May 18 – The long expected sale of Nottingham Forest has been completed with NF Football Investments (NFFI), headed by Olympiacos owner Evangelos Marinakis, taking 100% control.
The shares were bought from the Kuwaiti Al-Hasawi family and although no figue was announced for the deal estimates put the final sales figure at about £50 million.
Marinkakis is joined on the NFFI board by fellow Greek businessman Sokratis Kominakis, also a former chairman of Olympiacos. Nicholas Randall, QC, will chair the club while Ioannis Vrentzos, who has been CEO of Olympiacos since 2010, will become CEO at Forest.
“Our intention is to keep Nottingham Forest thoroughly embedded in English football culture,” said Marinakis.
“What we have achieved in national and European football with Olympiacos FC, we want to duplicate with Nottingham Forest. Forest is one of England’s oldest Clubs and one with a proud history of national and international excellence. Our objective is to bring back the glory days. We are football people to the core and we love and know the game,” he continued.
“We want to rekindle Forest’s past success and we are committed to the Club for the long term. What the Club needs is a solid and time-tested management, a professional Board, and above all, the best possible football management and players.”
Samantha Gordon will stay on at the club as chief financial officer while David Cook joins as chief commercial officer from Etihad Airways where he was Senior Sponsorship Manager.
Marinakis also praised the team for avoiding relegation from the Championship and gave his support to manager Mark Warburton saying: “We will provide Mark and his team with the time and support necessary to rebuild the team and create the conditions for success. In this regard I am pleased to confirm that we have agreed a contract extension for Frank McParland as Sport Director.”
The club’s is to launch two initiatives this summer to widen inclusiveness for fans. The first is the formation of an Advisory Council made up of members of Nottingham’s higher education institutions, the second is the Nottingham Forest Youth Council, whose chair will be represent the views and aspirations of Nottingham’s youth to the Nottingham Forest Board.
Nottingham Forest is one of England’s best known clubs having had their most successful period was under the management of Brian Clough between 1975 and 1993, winning the League in 1978 and back to back European Cups in the two years after.
Forest joined the Football League in 1892 and have mostly competed in the top two League tiers, bar five seasons in the third tier. They were relegated from the Premier League in 1999 and have struggled under various owners to return.