Captain Luke Chambers, Garath McCleary, Paul Anderson and Joel Lynch are among those who could go and, like many Reds fans over the years, Cotterill has lambasted it as ludicrous to be in this position.
Cotterill said: "Desirable players going out of contract is ludicrous. I don't understand what has happened. If I could have, I would have done before Christmas.
One of the first things I said when I came in was that players needed to be tied down on contracts now and we haven't been able to do that for one reason or another."I think we all pretty much agree with Cotterill.
The likes of Kris Commons, Kelvin Wilson, Robbie Earnshaw, Nathan Tyson and Sammy Clingan were players we commanded great fees for, yet we chose to let their deals run out before showing our desire to keep them. In the end, they all went for nothing.
As Earnshaw said last year, Forest left it too late - sarcastic 'again' would fit that comment beautifully.
The planning in the club has been baffling. How does it make any sense to let players walk out for nothing, if it will cost £2m to replace them?
Look what has happened in replacing Earnshaw.
We spent big in getting both Miller and Derbyshire in, smashing the wage structure in the process. The return has been 6 goals between them - just over half of the 11 Earnie bagged last season.
Cotterill is spot on in what he says, what club in their right mind would let a player like McCleary go for nothing?
Maybe if we still had Doughty backing us, he would have been signed up a while back - although we can not forget his form has only kicked in from February.
Now there are two factors which have contributed to these players not being signed up. The financial woes and the uncertainty over which division we will be in next season.
Financially, even if contracts were offered, I do not believe any agent in their right mind would be advising their player to sign for a club who does not know who the owner will be next season. They of course want the best for the player, and themselves, the uncertainty at present promises nothing.
I suppose in terms of what division we will be in next year, that has been a problem dating back way over 10 years. When was the last time we had a season were we were not fighting relegation or promotion? 2001-02 season?
It could explain why historically good players have gone for nothing; although Commons, Earnshaw and Wilson for example, would have been great for the squad no matter what league we were in.
It is the same now.
Lynch and McCleary should have been tied up in January as they would have signed no matter what league we were in. Now McCleary is a little bit uncertain due to Premiership interest, despite saying he wants to stay.
To be honest though, Cotterill knew the financial restraints when he joined and I am sure we could have signed them up in January had he not opted for an influx of loanees.
It was not possible to get in Premiership loanees and sign everyone up to a new deal - at best we could have tied up Lynch or McCleary but not got Guedioura in on loan with the Wes and Bamford money.
The route Steve chose to take was the best one in loanees. We all would have done the same as we were badly missing players and since they joined, our results have shown the benefits they have brought.
Maybe with a prospective new owner and Cotterill, a manager who wants his players tied up to longer deals, will next season finally be the year this become a thing of the past.
For now, expect mad dashes from Cotterill begging people to stay in the Summer sun.
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