While it has not yet been confirmed via official channels, Stuart Pearce was able to let us know that Darlow and Lascelles have been sold, to be loaned back to Forest.
The gaffer’s appearance on Matchtalk could not have been better timed; the week before the first match of the season, and the day when two bright young prospects were cashed in, arguably well below market rate.
Naturally, there has been much wailing and gnashing of teeth from the fans (if you are going to tweet Fawaz, please don’t be abusive – it is not big or clever), and while there is broad agreement that Pearce performed admirably when faced with fans’ questions, it is obviously his response to the sale of the two youngsters that has grabbed the headlines.
Personally I feel as though Stuart’s attitude and candour since being appointed has been refreshing, answering many of our concerns about his stature and approach as a gaffer, and contrasting with his playing persona as a man of few words.
Having said that, I feel that Stuart knew that he was onto a winner with this one; by being honest, he enhances his profile with the fans, and galvanises the opinion that the sale was the wrong thing to do. However, he also acknowledged that the club finances are an unknown quantity, so maybe there was a reason for cashing in.
Let’s be honest, Stuart knows that he is a club legend, and that Fawaz cannot afford to play silly buggers if it came to a popularity contest; if Stuart were to leave or be sacked, Fawaz will wish that he never bought the club.
Overall, I cannot help but feel that Fawaz has, once again, been naïve and hasty in his decision-making. After the Billy Davies debacle, the owner acknowledged that he made mistakes and promised to learn from them; this suggests otherwise.
Does Fawaz want the best for the club? I think so. Does he want to be popular with the fans? I think so. Does he need a CEO to run the club properly? Definitely (and from the gaffer’s response, it is clear what he thinks).
My lack of contributions to this blog over the last year have been symptomatic of my falling out of love with the football industry; the beautiful game is still wonderful and poetic, but fickle fans with access to social media and radio phone-ins do my head in, and the business side (balancing the books, the gap between the Premier League and all other comers) is deflating.
If Stuart Pearce hadn’t been appointed, I would not have renewed my season ticket; it is reasonable value but still a lot of money to front up when you are inevitably going to miss some matches. To pay for it, only for promises to be broken (building the squad, no CEO) is absolutely disheartening. Fans are not just customers, we are stakeholders as well, and as with a human relationship, all we ask for is the club to acknowledge our part in the highs and lows.
Over to you Fawaz; this had better be good.