After what can only be described as a comedy post in today’s Metro (http://metro.co.uk/2014/02/03/ten-reasons-why-nottingham-forests-fawaz-al-hasawi-is-the-best-owner-in-football-4288747/), I’ve decided to offer a truthful endorsement of the better football owners down the road…
1. They’ve always been welcome
Unlike our friendly red friends up north, the Srivaddhanaprabhas have always been welcomed at Leicester City Football Club, certainly seeing as manager chopping maniac Milan Mandaric was their predecessor. In fact, the Foxes fanbase has never had a problem with foreign ownership unlike Forest fans. You remember those “you used to be English, you’re not anymore!” chants a few years ago? They were about ownership, right?
2. They’re fans of the club too
Leicester’s official owner, Aiyawatt has been a fan of the boys in blue ever since Steve Claridge dragged the ball in to the back of the net to win the 1997 League Cup at Middlesbrough. In fact, it was the first game that the Thai had seen in England. Fawaz knew Forest won something in the 70s.
3. They sign who they want
The Thais certainly have a frivolous past at Leicester City. We all know what happened in the summer of 2011 during Sven’s mega spending spree, well they actually do get all the players they want. Unlike Fawaz, who can be so frugal at times he even blames poor vision for an uncompleted signing. Classic.
4. They have proven us right
There’s no questioning that the Srivaddhanaprabhas certainly got it wrong at first but they did begin to champion managerial stability and sustainable growth long before Fawaz invented it at Forest. Fawaz continues to ignore the Financial Fair Play Rules too. ‘Big-spending’ Leicester have made massive strides to fall in line with the new regulations, spending a net total of just £400,000 on transfers this season. Leicester actually accumulated £103m worth of debt from the 2011 transfer debacle but our owners wiped that clear in December. £103m just like that. But Fawaz signed Jack Hobbs, well the second time, he lied the first, I suppose that’s the same. Oh, and we certainly never doubted the authenticity of their credentials unlike the Tricky Trees. (http://www.forestfans.net/index.php?/topic/19294-wonder-if-fawaz-al-hasawi-has-the-money/page-3)
5. They listen to the right fans
It’s fantastic that Fawaz Al-Hasawi blindly follows the whims of the Nottingham Forest faithful. It’s certainly a much better idea than Vichai and Aiyawatt ignoring the Sven supporters and removing a man who wrongly or rightly thought he could spend the Foxes in to oblivion and the 50% of Leicester fans that wanted Nigel Pearson gone this summer.
6. They BACK their manager
The reason I capitalised ‘back’ is because making out that Fawaz Al-Hasawi is the greatest supporter of under-fire managers is simply ludicrous and entirely untrue. Vichai and Top (as Aiyawatt likes to be known) got rid of the feckless Paulo Sousa and careless Sven-Goran Eriksson and have since stuck by Nigel Pearson, who was in charge during Leicester’s dramatic collapse last season. Fawaz, on the other hand? He sacked one perfectly good manager, didn’t give another one a chance, brought back an old one and gets the plaudits for sticking with a manager that saved their season. What a pioneer!
7. They have their name on their shirts
I’m not sure why this is one of the ten best things about Fawaz Al-Hasawi but still, the Srivaddhanaprabhas do it better. Fawaz took the bold step of slapping his name on Forest’s shirt. The Thais did the same but trump the Kuwaiti by subsequently naming Leicester’s stadium after their business and opening a Leicester City merchandise section inside their duty free stores.
8. They have worldwide appeal
Credit to Fawaz for signing a deal to put every single one of Nottingham Forest’s home matches on Al Jazeera. Even our home matches aren’t always televised; most of them are, by Sky actually but that’s a different topic. The Srivaddhanaprabhas are pretty influential themselves, having been gifted with a new surname by the King of Thailand. They even claim that Thai football fans follow the Foxes as much as the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool. That’s certainly feasible if we were to look back on the pandemonium when Leicester played the Thai national team in 2010, winning 2-0. But then again, I suppose Nottingham Forest are already ‘world famous’, so it doesn’t matter does it?
9. They give more back to our fans
Fawaz takes pictures with the fans, tweets them and put a big old screen in the City Ground to broadcast an endless loop of King Billy’s unfinished business propaganda. The Thais have merely redeveloped the stadium, introduced a state of the art pitch, two giant screen TVs and an extravagant upgrade for the club’s training facilities, putting them up there with the best in the country. They’ve also regularly provided fans with freebies such as shirts, scarves, hot drinks, pies and season review DVDs. Oh, and who can forget the glamour friendly they arranged back in 2011 with Real Madrid to reward the fans for their loyal support. Forest got Aston Villa.
10. They don’t need the attention
The Thais are happy to sit in the shadows while Nigel Pearson’s Foxes strut their stuff. They don’t need a Twitter account to tease the City fanbase with empty promises and they certainly don’t need to impose a media blackout to prevent any bad press coming their way, and most importantly of all, we don’t need Natalie Jackson hanging around our boss like a bad smell.
So hat’s off to Fawaz and his gullible public, the Leicester City fans don’t need to label our owners ‘the best in football’ or dedicate a whole day to them in a bid to suit the cult of personality Fawaz has displayed at Forest. In fact, we know how lucky we are and the owners know how much they’re appreciated for the good things they actually do.