New owners arrive, officially!

I think the wind was taken somewhat from the sails of today’s press conference by the eagerness of the Al Hasawi family to engage with fans, because not masses of new news really emerged as Abdulaziz, Fawaz and Omar Al Hasawi and their entourage welcomed the media officially in their capacity as Forest’s new owners.

Along with other fans not lucky enough to be granted a place amongst the 100 who got to meet the family, I did pop down to the ground to see a reasonable crowd form to greet the new owners and catch a glimpse of them. To say they look delighted to be here is an understatement – they could barely contain their glee at fulfilling what is clearly a long term ambition to be involved in English football.

Amongst the things that were raised, most have been covered before – sustainability is the aim of the game, there will be a plan – a risky 3-5 year timeline was placed on it, although of the aim of that timescale wasn’t clear beyond being in the Premier League. That, in truth, is what I wanted to hear – I don’t want outlandish targets and reckless investment – sustainability sounds good.

Other key things that were clarified:

Manager
Talks with managers will be happening from tomorrow – it would seem likely an appointment will be made mid next week. The Al Hasawis ARE using their influence to bring Kuwaiti players in on trial but for the manager to run the rule over. Glenn Hoddle was not under consideration (neither is Billy Davies according to a friend in the ‘meet the family’ event, despite misguided chanting for him by some of the gathered fans.

Stadium
Moving is not a short term priority, the team and academy is. Longer term they are keen to engage with fans to establish the best way forward. Very pleasingly to me there seems to be a resistance to moving away from a central location. It will be interesting to see how that resolve remains after a few more encounters with Nottingham City Council! However, if we were to consider the wrench of moving from our home, then not ending up in a horrible edge-of-town retail park arrangement would make it a much better prospect.

Frank Clark
Frank as chairman was a favour to Nigel Doughty, it was never likely to remain post-takeover – but it’s great that he retains a position as ambassador and advisor to the new regime. Player, manager, chairman and now ambassador – that is very good indeed, I’m pleased he’s not simply moving on – he might get to hand out the Ferrero Rochers at functions now!

Mark Arthur
Stays. Despite more idiot comments from some of the fans directly to the Al Hasawis today (I mean, really?!). The family were vague about titles – they stressed they work as a team, so whether he remains as CEO or as an advisor or, well, who knows? It might not be the fashionable view but I’m actually pleased there’ll be some continuity in the leadership of the club. If things don’t work out then it would seem our new owners aren’t slow to be decisive.

The thing that really struck me overall was the realism – when probed about the Premier a league it was one of the Al Hasawi family who reigned things back and pointed out that we must first focus on getting promoted from this league. Absolutely bloody right, which is why they talk of managers with experience of this league – it is the press adding in the more outlandish sounding names, I’m sure. This reassures me massively.

So we don’t know much more than we did, but I got some real reassurance that the intentions of the owners are honourable. They seem to want to build sensibly, to develop for the future and be in it for the long haul – these early impressions are a great comfort to me as a naturally highly cynical Forest fan always looking for the next disaster to befall us. That might of course still happen, but my early impressions are good.

I don’t think we will be waiting long for news – the next piece of which should be the new manager, obviously quite a pivotal factor. Interesting times!

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31 Responses

  1. In the midst of silly season, and it really is silly season for us in view of the many changes taking place being preceded by every possible rumour regarding manager/players, you bring a healthy balance, NFFC. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

    I like the new owners, from the little you can glean from their public announcements. They seem like they really care. After having ND as owner, it’s refreshing to see that desire for the club to progress from a passion rather than a potential profit continue.

    And while it’s easy to start thinking about promotion, even this season, I like the fact that they are realistic and know it may take 3-5 years. Better that than doing a Fester.

    I’m curious, your reference to Billy Davies is concrete? I can’t see him returning but maybe this will stop more speculation.

    Thanks for the post. Look forward to your thoughts on the new manager.

    U reeeeds!

    • It was a question posed to them in the ‘meet the family’ session – their answer was pretty emphatic (from someone who overheard).

  2. I don’t think the new owners could have made a better first impression really. Other than maybe unveiling Messi and Mourinho.Great start now, who they choose to be manager is next. Get that right and onwards and upwards. COYR

  3. Iv’e got to admit i was very impressed with everything they had to say.
    No faule promises, no daft spending and a long term plan in place.
    I really believe these guys know what they are doing and really do want to make this club great again.
    I don’t want big name signing’s, i don’t expect instant success, and i don’t want them to change their long term plans if the fans get fickle and start moaning if things don’t instantly happen.
    I just want a hard working team that plays with pride, a honest set of owners, and all the supporters supporting the team.
    If we can get the right manager, all get behind the team win lose or draw, i believe our new owners will one day deliver us success on and off the pitch.
    Thank you for saving our club, and thank you for giving every single Nottingham Forest supporter some pride and hope back into our lives and football club.
    This is our new era and i’m very excited.
    COME ON YOU REDSSSSSSSSSSS

  4. Very happy with the new owners they seem grounded and mature no silly ideas in there heads .I cant wait for the pheonix to rise and we are back playing were I believe we belong .

    They have restored a degree of faith back in most Forest fans lets be patient and have a positive outlook .

    U reds

  5. Yes – we’ve been saved from meltdown & I’m delighted so far we’ve got owners who are making all the right noises.

    Not so sure tho’ I’m as (quote) “pleased” as you about martha remaining for “continuity”. OK, he’s too often been the fans’ scapegoat but I remain sceptical about him being a force for good over the past couple of years. . . . . . yes, we’ll wait & see his fate.

    I find the Billy Davies situation intriguing and wonder if we’ll ever learn the truth behind it all. Is someone poisoning wells, even In Kuwait? Why has he not been appointed to a new club? What really happened at Hull? It cannot just be those comments of his to the media about Forest’s “management” surely? I’ve read about the dark rumours of goings on in Glasgow years ago but ignore them. To me he was one of our better manager/motivators and we’ve had precious few of them !

    Next anxiety is who we’ll get as manager – some of the names being bandied about fill me with horror.

  6. The Billy Davies situation is fairly clear, as long as MA is still at the CG there is no way BD will return. I imagine NA has well and truly turned the Al Hawasi’s off him.

    • I feel sure that’s it. . . . . perhaps when Billy gets a good contract at another club (& I hope he does) we might hear more from him.
      ‘course doesn’t expalin why he’s not yet got a job at another club – – or does it ?????

  7. Billy Davies was apparently seen on the London to Nottingham train yesterday afternoon…
    I’m not sure a return to that turbulent era would benefit the club, especially if MA is still around as the bad feeling that we suspect exists between them would be counter productive.
    Hopeful that the AH’s will make the right decisions and won’t panic if they don’t.

  8. Billy Davies = unfinished business at Forest,,,any of the other names bantied about also fill me with horror mr k hope

  9. A very open and warm style from the new owners as we all saw .
    They are very welcome and we the Fans have a real responsibility here to be patient , courteous and supportive of their aims to rebuild the club . Their will be no magic wand and money is no guarantee ( on its own !) We are all in this together from now to get behind the team and the Al Hasawi’s and rebuild what they quite rightly have spotted as a potentially great club . U redssss .

  10. Well written blog. Still want billy back.

  11. Very pleased with the more open era with respect for the fans. Sad to see Hod unlikely to get the job – anyone who can get Swindon into the top flight without lots of Money is worthy of serious consideration in my book, and I’d like to see us play cultured, flowing, passing football.

    MM does however seem a better bet than the more outlandish names, and less sulky than RK.

    The only downside with Mick is that The Guediora deal seems unlikely as they seem estranged. That would be disappointing as Adlene was the best midfielder to don the garibaldi in my 4 years as a season ticket holder 😦

  12. God, will people stop going on about Billy Davies. It’s in the past, it’s done and gone. Love the new owners, breath of fresh air. Onwards & upwards. Vialli & Wilkins anyone?

    • Wilkins isn’t a bad shout but has he ever managed a club?

      • Sorry should of put Wilkins as number 2 to Vialli. Not sure if either have managed to be honest, the football would be entertaining under them two though. Personally think it will be Mad Mick, very good record in the championship.

    • This is the reason “people keep going on about Billy Davies”.
      Since Clough we’ll have had 13 managers in 19 years. How many of the following possessed the ability and passion of BD? Frank Clark inherited a decent squad & was popular (whatever that translates as). It won’t happen I accept, but I’d be delighted to see BD back in charge so you’re right Paul – it IS history.
      As for the characters below, which other one would you equate with BD?
      Frank Clark: (1993-1996)
      Dave Bassett: (1997-98)
      Ron Atkinson: (1999)
      David Platt: (1999-2001)
      Paul Hart: (2001-2004)
      Joe Kinnear (2004)
      Gary Megson: (2004-2005)
      Frank Barlow and Ian McParland: (Feb 2006-May 2006)
      Colin Calderwood: (May 2006-Dec 2008)
      Billy Davies: (Jan 2009 – June 2011)
      Steve McClaren (June 2011 – October 2011)
      Steve Cotterill: (October 2011 – July 2012)

  13. I completely understand where a lot of people are coming from about McCarthy (what is it by the way with all these Mc’s over the last few years anyway? McCleary, McGugan, McKenna, McClaren, Mcgoldrick, McDonalds, McFuck have I missed anyone?) I believe that if any football club wants to have sustained success it is to start from the bottom and interweave a footballing philosophy within the clubs DNA. That means playing the same system across all teams from youth to first.

    I have to admit to feeling pretty disappointed by the mention of his name at first but I’m slowly coming round to the fact that he will probably get the job. Has anyone considered what McCarthy’s remit was when he was in charge at Sunderland and Wolves? I’m pretty sure it was ‘get to the Premier League as fast as possible’. If that is the case then he did his job.

    If he does get the job and the Al-Hasawi’s are putting into place a 3-5 year plan with no expectation of promotion in the first season then you could assume MM’s job requirements will be a little different to that of his positions at Wolves and Sunderland where promotion was THE only thing they cared about.

    What manager wouldn’t want the opportunity to be given a fair chance by patient owners to build a club from the ground up without fear of dismissal when it doesn’t go quite according to plan after 6 months? Manchester United stuck with a guy for a quite few years before any success went their way and now look at them. I’m not saying that Forest can replicate that but continuity and building an infrastructure is paramount and MM might just be the best man available right now as I don’t hear too many better alternatives.

  14. […] at the weekend as fans welcomed our new owners to the City Ground and pleasingly reports on their eagerness to meet supporters outside the […]

    • Arthur stays and Mccarthy goes….coincidence ????? Players are leaving for free because of arthurs incompetence .
      I think Steve should have been given a chance,but there you go .
      At least Mcclaren won’t be approached ! I still hope the new manager sees Guediora on our videos and goes for him .

  15. As long as Sammy Clingan doesn’t return… awful, awful, awful.

  16. Slightly worried at reading the press reports this morning .Flogging Gunter we know have zero defense MM i reckon would have been a good choice.

    I hope this isnt going to end up another farce maybe a few porkies being told by the Al hasawi brothers at there news conference.

    Not convinced by them bringing all these Arab trialists ? .i hope they know what they are doing .

  17. I can see why they sold Gunter. If we turned the offer down he’d of only not signed a new contract and gone for nothing. Plus I think that club knows that Freeman can step up and play well in that position.

    But we do need a manager. If only O’Driscoll had just held on a bit… Having said that they’d of probably biffed him out with SC. Anyone got any ideas??

    • Bring in Nigel Clough with a director of football. Don’t fancy Hoddle or Ferguson.

      • I don’t think Nigel Clough has the appropriate badges so is effectively stuck at Derby, poor lamb! (the requirements changed since he moved there)

  18. Is it fair to say that following the departures in recent times of Gunter, Lynch & Chambers, adding to the loss of McCleary suggests that this season will come down to a matter of survival?
    No manager a month from kick off, possible signings being snapped up by opposing clubs & the new owners firmly put back into place by a jobless manager in Mick McCarthy……

    I am not jumping to negative conclusions just yet but trying to come up with a current team sheet is quite disconcerting..,..

    • I don’t like to think negatively, but knowing the takeover was unlikely to go through till this stage in pre season, surely plans should have been in place for a manager to be primed and ready to go. Whoever gets the job is going to be weeks behind the rest, who are aleady into their first or second round of friendlies. Anyone know what our dozen or so are up to now they aren’t in Florida?

      • We have Guediora !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!brilliant !!!! Keep it going ! Exciting times !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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