club had been suspended on the Stock Exchange. His takeover meant the threat of insolvency had been removed and that the club could now move forward.
Fans of the club have a lot to thank Mr Doughty for, as that debt has now been paid off and the very existence and future of the club is secure and solvent. He has continued to bankroll the club and has promised every manager under his stewardship, the necessary funds to carry out their jobs. It would be pointless to rake up the past and say the wrong people were given too much money and that the right people were not, the evidence of that is clear for us all to see.
Four years on and after much misery the club finds itself in the graveyard of English football that is Coca Cola League 1. After a succession of bad managerial appointments it finally looks as though Nottingham Forest have found a man that can guide the club back to where it rightly belongs. Colin Calderwood may not have been the first choice for many fans, but he has won the vast majority of them over and given them genuine reasons for hope. He inherited a side that was not good enough to gain promotion at the first attempt last term and is expected to do what the previous manager couldn't. Forest are currently top of League 1, but fans are concerned that the squad is not strong enough or more to the point good enough to continue this through the season. If it is apparent to the fans, then it is glaringly obvious to the manager that additions have to be made.
Nottingham Forest should be now looking to the future. Promotion from this division is achievable with the squad it has now, but you would raise an eyebrow or two if asked whether it would survive in the Championship. The answer to that would be a resounding NO. Forest should be looking to strengthen the squad at the earliest opportunity, with quality players, not those at the tail end of a not too flattering career, but the hungry, bright young things that can bring real success.
At the recent Fans Forum at The City Ground, it was revealed that season ticket sales were only marginally down on last years. Supporters have shown great faith in the club, as Nigel Doughty has himself. Forests' attendances are hovering just below the 20,000 mark, which is fantastic for any club in our position. This shows the loyalty and commitment of fans and shows they really are serious about promotion. The big question must be, is the club? Mr Doughty has been more than generous in the past and i hope he is again. He should trust Mr Calderwood to do his job and invest in him. We have found out in the past that the quick fix does not work. Giving financial backing to the manager in the fast approaching transfer window, will ensure that he has the tools to do his job.
Nigel Doughty has done more for this club than any other supporeter could ever do, in terms of putting money in from his own pocket. But the fans are going to be holding out the begging bowls any time soon. So Mr Doughty please dig deep. Again.
Date:Tuesday September 19 2006
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