Following the 0-0 draw at Brighton on Saturday, Nottingham Forest announced that Mr. Omar Al-Hasawi was standing down as Chairman of the club. In a brief statement via the NFFC official website, it was revealed that Mr. Fawaz Al-Hasawi would become the new Chairman with immediate effect.
The official line from the City Ground on the reasoning behind Mr. Omar Al-Hasawi’s resignation, is for ‘personal reasons.’ However, it has come to light over the weekend, that a series of financial and administrative errors may be the real reason for a change in the boardroom.
A report in the Daily Telegraph, suggests that there has been some embarrassing financial errors since the Kuwaiti takeover in July, resulting in players being paid late, agents not being paid for services rendered, suppliers to the club not being paid and the clubs’ credit card being declined at their hotel this weekend. Whilst there’s no indication of any financial irregularities, or that the money is not there to be paid, it is something that paints the club in a less than favourable light.
Whether it`s because of these financial errors or not, the fact remains that we now have a new Chairman, the third in just over a year. Since the former and now deceased owner and Chairman Nigel Doughty resigned last October, we have had as Chairmen Mr. Frank Clark, Mr. Omar Al-Hasawi and now Mr. Fawaz Al-Hasawi. After only five months in the role, Omar has stood down and has now been replaced by Fawaz, who incidentally also owns a 75% stake in the club. Omar still owns a 5% share, with Fawaz`s brother Abdulaziz holding the other 20%.
The Kuwaiti takeover of NFFC has by and large been very successful and quite remarkable up until now. No less than 14 new players (including loan signings) have been brought into the club since July, with an estimated spend of around £6m, not including wages. That`s no small beer in terms of what most clubs` in this division shell out on players, so the Kuwaiti`s should be congratulated for putting their hands in their pockets and backing their manager. You only have to go back as recently as May, to remember what dire straits this club was in prior to the Kuwaiti`s buying the club and turning things round. At a little under half way through the season, we sit just three points off the Playoffs and look in good shape to make further progress, with a little luck and if things go according to plan. It has to be said that the new owners have had a very positive impact and that the future of the club does look secure. I know there are many clubs not only in this division, but throughout the Football League, that would gladly swap places with us right now.
In Mr. Fawaz Al-Hasawi, we look to have a man who is a football fanatic at heart and probably more importantly, appears to have the good name, reputation and the passion for NFFC to succeed as his prime objective in life. If that`s the case, then all bodes well for the future of Nottingham Forest and the good times are set to roll. Mr. Al-Hasawi had a long and distinguished association with his former club in Kuwait, Qadsia SC, one of the most successful clubs in Asia during his 15 year spell with the club. Maybe, just maybe, he can bring some of that success back to us. God and Allah knows we deserve it, because we`ve waited and struggled long enough. Just let`s put an end to these embarrassing financial gaffes and look forward to and enjoy, a long, happy, stable and successful future.