Are the Reds to be torn by tantrums?

It’s quite ironic that I just finished reading an account of two men who always seemed to struggle to get on with football directors and chairman.  Because we seem to be having a bit of history repeating itself on that score at the moment at the City Ground, with Billy spouting off in the press following the sale of James Perch to Newcastle purportedly behind his back.

Forest immediately released a statement to suggest this patently wasn’t true and that Wee Billy was informed throughout.  An interesting way for us fans to be kept up to date, as for who is right – I don’t suppose we’ll ever know – but the rumours coming from the City Ground suggest that his outburst has cost the manager a written warning for his trouble.

Obviously back in the days of Brian Clough and Peter Taylor the job of football management was somewhat different, they certainly didn’t have transfer acquisition panels – and indeed, if reports are to be believed had players signed, sealed and paid for without necessarily informing the board.  Whilst they make for charming stories, managers can’t really act like that these days.

I can understand Billy’s frustration – obviously his job is to deliver results and build a winning squad, a principle way to do that is to

  • (a) move players on who don’t fit his plans (preferably for a fee)
  • (b) sign players to fill gaps in the squad and
  • (c) develop the existing players.

We’ve known for a while Billy doesn’t have full control of (b), but if (a) is going on without his knowledge then it’s not surprising he’s getting a bit testy.  He’s judged on results, and certainly – as things stand – he’s going to be left with a squad considerably weaker than last seasons given injuries, lack of some of our loanees and the sale of Perch.

I’m not sure whose side of the story to believe, but suggestion of unrest is bound to cause the fans to feel unsettled.  It would be typical Forest to round off what was a tremendous season with something stupid – let’s face it, historically we’ve been very good at that.  Certainly the communication from the board at Forest has always been appalling, but their clumsy press statement almost smacks at some kind of rushed truth.

Anyway, certainly I’m not reading all that much in to it – let’s face it, Billy’s been making splashes since he arrived – and if it gets things done, then that’s good.  The ambition of delivering on the pitch, and that of ensuring the books balance are never going to be in harmonious accord for, well, any of the time realistically.  Maybe a bit of tension in those relationships is a good thing.

In nicer news, the Reds won their first friendly in Portugal 2-1 this evening thanks to goals from Earnie and Thornhill.  Forest lined up with Camp, Gunter, Wilson, Chambers, Cohen, McCleary, McKenna, Thornhill, Anderson, Earnshaw and Garner for the match against S.C. Olhanense in the Algarve, taking a 2-0 half time lead before conceding a second half consolation goal.

The Reds fly back to England on Monday where their domestic pre-season games start in earnest, and hopefully the Forest board and management team can settle whatever differences they may or may not have and get their arses into gear and get some bloody signings made!

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14 Responses

  1. in my opinion the solution is to confirm Marthurs job responsibilities , which are
    a) to make sure the pies are hot
    b) to make sure the season tickets are printed and sent out on time
    c) to doublecheck a)

    I think at job review time it should become clear who is doing the better job and back Billy to the hilt !

  2. […] The ever-excellent NFFCblog on the tantrums at the City Ground. […]

  3. Mmmm good article nffc I wondered when you put pen tp paper on this.I watched an interview on forest world after this issue and watched it 3 times.

    Wee billys body language spoke volumes there are issues no doubt about that.He seems to be playing the good boy but he clearly doesnt see eye to eye with them.

    Thats not good for us or the club ,a good friend of mine well versed in the football world doesn`t think Davis will still be forest manager in December.

    They are as a board very slow of the mark and seem to dither and dather and thats why we are still in the CCC.I agree with Davis we are not strong enough as a side to go up next season not robust enough.

    Things seem strained where im standing.

    U reds

  4. English clubs are still in the dark ages when it comes to the manager being responsible for all signings and the welfare of the football side of the club. I for one am glad that we have multiple checks and balances when looking at new players and selling ones that are past it. If Billy wants to work in the 1980s then I am sure there are plenty of clubs willing to operate that way that will make him happy.

  5. I agree with Storrync. A great manager could possibly not be a great players judge. Mourinho is a great example of this: last summer he asked Internazionale to buy Deco and Carvalho (showing that even a football genius can be bound to past glory), and Inter director answered: “nope, Jose. We will go for Sneijder and Lucio. Trust us”. I think he was right.

    On the other side, in order to have effective “multiple checking” system in transfer market, board and directors must be solid with manager, bound with reciprocal trust. If director thinks that manager is a foolish spender, and manager thinks that director is a sort of handbrake for team’s ambitions, the multiple checking sistem does not work at all.

  6. Whatever is going on, any negative comment in the media at this stage in the season will always cause more harm than good, so Billy is completely wrong to be whining already.

    If, come the end of the window, we have lost more players than we’ve brought in, then that might be an understandable gripe to air.

    I like Billy’s outspoken style but he has made mistakes in the past and this is one. The fact that he was disappointed when the board failed to sign Gareth Bale in January speaks volumes about how out of whack his thermostat can get.

  7. There will be 2 sides to the story and as NFFC says we will never know the truth.
    Surely the roles and responsibilities of the manager should be clear and upfront before Billy took the job.
    If he was told he would have control of transfers he has been badly let down. If he was told the transfer committee or panel (or whatever ridiculous name they have) , would be in charge then he has to get on with it. However I do have a lot of sympathy for the manager because for whatever reason this transfer panel does not work.
    In January last year we were badly let down and Billy Davies’s exact words and predictions were spot on.
    The squad was not big enough, we played the semi final play off with a midfield which was unft and totally ‘knackerd’ in Cohen and Mckenna (not their fault) and we had a player out of position at left back and the opposition totally capitalised on this weakness.( again not Perch’s fault and I wish him all the best for the future)
    So who knows what is happening but I wish it would get sorted NOW as I fear we will ruin the great work and foundations from last season. Hopefully not deja vu when Paul Hart was not backed following our play off defeat.

  8. The best thing that we could hope to hear is Billy saying he’s been through the plans of who to get / when and how much to bid, and he’s got confidence in them. Why is that so hard?

    The Acquisitions commitee’s track record over the last year started well enough but failed when it counted, and has yet to deliver this summer.

    Having said all that, we need to get the right players and not go for panic buys. (Boyd being a good example of someone who looked good on paper / statistics but didn’t make the grade or fit the style)

    With Shorey having stalled and looked around for other takers for a while now, I think it is probably, sadly, time to move on. Shame as we had our best period of the season with him in the team.

    I hope the Acquisition Panel can be bold and get things done. Sometimes you have to pay a little over the odds but fortune favours the brave. A visibly hesitant board is the worst advert for attracting new talent.

    This league is no picnic, even with the Toon and Baggies gone – so let’s get cracking Mr Pleat et al. Show us you are worth what you are paid for!

  9. And as every derby fan will tell you its just more Billy spin. He said all the same things at derby. Ditto preston. He is a good manager and he does know the score. Get on with it Billy and stop using the press as your mouthpiece.

  10. Another great article pal!

    I’m glad a comparison was made to the late, great Clough. I myself have felt that Billy was built in a similar mould to ‘Old Big Head’ for a while. Sure he’ll never match the great man’s achievements, but he does has a tendency to say things for effect. What effect is anyone’s guess.

    All in all, I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels the board should just bestow more responsibility onto Billy. After all he’s proven, so far at least, that he won’t David Platt the money away.

  11. The facts are we will never fully know the truth when it comes to Billy and acquisition commitee but I cant help but think under the present administration Brian Clough would not have lasted five minutes at Forest. He would not have tolerated the performance of the acquisition commitee in failing to get the players he required or being called a liar publicly. A sporting body whether it be football or any other sport is only as good as its front office which includes the Chairman, CEO, Manager right down to the tea lady. The truth is Forest have a bit of work to do before they will be ready for promotion. It takes more than having good players to be succesful

  12. I’m afraid we have to accept that if we want Billy, then these occasional moans are part of the package.

    If he has received a written warning then you can rest assured he telling porkies. You don’t tend to get them for telling the truth.

    The club is backed financially to the tune of £5m a year to break even. In this case if you were ND would you allow any manager complete control of the purse strings. I would not.

    The moans about transfers from fans is frustration and I understand this. However, the club has a budget and I am reliably informed both Shorey and Pratley are asking for money which exceeds what the club can afford. We are therefore looking elsewhere whilst keeoing an eye on ehat happens. If no-one else is prepared to pay them the silly money they want then presumably sanity will come in back and we will be back in for them.

    As for perch. Would anyone not accept that £2m was a good piece of footballing business at a club which has to balance the books.

    fans need to realise the days of equality in footballing circles are well gone. We are so lucky we have a rich man at the helm who is a supporter, without him I hate to think were we would be.

  13. All i know is 800+ pounds have left my bank account for the bank account of Nottingham Forest ,i think me and many other season ticket holders are not to impressed with the backing BILLY is getting from the board once again,i am still waiting for the 5 year plan………..

  14. Excellent well written post, Forest must add more depth to the squad this season, they were lucky last season that all key players when through the season almost injury free, if there not lucky again it could damage the whole season and yet another year in the championship.

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