Has anything actually changed?

A bit of time to ponder is a dangerous thing – the proliferation of rumours, names and speculation has been rife since the changes at the City Ground took place.  Odds have shifted on managerial candidates, supposed meetings have taken place with potential technical director types and compensation has been apparently not agreed with certain teams over things.

The managerial appointment is obviously the most pressing and Forest had said immediately that the aim was to resolve this matter before the season restarts for us at Coventry.  A laudable aim, but of course, with the potential for a new chairman and a possible change of structure to allow a director of football or technical director role, maybe they would benefit from this new structure in place in order to select the right candidate to take over the squad.

Despite all this it’s a reflective rather than a speculative mood in which I find myself.  I’m not privy to any inside knowledge and given the myriad of options you could buy into if you read around the rumour pages (also known as internet forums) you’ll bamboozle yourself and have no idea what to think – but I do think the events that have lead us here have created a wonderful smokescreen.

As I noted before, whilst I respect any fellow fan’s right to make their feelings known I don’t think the fairly modest protesting before and after the game had much bearing on events.  Steve McClaren had widely reported (or possibly speculated) to have been on his way for some time, and that wouldn’t surprise me.  Depending on who you believe he had either not been given what he had promised, or he spunked his budget early and had hoped to get more.

Whatever – I don’t think it was something that the events of that afternoon caused, certainly the nature of the game wouldn’t have done anything to lessen his resolve to go.  The mystery of the piece is the undeniably surprising move of Nigel Doughty to step down (albeit not immediately) as chairman, and immediately in terms of taking an active role in the running of the club (with a caveat for existing financial obligations).

After his foray onto Twitter ended rather badly (ending with a Tweet to yours truly of course!), it seemed that many of those who made his stay in cyberspace unbearable turned their attentions to his children – neither of whom, of course, have anything to do with Forest at all.  Even if they did, it’s pretty shameful conduct by a minority of fans.  It would kind of make you, as a father, want to take steps to stop it.

Take steps like step down from active involvement, or at least say you are – because, you see, as far as I can tell not a great deal has changed at Forest.  Mark Arthur remains in place, we already discussed the nonsense of the David Pleat situation.  So all that has really has happened is Pleat has been moved on from a position he hadn’t held for ages, and Doughty has ‘stepped down’ from active involvement but remains our owner.

If I were cynical (okay, so I am cynical) I’d be struggling to see what changed in real terms at the City Ground aside from the manager (which, as it happens, I certainly was in agreement with).  A cunning sword-falling exercise perhaps made the wider world think that the biggest scalp of all had fallen, but I’m not entirely convinced that you can be truly hands-off when the people running the club still ask you for cash.

So what has changed?  We’ll have a new figurehead when the chairman vacancy is filled – depending on who that is (rumours range from the likes of Frank Clark (sublime) right through to Robert Kilroy-Silk (ridiculous).  Certainly something more on the former end of the spectrum would lend a football-focus to our strategy, or perhaps someone with more of a business-focus might address our need to grow revenue given the potential implications of financial fair play.

There’s been speculation of a structural change that might see some kind of technical and/or football director type role created – which, if true, would suggest a business-minded chairman.  Keith Burt being temporarily elevated might imply this direction as would Forest’s apparent courting of Paul Hart who is currently working for Charlton Athletic.

Amidst all the chatter and speculation, and with the usual lack of news aside from supposedly 40 candidates (and some truly terrifying suggestions) who’ve cast their hats into the ring (not to mention the wonderfully soap-operaish suggestion that Nigel Clough might be lured down the A52), it leaves me feeling a bit confused about how much has actually changed at the City Ground.

I can’t help but think that it’s not a lot.  Certainly talk of overthrowing the old regime doesn’t seem right – not that many have done that.  The next week or so promises to be very interesting as Forest seek to make the all important managerial appointment and presumably start to provide greater clarity on what the structure of the club will look like higher up the chain in the boardroom.

(cue ‘sisco‘ posting daily comments about how he’d like to see a certain person sacked! 😆 )

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37 Responses

  1. Maybe I am lacking in the pure paranoia of other nffc conspiracy theorists, but I don’t see what is to be gained from ND feigning a step down. It magnifies the sense of crisis and possibly puts off a few candidates. I tend to go for how it looks on the face of it… Nigel seemed genuinely crest fallen in that fateful Radio Nottingham interview. Someone who has a deep love for the club as a fan, regardless of whether you think he has made the right decisions

  2. I think we are all confused .O’Neil won’t come,Arthur won’t want Keane breathing down his neck,I can’t see Cloughie coming from derby,so who are we left with? Clarke with Pemberton…Yes I’think they would do a good job,or Kevin Mcdonald also. Ince NO !!!
    Vamos a Ver !!

  3. O’Leary a quite bird said….

  4. I love this site ..and long may it continue !
    …..and id like to add ..that MARTHUR ….(GRRRRRRRRRRRRRR !) is still at the helm of our great club ..and while he is , there is never going to be real change , whoever takes the managers role,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, its sad ….but true,,,,,,,,,,,,so whatever happens between now and the (hopeful)removal of MARTHUR AND HIS MUPPETS will be a short cheap solution….oh and thanks to ryanair for continuing a regular flight service from italy…please fly to EMA …..hate that drive from stansted !! uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuureds !!!.

  5. It says on vital forest that frank clark is to be our new chairman. If that’s true its the best news we’ve had in years because that guys a legend in his own right. And as for the manager i’d say McDonald from villa they love him and respect him and he’s just the sort of manager we need right now.

  6. Whichever way you at look at this the whole saga it is a sorry mess.
    Its difficult to fault Doughty for his commitment but his managerial appointments (apart from BD) have been dreadful. Marthur is also useless but he only does what he is told and while Doughty is involved he is unlikely to be moved on. I hope Frank Clark is made the new chairman it would be a significant move in the right direction, although we have to move on its painfully sad we were in the top 6 for the last 2 years and now we will all be glad to survive in this division, Mclaren was never going to work at Forest, I hope he moves on to something more suitable as he seems an honest and genuine man.
    As with any managerial appointment it is hugely important to get it right, for Forest it is critical now, Martin O Neil would be the perfect solution but sadly I cant see this happening, as for the rest who knows but please no Ince, Jones, or Shearer (another Platt type unproven ex England player) and the like.

  7. You’ve been quite this last week, was eagerly awaiting your thoughts, especiallly after the non committal post match reaction. I was pretty much of the opinion that not much has changed, ND couldn’t wait for FFP to kick in, seemed this season’s budget had already been blown but a hapless and unpopular manager has gone!

    Btw, some insightful comments on BBC football, some joker going by the name of ‘Ryan Brice’????

  8. […] the original post on Through the seasons before […]

  9. Great post as ever, NFFC. But what I’d really like to know is who you think would be the best manager for us at the moment, in a purely subjective sense. And as much as i agree that not a lot seems to have changed, if Frank Clark came in as Chairman, he could move the club in a different direction. He could also inspire the board to sack Marthur (not just sisco).

    As for managers, PLEASE NO TO INCE, JONES, KEANE and as much as it pains me to say it O’NEILL. Ince is sh*te, Jones is a tw*t, Keane is full of himself and doesn’t know how to manager a team, especially like at Ipswich when he said nobody was good enough (forgive me if I’m wrong, but aren’t managers supposed to inspire, not put down?) and O’Neill’s ambitions will not be met by the club. He could realistically take over from Sir Alex when he retires, why get him in at Forest.

    Personally, a choice of Robbins, Robinson or Robertson, In fact anybody whose surname begins with R would be fine. Oh yes, and Pemberton to lead the academy again.

    • Difficult one. O’Neill had ambitions at Villa, perhaps with a realistic idea of what he had to work with he could be kept happy here – who knows? He certainly didn’t spend a fortune when he did well at Leicester.

      I don’t really have strong feelings for many of the candidates offered – perhaps the MK Dons boss looks most tempting, but I understand he’s already put himself out of the running. I expect to be underwhelmed/disappointed with the eventual news, but will of course give my backing to whichever unlucky soul gets the job.

  10. Sammy Clingan for manager?

  11. Nice one Pachuca Red……if Frank Clark does come in….which would be excellent…….lets hope he gets enough momentum to remove …..YOU KNOW WHO ! …then our club will be moving in the right direction……at long last !
    …..uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuureds !!!!!!!

  12. Who ever the next manager is,and lets be honest no one has a clue (even the bookies) it won’t be to everyone’s liking.But we must get behind them who ever it is (as long as it’s not Paul Ince).

  13. Wow! It’s looking like agreement is breaking out, mainly in the universal dislike in the thought of Ince rocking up Trentside. And sisco is know refering to a certain someone much like Voldermort, excellent.

    I’d like MO’N, but much like the recent few posters, think that he’d probably want a war chest. I would be nice to see him take it on though, he’s certainly the only Clough-era graduate I’d like to see in charge.

    As for a, therefore, more realistic appointment.. Ryan Brice. He seems to know what he’s talking about.

  14. Just a thought,come Saturday we could still be without a manager and have Paul Smith in goal (omg).

  15. I have to say the last two weeks have left me almost indifferent to what they ‘cook up’ next off the field.

    The players who have escaped most of the criticism in all of this need to take responsibility , manager less /chairman less makes no difference come Saturday …… they better turn up cos there is no one else to blame

  16. I feel quite numb at the minute regarding my beloved Forest I think this is one of the lowest points for me as a fan in 33yrs.Because I realize that the future looks very bleak for us Dave Basset was on Talksport and said very openly that until Mark Arthur is CE at the reds we are going nowhere.

    Sad sad days we have stumbled from one disaster to another and I expect us to become another Coventry floating around the league lost.

    A very low redric

  17. Ive got it ! what about a dream team of Russel Grant & Robbie Savage they cant do any worse than the previous managers.

    Can they ?

    • The fact I had to google to find out why on earth you’d link those two people has made me profoundly disappointed in you, Ric!

  18. Think someone should be a petition for the club to be open & honest with the fans.

    Let’s try and get on the same side.

  19. I’d like to see us appoint someone with a proven record at a lower level. Someone who has won promotions or a cup and has been a success. The chap that has got Exeter promoted twice sounds like a very good contender. The chap at MK Dons might be ok but sounds a bit too young and a bit too scouse for my liking!

    It should also be someone that will actually give our young players a chance. I read on the OS about all the young players we have had representing international u-19 teams this week which is really great news for our future but their progression through to the first team needs managing very carefully.

  20. well , another day passed …so another one arrives …with even more names cropping up ..like Mike bassett …lol….Ricky Tomlinson ..ermm an interesting one ..i liked his biography ! the pressure is mounting …but in reality…. who would want to join us in this dodgy position…??? the real culprit must have lost his sword !! ….ive got plenty here MARTHUR !….and im sure that if he did ……….fall on it…. ..id push him myself !! …M O’N would come …a clever business deal with the club could be struck …and just imagine the financial impact he would have …bums on seats etc. …this would be the real way forward in my opinion….just imagine another 2-3000 supporters revenue creation that appointment would make…..just another thought mind !!

  21. my biggest issue is with the players. I think they have got off very lightly from this saga. We will never know for sure what goes on but i cannot help feeling they have cheated us, McClaren and the club. I think we have been here before with megson. My concern is if they do not like the new manager then what happens then ? Managing Forest with pain in the ass footballers and marthuur must be a tough gig. Good luck to the next poor sod !!!

  22. Has anyone got an idea when an announcement will be made on the new manager? This week,next week, xmas, new year? Seems a long time coming, getting fed up looking on the sites/forums for any news.Like Red Ric a bit fed up.

  23. I can’t believe Forest have been linked with Steve Cotterill, let alone actually interviewed him. He’s sh*te!!!! Portsmouth are in a slightly worse position than us, i.e. no money to spend on players (but Forest have a much better team than them, at the moment at least). But all he has done so far is complain about how tough it was to manage Portsmouth. Why the f*ck would Forest go for another manager who complains about every little thing in the club. We need someone who can accept the status quo and see the opportunities that exist, not someone who will only be happy upset the apple cart more than it is already. For f*cks sake Forest, Wake UP!!!!!

  24. On the subject of Steve catterick, when he left couwnty didn’t he go to Pompey cos he wanted to be near his family? So now its ok to come back and work in Nottingham!! In other words why are we entertaining the f***wit?? If he comes I won’t be going until he leaves………infact I might just go to sleep and wake up in a years time and find everything in the garden is rosey????????But I doubt it!

    Herewegoagain:

    “Think someone should be a petition for the club to be open & honest with the fans” Why not you…..take responsibility!

  25. Yea the Mrs watches strictly sometimes and thats where I saw those 2 its quite a random pair but it might work ????

    Russell and LIlly for the vacant post imagine the halftime gee up from those 2.????

    U reds

  26. Cotterill, Robins or Macdonald are apparently the shortlist of 3 being interviewed according to the BBC.

    RE Cotterill I agree with Pachuca. He’s gonna get Pompey relegated and Forest want him? He moved from Nottingham to Portsmouth to be near his family and now he’s being interviewed for a job in Nottingham? That stinks to me. He’s clearly got no principles and wants to jump ship cos its going a bit pear shaped. No thanks.

    I don’t know which one I’d pick. Robbins is young and hungry and used to dealing with what he’s got but he is another one not afraid to question the board so in all likelihood we won’t go for him. That leaves Macdonald who by all accounts is a bit of a ditherer. Which we definitely don’t need.

    It makes you wonder what BD did to ND, because if we’d of just stuck with him there would be nowhere near this much crap to deal with. It would of been the ‘simple’ task of building a football team for another promotion tilt.

  27. absolutely well said AD_BC ….Pachuca …..doesnt it make you really wonder !!! …..Dear Ed ,…..could you please email all our comments to the DIK ED at NFFC ….CUS HES IN ANOTHER FIKIN WORLD !!….

  28. So it looks like Mark Arthur football supremo and dynamic public relations guru is going to appoint Steve Cotterill as the next man on the merry go round.

    Steve of course is known for his development of teams to play attractive football and lower league pizzaz NOT ! .Gee wizz if you were a Forest player what on earth would be going through your head ?

    I will tell you….. GET ME THE HELL OUT OF HERE BEFORE THIS MESS ENDS UP IN LEAGUE 1 COS THATS WHERE ITS HEADING.

    The Forest fans have been fleeced big time many who invest lots of time and energy into the club plus well earned cash.Dwindiling gates and apathy are going to be on the menu billy davis must be sore from the amount of laughter that has reverberating around his body.

    Nigel Doughty & Mark Arthur have made a complete mess of Nottingham Forest I hold them both responsible.

  29. I must be in a minority of one who’d welcome Cotterill then!! For me he has vast experience at this level, always impressed me @ Notts as a winner and a good communicator, and this is the job that will ‘move’ his career along. His job at Pompey is/was ny on impossible and makes Forest look like a walk in the park. In relation to long-ball I’m sure he’ll adapt the playing-style to the set of player’s he’s got, and for all you purists out there: enjoy the ‘total football’ under McClaren?
    Indeed; I went against popular opinion with Billy and will do so again with Steve should he be appointed. You Reds!!

  30. I hear you Graham and you always post good comments I am quite grumpy at the minute regarding the mess ND & MA have got the club into.Primarily the sacking of billy. They just couldnt see it could they we were so close to the big time and now its going to be mid table obscurity or worse .

    I live in hope that some investors see us as a sleeping giant and come in with a rescue package ……….?

    U reds

  31. I agree to some extent Red Ric & was as gutted as you about Billy and the inefficiency of Arthur has been on my radar for a very long-time… However, the appointment of Cotterill should it happen is not too dissimilar to that of Billy; only he’ll be 100% aware of the finances available after the debacle of the last eighteen months. I just think he has a great deal more experience than most of the candidates, will hit the ground running due to managing at this level, and strikes me as being ruthlessly ambitious and pretty tough to get the best out of the ‘precious’ squad we seem to have- just like the wee man himself!!

  32. Hopefully the wait for news is a sign of a proper thoughtful recruitment and restructuring process, rather than the usual cluelessness. Like most people, I’m underwhelmed by everyone on the apparent shortlist: MacDonald might have done a good job with the youth but is completely unproven as a manager; Cotterill did great at Notts and Cheltenham but his Championship record is very average; Robins I guess would be my favourite of the three but he’s not won a thing yet.

    On the other hand, I was completely wrong about BD: gutted when we hired him but, like most of us, I grew to love him. Sniff.

    I don’t quite see though why it would be OK to pay £300k for Cotterill but not £500k for Hart. If we really think Harty’s the answer, he should be worth paying a little extra for.

  33. …well ..if that man cotterollocks comes ..this is what weve got to look forward to……….he’s put his own squad together this season with a fair budget but still continues to play top players out of position and poor tactics – especially hoof-football.,,,,,,,,,,,Pottey Cottey’s team he doesn’t seem to know where 3 of them are meant to play………brilliant MARTHUR !!! if it did happen ..feel davies could go to pompey …if it does ..watch em climb the table …..KING BILLYS THE MAN !! but it wont happen while the muppets there ……………

  34. 45 today just watched forest european champion again, flowing football, coterille long ball bollocks, MARTHUR OUT MARTHUR OUT MARTHUR OUT

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