The Trent End

Forest chairman to leave player decisions to manager

Nottingham Forest will continue to put their “trust” in manager Chris Hughton when it comes to a crucial summer of transfer business.

Club chairman Nicholas Randall QC says the Reds boss will always have the final say on signings as he looks to put together a squad capable of challenging for the top six next season.

And Randall has stressed that the Nigel Doughty Academy retains a key role in the club’s overall strategy.

Forest have a number of people involved in recruitment, including technical director Francois Modesto and director of football Kyriakos Dourekas. But Randall insists it will be Hughton who gives any new additions the green light.

In an interview with the Supporters’ Trust, Randall said: “Chris has brought a couple of people in himself. We have Francois (Modesto) as well, who has that Olympiacos knowledge which gives us a domestic and a European, and a global, scope to bring the right players in.


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“We will not move away from the model in which the manager has the final say.

“I appreciate some people feel uncomfortable with that. There are valid arguments either way.

“The full-blooded continental model certainly has some advantages to it. And it has some disadvantages to it.

“The reality is, when you are on the ground and you have an exceptional manager like Chris – he’s been there, he’s seen it and he’s done it – we have to trust him, and we will trust him.

“If he’s telling us, ‘the stats may be great, this video may be great, but I don’t want that player’, we have to listen to him. We will listen to him.

“We’re not going to move away from that model.

“In between, it’s up to those people that we employ – we trust them, they tell us they have learnt the lessons. We have Chris’ team in now, with their knowledge as well.

“We will let them do their jobs, and we believe we have as good a chance as anyone of making it work.

“The academy has a crucial role to play as well.

“Gary Brazil (director of football development) has been outstanding and we have widened his role, so he’s that crucial link between the academy and the first-team. He will be out looking at our young talent that we are very excited about. In relation to our model, they’ve gone out and done their time in the lower leagues – and we hope some of them are now ready to step up.

“That’s essentially the strategy.

“We have a model in which the academy is important, we want good people, a good manager, and we’ll trust them and give them the resources to do their job.”

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Randall was speaking about the Reds’ strategy to achieve promotion as they aim to end a long absence from the top-flight.

A high turnover of players since Evangelos Marinakis – who also owns Olympiacos – bought the club four years ago, has yet to yield success on the pitch.

Forest’s transfer business has come in for criticism as a result.

“They key is, you have to have the right people in the right jobs, who you can trust to make the right decisions,” Randall said.

“Our role, as a board and as a club and through the owner, is to try to create the circumstances and provide the resources and support to enable the key people to do their jobs.

“If you look at the top six, there’s a whole array of different approaches.



Nottingham Forest chairman Nicholas Randall QC
Nottingham Forest chairman Nicholas Randall QC

“On the one hand, you’ve got a club like Brentford, which effectively has no academy and looks to recruit from wider leagues in Europe.

“Then you have other clubs like Barnsley who have adopted a very different model, which is based more on young players and academy.

“Then you have a club like Norwich, which is a far more traditional-type model.

“What that tells you is there’s no holy grail in terms of achieving success.

“We have to look at the big pillars – what do those clubs share in common?

“The first point is a committed owner. We have that. It means the resources will be there.

“Some clubs have parachute payments, and they are in a much stronger position than clubs without. We have to try to make up that gap. We do it because we have a very generous owner who cares about the game.

“Secondly, do we have stability? I believe we do within the senior posts in the club – even if not in relation to individuals, in relation to the posts themselves. We have our own internal structure, we know how the board operates.

“We have Kyriakos as the director of football. That’s a crucial role he’s performing; not in relation to the playing side, but in relation to making sure the manager has all the resources he wants.

“He is highly experienced and has done it at Champions League level – that is one of the areas where we do have an advantage over lots of other clubs, with the Olympiacos link. That is a club which has consistently been in the top 30 of Europe and capable of beating top Premier League teams.

“We have that learning there as to how things can be done well. He’s been incredibly popular. I know his relationship with Chris is absolutely fantastic.

“The manager will have resources in terms of the funding and will have resources in terms of the back-up.

“We then also have the recruitment model. I appreciate this is another hotly-debated topic.

“I think where everybody wants to get to is a position in which there is unanimity about recruitment – who we get in what positions, what age levels, what blend.

“That’s what we seek.”

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