Nottingham Forest Forum - 8th. February 1979
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8th. February 1979
08 February 2018 07:50 Post ID: #999895
Monthly Contract

39 Years Ago - On this Day!!!!!

Million pound man Trevor Francis joins Nottingham Forest.

At Birmingham, Francis had gained something of a reputation for himself as a tricky, attacking midfielder, attracting attention from a number of top sides in the process. So when The Blues revealed they were willing to listen to offers for their star player, Old Big ‘ead jumped at the chance.

On the 9th of February, 1979 Francis was officially unveiled to the waiting members of the press in Nottingham, at what was to be one of the more bizarre press conferences ever seen.

Having been playing squash across the road Clough turned up typically late in his sporting attire telling the frustrated press pack who had been patiently waiting some time: “I’m in charge here and don’t you forget it.”

And it wasn’t just Clough’s passion for squash that held the deal up; the transfer almost never went through due to a clause in Francis’s contract that would also allow him to play in the North American Soccer League in the summer months.

Not only was Francis about to become the most expensive player in British history, but he also wanted to “moonlight” in America while the rest of his team-mates lay on the beach.

Clough eventually gave into his demands and Francis signed a deal which saw him receive a £45,000 signing-on fee, while also receiving £80,000 from American club Detroit Express to play for them in the closed season.

In his first season with Forest Francis scored six goals in 20 games as they set-about conquering Europe, though Francis would have to wait until the semi-finals of the competition having been ineligible to play in the earlier rounds.

But he quickly made up for his absence scoring the only goal in the final as Forest defeated Swedish champions Malmo in Munich to seal one of the greatest achievements ever by a side who were playing in English football’s second tier just two seasons before.

Sadly that was about as good as it got for Francis at The City Ground. The following season Forest dominated on the continent once again and astonishingly went on to defend the European Cup, but despite scoring in the quarter and semi-finals Francis missed the final win over Kevin Keegan’s Hamburg due to an ankle injury which would plague the rest of his career.

Francis ended his days at Forest with 28 goals from 70 games and in 1981, the man who had been at the centre of the most high-profile transfer of the time, was about to make the headlines once again when he signed for Manchester City in a £1.2million move.

It’s probably a little unfair to say that Trevor Francis changed the transfer market forever on February 9, 1979 and if anything he was simply a highly valued commodity in something of a power struggle between two football clubs.

Even so, if nothing else the move ensured that the footballing world would quickly get used to multi-million pound transfers and if anything become immune to such eye-watering figures that we have seen in the years since as, rather than play them down like Clough, clubs openly boast about the fees they have paid.

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08 February 2018 09:45 Post ID: #999899 - in reply to #999895
Fans Favourite
More fake news!

Football was not officially invented until 1992
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08 February 2018 10:52 Post ID: #999905 - in reply to #999895
Fans Favourite
It was 999,999 pounds too, not a million as widely reported by the Fake News Media! Fascists!
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08 February 2018 15:06 Post ID: #999931 - in reply to #999895
Nottingham Forest Legend
and when i really became a forest fan despite being brought up by blue noses - The red sheep o the family :)

I couldnt afford to go tho so I bought my first season ticket at Villa which was easy to get to as a kid - I think it was about 40 pounds and included European cup games which o course they went on to win- A spoiled start and maybe why Im so bitter at times the last 20 seasons :) and now both clubs fighting or the same prize again lol
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08 February 2018 22:19 Post ID: #999984 - in reply to #999895
Experienced Pro
He was good, but for the money we paid for him, I didn't think he ever reproduced his Birmingham form here. Still we got a £1.2 million when we sold him, and Man City lost out on him, as he was generally injured there. Missed quite a lot of time for us too.
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