As Fawaz Al Hasawi makes a desperate bid for Nigel Clough to step into the dugout at Nottingham Forest, Joe Burton thinks the son of Old Big ‘Ead could hold the cards for the future of the club
Nigel Clough currently holds the reigns of power for the future of Nottingham Forest Football club.
It feels somewhat apt that the son of the man who made our club great is the person who can potentially hold the key to a brighter future at this juncture.
With Clough publicly offered the vacant manager’s role it puts him in a position of great strength. The owner wants to again throw a name to the fans to try to reclaim a shred of popularity amongst the support. Whilst we perhaps naively got drawn in with Stuart Pearce before, we’ve all been worn down a lot since then and understand the tactic this time around.
The way this is handled by Clough Junior could shape the next few years at the City Ground — he has a couple of options to give us any chance under the tenure of Fawaz Al Hasawi. A tenure that conceivably may not end for a few years yet.
Clough can publicly decline the offer with a clear public statement declaring he will not return to the club due to the shambolic status and inept ownership, backing Al Hasawi further into the corner he’s reversed himself into. This option aids the club in publicly shaming the status quo as Rowett and Heckingbottom have done recently, with the added clout of someone from his lineage and desire to manage the club. This option also preserves his managerial dignity which would in all likelihood be sacrificed by jumping to what we have to admit seems a sinking ship.
However there is a different direction. Clough can seek assurances, contractually and publicly, that a real and proper structure will not only be put in place. This is what all fans and a notable ex-player are screaming about. This must be put in place AND given the license to run the club as a proper organisation — NOT interfered with by a chairman who thinks he knows best, with all evidence to the contrary. If he publicly makes sure this is done — either before he starts or within a month, the club may have a chance to succeed. This must be a transparent and legally binding issue that can be scrutinised by fans and media. No confidentiality clauses, there is no reason to hide things that are done properly.
Al Hasawi must be aware that he does not have many options, every manager that refuses to come to the club is another blow, leaving the Kuwaiti with slim pickings.
I think we can all agree if Clough simply declines he protects himself and damages the ownership in the process. If he accepts and tries to make the best of it, we can be nearly certain that doing the same thing will not yield different results.
In simply declining there is another aspect of collateral damage. This is potentially harming to the future of our football club. With fewer managers to choose from the owner could well be forced to give the full-time role to Gary Brazil and Jack Lester. Whilst not a bad thing in itself, the work they have done in the academy has been a shining light and we cannot lose that. If they were to be a permanent managerial team they would inevitably succumb to the whim of Fawaz at some point, and they would therefore be forced out of the club unlikely to return to the academy to continue their great work.
Realise your power Nigel, and use it wisely please.