Forest in the money

Thursday 19th July 2012 11:25

Al-Hasawis: good intentions?

Al-Hasawis: good intentions?

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Forest FanZoner Dan Mounser hopes good times are on the way under the club's new Kuwaiti owners.

Good things come to those who Kuwait

It has been a long time coming but Nottingham Forest have finally been taken over and the miserable foggy mist seems to evaporating from the banks of the Trent.

Brothers Fawaz and Abdulaziz Al-Hasawi, along with cousin Omar, have completed the acquisition of the club and are wasting no time in putting their own stamp on the club.

Amid all the excitement came the axe for manager Steve Cotterill who was sacked just days after Fawaz announced the purchase through a social networking site. More often than not, a fresh start calls for a clean slate.

I feel slightly sorry for Cotterill who ultimately fulfilled his task in keeping the club in the Championship under various restraints.

But let's be honest, the quality of football before any loan signings was poor with the notable exception of the 7-3 win at Leeds. The run of seven games without even scoring a solitary goal was also nothing short of unacceptable although I admit, it did get better as the season progressed except the first half against Coventry.

The re-arranging of furniture has continued with former player, manager and now Chairman Frank Clark being removed from his position. Providing he accepts the Al-Hasawi's offer though, he will now become ambassador for the club.

I think this is a good move as it's imperative that a 'Forest link' remains in place not only to help with the transition period, but also to offer valuable knowledge and opinion on how the club works and the traditions that should be adhered to where possible.

A good example of this is Reading who have recently been taken over by foreign investors. John Madejski will remain as chairman for two years to oversee the transition and to ensure the exact points above can implemented.

Speaking of Reading, they have signed Chris Gunter for £2.3m who joins another Forest old boy Garath McCleary.

The Royals had been sniffing around Gunter in January but to his credit, he wanted to stay until the end of the season and see out the job as it were. It's decent money for this level of football, we've made a profit and I certainly wish him and McCleary all the best.

This new era brings huge excitement to everyone involved with the club. There will always be sceptics, especially with what happened across the river at Notts County with Munto Finance, but hopefully their first press conference has helped extinguish any major fears.


Rather than discuss and dwell on everything they said, I want to touch on three key points which I originally had some slight concerns about.

Firstly is the business plan. I was keen to hear whether the new owners wanted immediate success or if they were prepared to be patient. Thankfully it seems they lean towards the latter and have already confirmed they will give the new manager time to build a side along with having a 3-5 year plan in place. With the right man in charge on the playing side of things, it goes without saying that continuity helps breed long-term success.

Secondly I found myself acting like a concerned father being introduced to his daughter's new boyfriend for the first time. What are your intentions? What do you actually want from owning the club?

Abdulaziz Al-Hasawi, who spoke well and oozed confidence throughout the press conference, said: "This is not about money, it is about passion. We have been football supporters since we were very young. We understand what is up ahead and we are willing to accept the challenge. This is about passion, not profit."

As successful businessmen, I'm not daft enough to believe that is totally true but it's basically what I wanted to hear. I don't want them to come in, splash some cash and fly home. They sound like they will be here for the long haul and that is important.

Finally, one of my main worries was whether there would be any interference on the playing side of things or deciding to sign random players that they are aware of from their country but the manager might not even want or deem good enough.

Fawaz managed his old club Al Qadsia in Kuwait so he could be tempted to get a little more involved than perhaps he should do. The QPR documentary 'The Four Year Plan' probably put the idea in my head but maybe I was being too sceptical?

Abdulaziz added: "Talent is all over the world. We are looking for talent - the best we can find - for our dear club. The number one say here is the manager. We will look everywhere and the manager will assist and evaluate and decide what's best for the club"

As long as they stick to this ethos and the playing squad can be strengthened as a matter of urgency, I'm hoping better times can return sooner rather than later.

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