|Fawaz and Billy|
The ruthless culling of many of the previous board level and members of staff involved in the day to day runnings of the club by Fawaz recently has split opinion. On the one hand, the likes of Sky reporter Rob Dorsett making out this was indicative of a power crazed loon in charge sacking all that questioned his view. On the other those who couldn’t care less. Clark had a trophy position; Arthur was widely disliked and most were indifferent to Burt.
However, their removal and seeming lack of new people brought in made many question why? If any of these had happened in the first 2 weeks after the takeover however, no-one would have raised an eye brow.
Now there are strong rumours of new dismissals, with the academy being the rumoured target of this round. Whether this is a reaction to Billy’s return or belief the academy isn’t producing the goods remains to be seen. The rumours need to be confirmed too as well yet.
But now Fawaz has started to bring in other people to the role, with the promotion of Bobby Downes to Head of Recruitment. Now part of me wonders if this is a reaction to the slight outcry of leaving the club without the usual management structures. However, it could also be that the club are looking to rebuild that very structure.
Is there to be a new team at the academy? Is it going to be scaled back, like at Watford? Again, we don’t know yet. I can’t see it being scrapped, maybe Billy has recommendations here too. Maybe they want a fresh start everywhere.
Part of me has been sent wondering if that Fawaz deemed the old guard had failed. The players they recruited weren’t good enough and now they want their own guys to manage this recruitment strategy. Keith Burt spoke at length earlier in the season how they already had a dossier on what players they wanted, some of the names going back 4 years, and it might just be that Fawaz has seen some of these players under perform and wanted to remove these guys who had so wanted these players. Conjecture I know.
There is also the rumour I heard that Keith Burt had fought hard to be able to bring in a youngster to the club, and when they approached the al-Hasawi’s they were unwilling to fund a large cash purchase of said youngster which had caused friction. I also saw it suggested that they were in the pockets of some agents and used them for players, rather than actually casting a net wide, that again, is purely a rumour I heard, and I claim no basis to it should it be false.
So for any of these reasons it could be that Fawaz decided to act. Maybe looking at a new direction. Looking more aboard and by that I don’t mean simply Kuwait, but look globally. Forest have by and large stayed British-based apart from Moussi and Majewski in the past, and it might be there was a lack of willing to explore global recruitment like say Wigan utilises.
What it does underline is that Fawaz does recognise this position needs to be filled. What was once a head scout is now head of an organisational tree looking at all sorts of channels of recruitment? Football truly is global now, and the club probably want to be at the forefront of this, and utilise all channels to bring in players from where they are. That might be Carlton, it might be Canada. Aspley or Albania. Mansfield, or Mansfield, Australia.
Again, I am speculating, and basing my opinion on us barely ever signing foreign players since Burt followed Calderwood to the club , which could be for a multitude of reasons, but there is a correlation.
Now I know nothing about Bobby Downes, his career and his coaching, and now his scouting. I could cite Wikipedia and claim I know all these things, but there’s one thing I refuse to do on this site is lie about knowledge. However, what he has is a chance to build a bridge with Billy in his new role and see what they can do. Billy has spoken that he accepts there are constraints and that there will be a team of people who review his recommendations. That’s fine, and you’d expect it, almost demand after his reckless spending with derby, and now we know where that might fall, rather than with Fawaz, who many blamed for the Boyd deal.
The scurrilous rumour mongering by Sky’s Rob Dorsett about what the regime was doing annoyed me. Making out it was part of the megalomaniacal approach of Fawaz, and it merely seems to me he was annoyed because he had excellent sources and contacts at the club now removed. He tried to suggest the whole fabric of the club was being changed and people were fearful of jobs, but perhaps Fawaz had seen an aged decrepit animal in Nottingham Forest, and decided to start tweaking.
Only time will tell though, if this does spell a new style and direction of scouting and recruitment. Whether there will be a focus on Middle Eastern talent remains to be unseen but will be wildly speculated by all. What it should mean is new targets and not the same old tired names being chased. That said Billy s back. Time to dust off those Peter Whittingham and Darren Pratley portfolios.