Nottingham Forest have been ordered by the High Court to pay £4.2m to Fawal Al-Hasawi after losing a legal battle over unpaid loans.
Al-Hasawi claimed he was owed money from when he sold Forest to Evangelos Marinakis in May 2017 and the court has ruled in his favour. Judge Stuart Isaacs QC said there were no sums to be set off against the amount Mr Al Hasawi paid in loans during negotiations over the club’s sale.
The Reds released a statement explaining the case, revealing if they will appeal the decision and assuring supporters that the transfer budget won’t be affected. Forest are yet to address the ruling on their official website, but a spokesman has clarified the club’s position which Nottinghamshire Live have transcribed.
It read: “The Club confirms that it has been engaged in litigation with Fawaz Al-Hasawi in order to resolve a dispute regarding the proper treatment of various payments and liabilities under the contractual documentation relating to the sale of the Club in May 2017.
“The dispute relates to detailed accounting evidence and the interpretation of the Share Purchase Agreement. The Club may seek further clarification of the position on appeal based on independent advice. The Club confirms that this litigation has no bearing on the long-term position of the Club or its ability to operate.”
Initially, it was Al-Hasawi who had legal proceedings brought against him that alleged he owed money to Forest after his sale to Marinakis. The former owner, who bought the East Midlands club from Nigel Doughty in 2012, then counter-sued and had been awaiting a decision from the High Court.
Whether Forest have grounds for an appeal remains to be seen. If the club had evidence that proved there were sums to be set off against Hawasi’s loans, that surely would have been presented in the High Court case.
Crippy Cooke’s previous article