The scandal embroiling English football now and managers and senior club staff taking bungs in transfers is one that looks both widespread and entrenched into the game. No mention of been said thus far of any connection to Nottingham Forest in all of this, but it feels like this can’t be far from the club.
Even with the embargo curtailing our transfer dealings for so long, it wouldn’t stop under hand payments to agents to encourage players to choose ourselves out of those free transfers. I am being absolutely clear. I am not suggesting this is the case, but that there is the possibility, and more in the opposite direction. A club in our situation had to try and grease the wheels of movement.
When you consider the Davies second era at the club, there was a lot of strange goings on happening, whereby he and Jim Price effectively removed many of the top echelons of the club in a personal vendetta. They then used Brian O’Neil, a former player for Davies as a consultant. None of this is exactly news, as this was taken from a Daniel Taylor article in the Guardian.
“His cousin and adviser, Jim Price, a solicitor currently suspended from the profession, had a prominent involvement working for Davies, despite the league saying he failed their fit-and-proper-person rules. Brian O'Neil, a former player turned agent, was also brought in by Davies to work as a consultant.”
Using an agent cum consultant has to leave a few question marks, especially when involving people with other questionable merits to running a football club. A lot of players were signed on high wages, with Fawaz basically just paying bills. There’s no suggestion of any bungs, or otherwise, but the fact we using an unlicensed operator on deals again bought the club into question.
“The Football League’s belated intervention into Jim Price, agent of Nottingham Forest manager Billy Davies, running the club on a daily basis despite not having passed the owners and directors test, is also expected to lead to scrutiny of Forest’s transfer dealings. Agents have complained that unlicensed operator Brian O’Neil, a Scottish former footballer with Celtic, Derby and Preston, has been acting for Forest. The club were unavailable for comment on Friday — not for the first time.”
Fawaz himself admitted culpability in this matter. "It was a mistake," Hasawi admits. "They were running the club with an agent and a solicitor, which is wrong. I don't like [what happened] but it was my mistake, not their mistake. This was down to me. I trusted everybody in the club. I gave them everything. 'Do whatever you want to do.' And this was wrong.”
So if you consider the witch-hunt going on into football now it surely might come back to bite the club again that we were running such a questionable operating procedure. Why would an unlicensed operator be anywhere near the whole procedure? Unless potentially to help with “negotiations.”
David has form for nepotism. In his time at Motherwell signed both his brother and brother-in-law. Furthermore his son was on Forest books, Mark Davies and apparently installed as Youth level captain. So with all that in mind he’s not averse to helping those near and dear to him. Whether that extended to enabling agents is completely unclear.
I think the tight purse-strings of the Freedman era would hopefully mean nothing was arwry there. Signings were fewer and with less ceremony about them. That said, with longer contracts and lower deals, it would be a perfect opportunity to have used underhand tactics.
I have an immediate alarm in my mind for any time the term "Undisclosed Fee" is used now. In screams of something to hide, something that we don't want to tell. most of the time its hiding players value or the details of a deal, but it could also an element of not declaring what various parties took home from the deal.
Basically it would be interesting to see if anything does come out in the wash.