Blue Monday For The Reds' New Order?
In an open, honest and frank interview on a Radio Nottingham fans phone in, Stuart Pearce confirmed that the decision to sell Karl Darlow and Jamaal Lascelles had been taken against his advice.
Alan Pardew's Newcastle made their approach last week, with the reported fees ranging from £5m - £7m for the pair, a price tag that Pearce believes is below the value that the players could have realised.
As a result, he advised the club's heirarchy that the approach be suitably rebuffed and thus, he was unaware of the deal being sanctioned until Lascelles advised him that he was off to Newcastle for a medical.
In recent interviews, Forest had stated that they were under no pressure to sell any of their prized assets - so the decision to cash in on 2 of the clubs brightest prospects and graduates of the Forest academy - seems strange.
The fact that Pearce was unaware of the decision to sell, against his wishes, is even more alarming, especially when he was quoted as saying that he would only sell a player if the price was right and that the monies could be re-invested on a player the following day.
The silver lining appears to be that Forest will get both players back on loan for the season, whilst also bringing in cash to the club - which, won't be too bad IF those funds are reinvested into adding to the playing staff. It also allows a year for replacements to be found or for the likes of Evtimov, Laing & Riera to realise their own potential.
Without full knowledge of the rationale behind the decision, it's easy (as a fan listening intently) to think that Pearce has had the rug pulled from under him only a few days before the new season starts.
With rumours of unpaid debts mounting, regular appearances in the Court to face Winding Up Order petitions and the spectre of Financial Fair Play looming - it's difficult not to be concerned that we are cashing in now, to plug a gap in the club's finances.
With no shortage of integrity, Pearce will have further enhanced his standing with supporters, as he maintained a calm, dignified and reassuring tone in his responses to the questions being raised by concerned supporters.
The Reds legend did confirm that he had been backed financially in the deals to sign players that he had recommended, at a suitable cost to the club, to date during pre-season - but, added that he would be seeking to understand the club's finances in greater depth, following the decision to sell Darlow and Lascelles.
With doubts also surrounding the future of Henri Lansbury, who has been offered a new contract, amid rumours of interest from the likes of Fulham, QPR, Wigan and Burnley - the build up to the new season has taken a low blow.
As yet, there is no official confirmation that the deal has been concluded with Newcastle for the pair, although that would appear a formality.
Forest's Chairman & Owner, Fawaz Al Hasawi has confirmed via Twitter that he will issue an explanatory statement on Tuesday - so, perhaps it's best to save further judgement until then.
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