Writer: Kev Finnegan
Date:Tuesday February 5 2013
July 2012 was a momentous month in the history of Nottingham Forest Football Club and a time when tens of thousands of Forest fans were filled with a renewed sense of faith and hope, when they welcomed the Al-Hasawi family into their hearts, with the fervent and passionate belief that 13 years of torment and heartache were over. Without the intervention and takeover of NFFC by the Al-Hasawi family, the very name and existence of this once great club was in real and serious danger of being lost forever. Supporters of Nottingham Forest were truly grateful and thankful that the Al-Hasawi`s came to the rescue of the club and saved us.
The Al-Hasawi`s were welcomed by cheering voices and open arms on the day the takeover of NFFC became official. Many turned up to catch a glimpse and welcome them at the Press Conference and some were even lucky enough to meet them in an unprecedented meet and greet at the ground afterwards. The Al-Hasawi`s to their credit hit the ground running and the feel good factor lived on right up until well after the season began, as the family invested in assembling an entirely new squad and in double quick time. Some impressive names were brought in, including Billy Sharp and Henri Lansbury. Results were unpredictable, but the vast majority of fans knew it was going to take time and that "Rome wasn't built in a day." Things were bouncing along quite nicely. Progress was definitely being made, despite one or two mildly embarrassing press articles about unpaid bills and financial oversights. All in all, it was a bright new era, with a promising and exciting future for the good ship Nottingham Forest.
What has happened since December 26, is nothing short of a series of car crashes, that has brought the good name and reputation of NFFC into question. Two managers have been relieved of their jobs (admittedly one by mutual consent) and the behaviour of the club during the January transfer window, with particular regard to the George Boyd affair, was nothing short of disgraceful. If appointing Sean O`Driscoll was a mistake, sacking him at the time you did was a bigger one. The appointment of his successor, Alex McLeish was questioned by many fans at the time, but it appears like your predecessor Nigel Doughty, you sold a manager a pup. That roughly translates in cruder terms, as you promised Alex McLeish things you were not prepared or couldn't deliver, in much the same way as Nigel Doughty did with Steve McLaren.
I will give you (Mr. Fawaz Al-Hasawi), enormous credit for the statement you have made on the NFFC official site tonight. I find it quite heartening and indeed refreshing to hear a man admit that he has made mistakes. Like the majority of fair minded people, I think you deserve credit for that and should be given the time and respect to rectify those mistakes. You will get that, because the fans of Nottingham Forest are waiting, hoping and praying that you can achieve the goals you set yourself on the day you took control of our club. Success in any walk of life can not be bought or guaranteed, not even in the instantly demanding of success and glory world of football. This club needed rebuilding and that is something I think from your comments tonight you now realise. If you had sought the advice of some of the people already in place at the club when you first came in, that is perhaps one of the first things they would have told you. Instead, you sought to remove a person who could have been your greatest ally and friend at the time you most needed one. Frank Clark.
It was always expected and probably necessary for you to bring in your own people. People you know and trust. People you know who can do their job and do it well. In removing Frank Clark, a man held in the highest regard throughout the game, you lost a valuable and essential cog in the wheel of NFFC. His phonebook probably has access to some of the most influential and important figures in English football. He is a well respected figure himself and is held in high regard by those in authority within the Football League. He is also one of very few people who could be genuinely classed as a Nottingham Forest legend. The treatment and total disrespect you have shown for this man, is again, nothing short of disgraceful. As I`m sure you are well aware, Mark Arthur was always seen, whether it be rightly or wrongly, as a hate figure by most fans. There`s no denying he was part of this clubs demise, but even he deserved some sort of acknowledgement at the time he was dismissed. The same and maybe to a lesser extent, could be said for former head coaching and recruitment Keith Burt.
Those three figures could be described as collateral damage, but no matter what they did in the past, their dismissals deserved at least a passing acknowledgement on the official site. To this day, there has been none.
You need friends Mr. Al-Hasawi and you can never have enough. You could do a lot worse than reappoint Frank Clark to a position of worth and one that could ultimately benefit you and more to the point, benefit NFFC. He is the man at this precise moment in time, who could best advise you in the next managerial appointment you make. You have to get it right this time. You can not afford to make the same mistake again. Making the right appointment now, will ensure we not only manage to stay in this division this season, we might be able to improve on it next. Who knows, we might even fluke into the Playoffs, but you`d have to appoint a certain Mr. Billy Davies to do that.
We all wish you the best of luck Mr. Al-Hasawi. We all really want you to succeed.
Date:Tuesday February 5 2013
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