Yesterday saw the Al Hasawi's hold their first, highly anticipated press conference since taking charge of Nottingham Forest.
With a few hundred Forest fans turning out for such a momentus occasion, there was a general feeling of excitement and positivity - one I personally haven't felt for a good while around the City Ground.
A lucky 100 season ticket holders had the opportunity to meet the owners and ask questions in the 1865 club. Those who didn't have a ticket needn't have worried as the Al Hasawi's left the Robin Hood lounge multiple times throughout the day to meet the fans. Each time they did, they were greeted with jubilant cheers, applause and chants.
Its here I must add, one of these chants was the ever grating 'we want our Billy back'. It's a shame even with a new beginning, some people still see him as the be all and end all to our problems. It is also these very people who chant this song that don't see Mick McCarthy as a good option due to his PL record. I'll say no more.
To briefly summarise the press conference:
* Hope to appoint a new manager within a week.
* Currently 4 to 5 'iconic' names on their list of people who will be interviewed. Selected best in business to help us who have experience at this level.
* Have been approached by many and made contact with several.
* Have not spoken to Glen Hoddle.
* Didn't deny they had spoken to Harry Redknapp.
* New manager will be given traditional style of English football management and will be in total control.
* Everyone on the board will work as team. This means we will have no chairman.
* Frank Clark will become an ambassador for the club.
* Mark Arthur will continue to play an active role in the club.
* Currently reviewing a 3 to 5 year business plan to take the club back where it belongs in the Premier League.
* Main focus is to develop the clubs back bone.
* Also looking at other developments elsewhere including raising revenue off field.
* They will practice want they achieved at previous club. This was a smaller plan which took 2 or 3 seasons to set up the team.
* Acknowledge the investment in the academy has been excellent and want to continue this.
* One day would like to be with Manchester City and United in the top flight.
* If investment was unsuccessful, they will stay at the club as their ownership is about passion, not profit.
* Have been approached by many clubs but were picky with who thry decided to choose in the end.
* Forest is very important as it is a great club with lots of achievement and history.
* They have fond memories of the club from studying in England in the 70s and 80s and it will be good to bring them back.
* Immediate concern is to develop the team so they can bring back glory.
* Have a budget for the new manager but will not reveal this figure at this stage.
* Have plans to bring some Arabic players to the club for a trial but it is the managers choice if he wants to sign them, not theirs.
And that was that. A positive press conference, with the Al Hasawi's saying all the right things regarding the future of the club.
Maybe there was some contradictions, particularly how the new manager will have full control but they will be planning to bring over Arabic players for trials.
I'd argue the manager should have total control to the point of who comes in on trial. Remember last season when Pleat organised trials for players without the managers consent? It resulted in McClaren turning up to one training session with no idea who some of the people were and losing his rag.
Either way having a night to sleep on it, my initial scepticism has gone and I do feel encouraged we have some owners who have good ideas and plans, with realistic time frames to achieve their goals.
Prepare yourself for a busy week ahead.
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