Nottingham Forest Flying Circus
First blood was drawn and the board took the hit… Pleat went down without a fight. Then the retaliation: Beswick was sacked, ending 15 years with McClaren. Would it help? The first test was at home against Birmingham.
An hour before kick-off a couple of hundred people with green scarves started their protest in front of the shiny new club shop/ticket office. Their noise was quelled during the game as Forest put on a confident start, taking control of the game and going a goal ahead.
The relief was short-lived though. The last 20 minutes saw Forest capitulate the way only Forest can. An out-of-nowhere equaliser saw the control slip from the Reds and the players be replaced by clowns.
We have thrown away leads before, we have thrown away bigger leads before, but losing 3-1 was not in the fairytale. Chants against the board and the manager rang out, green scarves were waved, and at the final whistle: boos, followed by another hour’s worth of protests.
What the fans needed was a strong personality, a calm, controlled voice to describe how we were going to get out this mess. Failing that, at least a vague idea of what Steve McClaren was going to change next.
So we waited.
Radio Nottingham waited.
National Media waited.
Over two hours after the final whistle Doughty interrupted the crisis meeting with Mark Arthur and McClaren to tell us all not to wait any longer. No one was coming.
Nigel was later to tell us via Radio Nottingham that he pushes a customer focus ethos into all his companies, so obviously us customers would be kept in the loop. After all Forest have a great reputation for open honesty with its ‘customers’…
So how did we hear the next piece of news? A statement on the club website? An interview on Radio Nottingham? No, you’re forgetting what a circus Forest is. It was a tweet from Dexter Blackstock!
Steve McClaren was gone. 2-1 to the board. 111 days in charge. What now? Has Nigel lined up a replacement already as he did with Billy? Well, we’d have to wait… Customer-focused Forest were keeping quiet.
Finally we heard from the club. Nigel had made a decision, but not on the next manager. The Doughty Out campaign had claimed their main prize! Effective immediately Nigel Doughty would have no input on the running of the club, and at the end of the season he would be our chairman no more. Board 2, Coaching Staff 2.
Where does this leave Forest? Who knows? How will the players respond? I guess time will tell.
There is only one thing for certain: right now the club is a joke. Welcome to the wonderful world of N.F.F.C. – Nottingham Forest Flying Circus.