Sunday, 1 January 2017

Fawaz's tweets show he's learned nothing from four years of failure

There's an unhealthy sense of 'here we go again' when Fawaz tweets isn't there? Last night's social media missives showed, once again, that he's learned very little from four years of failure at the City Ground.

First of all came the unedifying spectacle of young Ben Brereton's contract announcement seemingly being rushed out to detract away from yet another paperwork fiasco.

That should have been a moment to rejoice - yet another academy star set to emerge from the production line. Instead it came at a time when the club was having to explain away yet another red tape cock up.

It might only be a 'formality' but the fact is that failure to provide financial paperwork to the FA has caused us to be placed in yet another transfer embargo. It might be easily solved when the takeover is complete but it really shouldn't have happened and it can't have impressed John Jay Moores and co. There's a way to bow out with dignity and professionalism and this is not it.

Worse still came in Fawaz's replies to fans. Now, you might argue that Fawaz gets a lot of unnecessary abuse on Twitter and I'm sure he does. There's no excuse for violent or abusive language directed towards anyone. To be honest, I've always felt that anyone who descends into dropping the 'c bomb' diminishes any point they might want to make. I'm no prude but there's no need.

However, right from the start Fawaz has revelled in the attention he has been able to get on social media. He's made transfer announcements and released other club news through the medium of 140 characters. He's set the tone and should've known that there would be rough to come with the smooth. It's easy to say you want to have a direct line to the fans but that does mean having to keep your cool when you don't like what you hear from them.

Last night he became defensive over a sarcastic comment about the Oliver Burke money.

The more I think about this tweet, the more I think it sums up what has gone wrong under Fawaz's leadership.

Firstly, it's hardly the language of someone who wants to be seen as a serious businessman is it? In fact, it sounds pretty petty to me.

Secondly, Fawaz has to accept that the reason why he's being ridiculed for the sale of Oliver Burke is because it looks set to be a spectacularly bad piece of business. Fawaz himself boasted about what a great deal he'd got for the prodigal winger and gave a confusing set of interviews in which he hinted that the manager would have the money to spend in January. Does anyone think we'll ever see any of that cash spent on the playing staff? If the money was, in reality, needed for FFP then we've been misled and Burke has been sacrificed to cover up Fawaz's failings. Either way, it's a mess.

Then there's the sheer hypocrisy of the question in his tweet. Do we know how much Fawaz has put into the club? Well, no actually. But, funnily enough, neither does the FA. The fact is that if Fawaz had bothered to fill out the paperwork and say how much he'd spent then we wouldn't be in an embargo and the new owner wouldn't have a mess to mop up. What awful timing to be trying to score that particular point.

Then there's the word 'invest'. A more accurate alternative would surely be 'waste'. Fawaz has poured money into inflated contracts and fees for average players and fired a succession of managers. His only plan has been to spend more to try to paper over the cracks. However much Fawaz has spent, it's said to be in the region of £100 million, the fact is that he could have got away with spending half the amount if he'd run the club properly and might well have got us to the Premier League. The sole reason he has spent quite so much is because the money he's stumped up has been used badly.

Money is necessary in the mad world of the Championship, yes, but organisation and structure are worth their weight in gold. The fact that he still sees his money as an 'investment' makes me think he hasn't learned a jot. His legacy is to leave a club with zero structure and a diminishing reputation. Some investment.

Last night he also asked fans to consider the players he had bought. Again, in a well run club he'd have provided the money needed for others to do the buying. It shouldn't have been about him and his ego. His role should have been about holding those to account who spent the money on his behalf.

It's worth adding the disclaimer that I know the person Fawaz tweeted. He's a good friend. As a result I also happen to know this person spends an awful lot of their time and money going around the country watching the mess of a club Fawaz has presided over. He's been a Forest fan longer than Fawaz and will still be here when he gets bored and clears off for good (it seems like he's clinging on to 20% for now). Frankly, given the mess Kev has watched, he's earned the right to make a sarcastic joke about the club. I'm sure there's plenty worse he could have said.

I gave Fawaz plenty of time. I still don't think he came with the intention of doing anything dodgy. I think he wanted the glory of leading us to the top flight and, frankly, I wasn't bothered if his ego trip coincided with success for the club too. But, whatever his intentions, he hasn't been up to the challenge. It really is time to go now.

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