July 16, 2012 by joshilan14
The sad thing about modern-day football is the power money plays in the game; from the Premiership to non-league. It also determines a club’s fortune and amount of success; with teams with the most money typically doing the best, while teams with a lack of it often struggle. Money also helps to make a club ‘big’, or in the case of Nottingham Forest, re-establishing a once powerful club.
This is because Nottingham Forest have just been taken over by the Al Hasawi family; with the Kuwait-based family buying the club from the estate of Nigel Doughty. Doughty, a life-long Nottingham Forest fan, tragically died at the age of 54 years old earlier this year.
This was a far cry away from the prestigious history of Nottingham Forest. The appointment of the eccentric-but-brilliant Brian Clough saw the Reds go on a meteoric rise from the second division to winners of the first division in the space of three seasons. The best was yet to come, with Nottingham Forest winning two consecutive European Cup’s in the 1978-1979 and 1979-1980 seasons, beating Malmo and Hamburg respectively. Forest also won the League Cup four times during Brian Clough’s eighteen year reign.
The eight year’s after Clough’s departure saw Nottingham Forest become a yo-yo club; with the club moving between the Premiership and Division One a total of five times. The 1998-1999 season was the last time Nottingham Forest played Premiership football.
Nigel Doughty brought the club in 1999 for £11million. He harboured ambitions of leading his club back to their former glories, but a three-year spell in League 1, and two consecutive play-off failures in the Championship saw him unable to see his dreams turn to reality.
Last season started with optimism for Nottingham Forest, but this optimism turned out to be false. The appointment of “Wally with a brolly” Steve McClaren was greeted at first, but he resigned after ten games due to disagreements with board over transfers. Steve Cotterill then left Portsmouth to take the vacant Forest job, and despite him achieving his remit of keeping the club in the Championship, he was uninspiring in doing so, with the club struggling at many points under him.
This summer has seen a massive upheaval at the club, which will change Nottingham Forest’s future, seemingly for the better. The takeover by the Al Hasawi family, who made their millions through refrigeration and air conditioning, will breathe new life into the club. A statement released after their takeover said “We’ve come to the club, and we are proud to be here… We want Forest to be in the Premiership, it is the target for us. The ambition is to develop and bring the club back to where it should be. To conclude, we’re here to make a difference-to produce a fun and exciting team that every Forest fan can be proud of.”
The Al Hasawi’s aim for the club is clear; it is to restore Forest to the Premiership and a return to the glory days for the club. They have shown their commitment to the cause, with the family saying they are “here for the long-haul” and that they brought the club for “passion not profit.”
For every club which becomes a success after a takeover, there is always a club which declines after a takeover-such as the notorious case of Portsmouth. Reds fans will have nothing to fear about the Al Hasawi’s. The family previously owned Qadsia SC, Kuwait’s leading football club. Mohammed Said, a sports journalist from Kuwait, said that “They put a lot of money into the club (Qadsia SC), while they are also very loyal to their players. Their track record of investing in sport in Kuwait should allay any concerns about them.”
One of the first things the Al-Hasawi family did when they took over was to relieve Cotterill of his duties. This, you could argue, was a harsh decision, but it was the right one. Candidates have ranged from the good (Darren Ferguson and Nigel Clough), crazy (Harry Redknapp and Diego Maradona) and shocking (Alex McLeish and Paul Ince.)
Abdulaziz Al-Hasawi said that “We are in discussions with four or five well-known figures in the football world, who have a perfect understanding of this league, and hopefully in a week all matters should be finalised and it will be revealed.” They want a manager who knows the Championship, is well-known so they can attract better players and one that is good and wise in the transfer market. The bookies favourite for the job at the minute is the ‘brilliant commentator’ and former Wolves manager Mick McCarthy. I think that the best man for the job would be Alan Curbishley, who worked wonders with both Charlton Athletic and West Ham United.
It is hard to believe that a club with a history as rich as Nottingham Forest have been outside the top flight for the last thirteen years. Despite the best efforts of Nigel Doughty to return them to what is perceived as “the holy grail” of football, the club have been languishing in the second and third tiers of English football during their absence from the Premiership. The Al Hasawi family not only seem like legitimate owners, but ones with a thirst to make the club successful again. With new owners in place, and with a new manager having to be appointed and with many players likely to come in, it will be a very busy summer for the club, with many changes will be and have taken place on-and-off the pitch. One thing that is for certain is that the future looks bright for Nottingham Forest.
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