Football finance expert Kieran Maguire has told The Price of Football Podcast that Nottingham Forest and their owner Evangelos Marinakis have a lot of work to do as they seek to make a long awaited return to the Premier League.
The Reds suffered one of their worst campaign’s in recent memory last season as they finished in a disappointing 17th place, with Sabri Lamouchi being replaced as the club’s manager along the way by Chris Hughton.
Marinakis has seemingly invested a lot of money into the club since becoming majority shareholder back in May 2017 and is clearly intent on seeing some success as a result of his significant investment in both the playing squad and other areas of the club.
Now, Maguire has offered his own assessment of the situation that Forest currently find themselves in, whilst also providing a financial analysis of what Marinakis has down at the City Ground so far:
“The position of Forest is they are a classic case of a club that has been trapped in the Championship for probably too long.
“That means that over the course of the last decade, they have lost £200m because in the Championship if you want to be able to put together a squad, which is going to be competitive, it’s a very expensive business; clubs there are losing money, left, right and centre.
“Now, when I looked at NF Football Investments Ltd, they appear to have owner loans of around about £72m.
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“So clearly, the present owner who is Greek, I believe, has backed the club. He is also keen to develop the ground, so both of those [are] positives.
“If he wants to get his money back realistically, he’s not going to get it back whilst Forest are in the Championship. If he’s already put in £72m and that was pre [pandemic], then I suspect that his loans have substantially increased since then.
“So it’s a case of the club being underwritten by the owner. He appears to have plenty of money on the basis of if you don’t have a lot of money, you wouldn’t have lent the club £72m in the first place, but that would be my assessment.”
The Forest chief previously spoke of his desire to get the Reds into Europe within five years of taking over and also discussed plans to improve the stadium and Nigel Doughty Academy as he looks to move the club up to the next level.
Maguire is quite right when he says that Forest have been stuck in the Championship for far too long, with the Trentside club having seen many a promotion push fall by the wayside over the years.
Marinakis continues to pump money in but he is sure to be growing frustrated by the lack of success that he is getting in return from the players.
It will be interesting to see if they spend big again this summer, with the pandemic sure to play a big factor in the tightness of the purse strings at the City Ground.
They definitely need to bring in fresh blood but I predict that they won’t splash out as much as they have done in recent years.