The takeover that’s been rumoured for what feels like aeons is finally subject to official announcements. Whilst it is now confirmed that the interested party is indeed from Kuwait (despite the strange repeated insistence that it wasn’t from the Nottingham Post!) and Messrs. Fawaz, Abdulaziz and Omar Al-Hasawi are now the only horse currently in the running – completing due diligence and fit and proper persons type things.
Of course, this announcement is most welcome – and whilst it has stemmed a degree of the rumour mongering, and arguments about who ‘called’ it, it also will spiral all manner of other dubious stories, which I intend to ignore as I did with the takeover rumours until we got some new news. Reading the statement from our new would-be owners they sound ambitious, and the coming weeks promise to be a very interesting time.
I feel rather mixed about it – obviously the uncertainty doesn’t help matters – but mostly I am relieved that we have definite interest, as clearly the Doughty Estate (quite understandably) clearly didn’t want the club as a going concern. The origin of our ownership doesn’t worry me – whether it be local, English, Kuwaiti or whatever else – it’s fairly irrelevant, what is of course more of a worry would be the style of this new regime.
We have a few examples of new investors over recent years – Manchester City of course being the most auspicious and finally delivering the Premier League title with their huge investment. Then we have smaller examples with pretense of ostentatiousness – Cardiff City spending money they didn’t have and getting away with it, Leicester City spunking money left, right and centre on anything that moved and ultimately failing.
Perhaps something more like the latter QPR model is the middle ground – an initial period of turbulence eventually settled into a sensible strategy that ultimately delivered promotion, Southampton is another example of shrewd and not over-the-top investment delivering sustainable results over a period of time. Then of course you have clubs who didn’t have big-money takeovers performing excellently – Swansea, Norwich, Blackpool (at times).
I hope these are the inspirations that our new leadership will aspire to, rather than getting a cash hoover like Sven Goran Eriksson in to deliver nothing but chaos and a massive over-spend. At this stage it doesn’t seem appropriate to speculate on the future of – well – pretty much anybody from Frank Clark down to Terry the Kitman. So I won’t – I’m not going to enter into all that nonsense and will just comment on news as it happens.
Of course, it could prove to be incredibly exciting. I must confess to feeling somewhat jaded with the nature of modern football, and well, the sickening amount of money involved to be successful is still something that sits most uncomfortably with me – however, like any fickle football fan, I would of course dearly love to be able to witness some sustainable success for Forest – and the only way that would be achievable would be by spending.
This news, combined with the likely confirmation that the deal is done, should hopefully be enough to push those of you still teetering on the brink of renewing into getting your mitts on a season ticket and we can all get down to the City Ground to witness the dawning of a new era. Whatever your feelings on the regime of the last decade-and-a-bit, certainly I don’t think it’s an unreasonable argument to suggest that we needed a change at the top.
Of course, we all wish that this takeover was prompted by a less tragic catalyst – and it would seem that through his last wishes Nigel Doughty has done one last service for a club he dearly wanted to elevate back to the big time, by ensuring the people and processes were in place to hopefully have performed the necessary due diligence in both directions to ensure that Nottingham Forest remains in the hands of people who will endeavour to do their best for it.
And hopefully actually be, y’know, quite good at delivering that intent. Interesting times ahead, I think the blog might be reawakening from its’ traditional summer slumbers. In Fawaz Al-Hasawi there’s a definite football passion, which could go one of two ways – but the early silver lining is he was also linked with a takeover at Leeds, so it’s annoyed them it was the Reds he was after all this time.
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