The next panic came when the Kuwaiti’s announced as preferred bidders also announced their intention to trial a number of Kuwaiti or wider Gulf area players. This started another new wave of doom mongering. We’d have a squad filled with third rate Arabic players, and struggle. The team would lose identity.
Panic number 3 was when some news services reported Cotterill would be staying. I for one never had an issue with him per se, I like to say to thus far I was wrong. The Evening Posts Paul Taylors vehement support for Cotterill at this stage lead to a great deal of mocking, calling it a “bromance” between the two.
Then when the takeover was finalised came the manager question, Cotterill was as we all know removed from his duties and the new regime announced an iconic manager would arrive, which sent tongues wagging, and a host of names that no-one could ever agree on. Names varied from the never going to happen in Harry Redknapp and Martin O’Neill to the downright silly, with Paul Ince volunteering his name forward. Of course O’Driscoll was announced, and many fans were happy, but opposing team fans all laughed. We remained quiet on that front, wait and see, wait and see.
And then came the Daily Mail piece, after the sale of Gunter which suggested, as there is a cut price manager and few signings, there is clearly no money. The fact there were 7 Arabic players on trial clearly demonstrated it’s all an attempt by the al-Hasawis to weasel they’re friends into the UK and one public commentator on the piece suggested this was people smuggling and Forest should shut down. The Mail suggested there was no money, and that this whole takeover looks a bit of a sham. This probably boils down to them being foreign and the Mail being a bit jingoistic at even the best of times. However it made many fans believe them, there is no money!! We’ve sold Gunter (despite this deal being all but set up first) and now all we have are 7 Arabs. Time soon proved this hilariously misguided.
The signings we all know well by now, that we have 11 new players. I even did an article comparing possible sides, one from new players one from old, located here. The whole “Iconic” thing has started to fade away as people realise we have quietly, studiously, and diligently built a squad that is pretty formidable for this level. It’s certainly top 6, but it has to gel, so far we are riding the crest of a wave. Let’s see what they are like when things start to go bad.
The Arabic players were refused work permits anyway, which anyone with a brain said would probably happen, but that doesn’t sell copy so the Mail weren’t worried about that. The more foolhardy predictions of a team of Kuwaiti players never came true, as it was never going to happen. The al-Hasawi family has shown they know what they are doing; you don’t buy a club to see it fail, unless you’re the Venky’s. They seem clued up, the Kuwaiti players was just because as well as run a successful club they’d like to include where they are from in that success. Is that a crime?
Yeah this summer has been a story of ups, after the usual Forest doom mongering that it’d be all downs. This is just a mixture of our being conditioned to expecting the worse (even more so when Gunter left) But it also feels like a new dawn. A new dawn with a very nice Sun rise, and misty overcast, or fog, or anything else bad. A nice big sunny sunrise of a new dawn. There will still be the nay-sayers. And yeah there is an element of racism coming over from a few which has been thorn in the side of this takeover. Some opposition fans, obviously through jealousy, dubbing us the Camel Fuckers. Yeah that really bothers us. In fact in all of this, and the 5-1 win aside last weekend Derby have never ending entertainment this summer. Blowing large leads against teams, signing Connor Sammon, claiming they have a better team. My favourite was the Derby fan criticising us for selling out to foreign owners, neglecting the very fact that Derby's owners are American, bravo genius. Of course there’s the guy who claimed he’d get Twat tattooed on his forehead if Forest signed Lansbury for £1million. Well we signed Lansbury for a million (I got his number on my home shirt)
So that’s where we got to, in one of the most eventful periods of the clubs history no doubt. Kuwait has a lot of love from Nottingham now. Might as well twin Kuwait City to Nottingham!! It remains to be seen what will happen with the Arabic players, namely Bader al-Mutawa and Khalid al-Rashidi, and whether work permits will be finalised. I hope so, if only for giving something back to Kuwaiti football, which is currently giving something to us. It’s still early days but things feel and look so positive that you cannot help but feel the warmth