As seems to be the way, things happen at Forest when I’m away from home and much of my technology – so I’m going to be brief as blogging by phone isn’t the most fun thing in the world, plus unlike Nottingham it’s not raining incessantly where I am so I’m hoping to enjoy the weather a bit as well!
With a flurry of Twitter activity Fawaz Al Hasawi confirmed that he and his family had concluded their deal to take over Forest – and, it’s fair to says there was much rejoicing. Given the length of time this has been speculated about, it was cathartic as much as anything. After all, we know now it’s happened, but we don’t know much else.
Of course, we know the identity of our new owner – so perhaps aren’t quite in the position of ignorance Notts County were in with the Munto Finance saga – and we know he’s a wealthy man. Then again, so are Derby’s owners and they just sold their best defender for a fairly meagre profit. I am glad of the news, but am not planning on getting too carried away.
That said, Al Hasawi does make the right noises – he talks of recognising the past but building a future, of engaging with supporters (he might regret that when he sees our capacity for bickering!) and, above all, seems genuinely excited the deal has gone through – a football fan, the kind of guy that tweets a picture of his kids in Forest kits upon the deal becoming official. Even his wife has been conversing with Reds fans on Twitter.
Early exchanges have been pleasant, but we know only too well that Twitter and football fans often are a poisonous combination, too. But I’d say the early signs are very promising – I look forward to popping down to the City Ground on Saturday to welcome our new owners, and see what they have to say after announcing a press conference and all but inviting supporters down to the ground as well.
Certainly I think it unwise to be mouthing off about being rich, or sending embarrassing tweets directed at the likes of Garath McCleary or Luke Chambers or Joel Lynch regarding their decisions to move on. Right now I’d be relieved to see some form of squad building, some stabilisation and then a sensible strategy put in place over time commensurate with the level of investment the Al Hasawis are prepared to commit to the cause.
All of this over excitement at being “the next Manchester City” and the clamour to see statements of intent in the transfer market is as deluded as it is premature – now is the time to take stock, steady the ship and consolidate to ensure we have the right foundations to build upon. I’d like to think that some of that preparatory work will already have been considered and possibly enacted during negotiations, but I would definitely rather get it right than rush into the kinds of mistakes that have dogged our recent history.
I am pleased to see excitement and optimism amongst our fans, of course I am, but not misguided bragging based on limited information. Of course, I am not naïve enough to dare think that the rumour mill will not go into hyper speed now – I have seen us linked with Harry Redknapp, Neil Warnock, Mick McCarthy, Jordan Rhodes… the list I am sure will be endless. I’m not going to engage with it until there is confirmed news.
A huge welcome to Fawaz Al Hasawi and his family goes without saying, but now is the time for planning to get things right – not lurching headlong into our next phase of mismanagement. I’m hoping for an enjoyable journey, but can accept journeys might have tricky hills or diversions along the way.
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