Can Nottingham Forest Join The Elite?
For the past year, with all the discussion regarding wealth and it`s links with success, many people have questioned Forest`s rights and abilities to join that select group of clubs that currently include teams from London, Manchester and Liverpool. If you`re not presently included, how do you get included? What are the qualifications and is it even possible for "unfashionable" clubs to break through?
When Fawaz talks about adding a third star we talk about it like it`s a dream. Some of us acknowledge that anything is possible, others write it off as something we can never aspire to, so I thought about this, and asked myself, what makes these clubs "fashionable" and part of what could be called the elite?
I suppose you could instantly say wealth, history and talent. In my view, there is a big difference between achieving success, which comes and goes, and being a member of the elite.
I don`t think anyone can doubt that Man Utd have all three in abundance, but what about the others?
Where were Chelsea 30 years ago? Prior to Abramovich I can only recall one FA Cup win for them to shout about. Their success came after their wealth. Arsenal and Spurs go through periods of being above average, but below elite status. Man City were dormant for years before their sugar daddy arrived. They've even been where we are now.
Traditionally, the elite clubs have also been the best supported clubs, as that was linked to wealth, but with the introduction of television money and billionaire owners, gate receipts have become less important, otherwise the Wigan's of this world would not have even got close to flirting with success. Attendances are now more important as motivation for players and an attachment to the community, and less important as income. Sponsors now seem more important than bums on seats. Recent events surrounding away support at the CG tend to support this argument.
So, can we break through? We've had our flirtation with success and it could be argued that winning those two stars gives us history, otherwise why even bother with the stars on the badge? EUFA obviously believes they mean something special. Pre-Abramovich Chelsea were well behind us in stature and their main claim to fame was their 'West End' location, which is probably what drew Abramovich to them in the first place.
If, and it`s a big IF, our new owner is as minted as suggested by what has been said and by what we've seen via our Natalie, then surely anything is possible. The only concern, and it`s a concern every club with a wealthy owner has, is that they may walk away. If Fawaz is as genuine as he claims, that possibility is less likely, certainly in the short term.
For now I think I`ll just enjoy the ride. I see no reason not to dream. Whether those dreams come true or not is out of my hands.
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