By Marcus Hogg
Nottingham Forest, a once-great club, are currently in the doldrums. Struggling in the Championship under owner Fawaz Al-Hasawi, who is looking to sell, can their season – and entire future – be turned around? Here are five things that need to happen at the City Ground.
Bring structure to the club
It’s highly unlikely that owner Al-Hasawi can regain the trust of Forest fans, but what he can do is overhaul the club’s structure.
After the potential sale to American John Jay Moores fell through, it’s now the Kuwaiti’s responsibility to whip things into shape.
He’s already appointed Samantha Gordon as chief financial officer; now he needs to hire a CEO, a director of football – and a manager.
A reign seemingly devoid of any real structure has caused problems, and it’s pivotal he gets it right to secure the Reds’ long-term future.
Appoint the right manager
Phillippe Montainer became the seventh manager of Forest to be given his P45 by the owner earlier in January.
Now Al-Hasawi needs to recruit wisely to get the Tricky Trees moving up the league and away from trouble.
Gary Rowett, Oscar Garcia, Nigel Clough and Nigel Pearson have all been touted. What the club needs after stability and a manager who lasts. Al-Hasawi needs to get the right man after failing to do so in nearly five years in charge.
Sign a leader
After seeing captain Henri Lansbury depart for Aston Villa, it’s crucial Forest sign a leader who can take the team by the scruff of the neck and drag it upwards.
Lansbury contributed to 40% of the goals scored this season, and leaves a massive leadership void behind him.
With club captain Chris Cohen sidelined, Forest have relied on the likes of Matty Cash and Joe Worrall to step up. But they are young and need a leader to help them along.
The Reds also need an injection of skill and excitement, which they’ve craved since Oliver Burke was sold to RB Leipzig.
Be open with the fans
For too long, the Forest faithful have been taken for granted and not given the full story.
Al-Hasawi has to be more open and listen to fans. His use of Twitter and threats to sue fans have only served up more problems for the owner.
Now he needs to listen and put plans in place to deliver what the fans want – and importantly what the club needs.
Only then will supporters buy into trying to help their team move forward.
OR: Sell up and admit defeat
Given his intention to sell, Al-Hasawi may not have the appetite to really do what needs to be done.
He came with good intentions, but his lack of knowledge of how to run a football club have dragged Forest through the mire.
Late payments, transfer embargos and winding-up orders from HMRC have damaged their once-proud reputation.
They’ve also damaged his reputation among pundits, other clubs, former players and fans alike.
If he’s determined to cut his losses, he must let the club pass into new, ambitious hands. Only then can Forest truly move forward.
Photo courtesy of Nottingham Trent University via Flickr Creative Commons.