July 31 1999

Forest Lose to Millwall: Forest lost their final pre-season friendly 2-1 against Millwall this afternoon.

Millwall opened the scoring on 16 minutes after Tim Cahill scored with a header from a corner. The lead only lasted 5 minutes though before Chris Bart-Williams blasted a free kick from just outside the penalty area into the bottom of the net.

Millwall grabbed the winner early in the second half, when Neil Harris, looking suspiciously offside, skipped past Steve Chettle and fired low into the net.

Into The Lions Den: Forest travel down to the Lions Den today to take on Millwall in the First Team's final pre-season Friendly.

David Platt is unlikely to take part after suffering a thigh injury at Bradford on Tuesday. The injury is not serious but it is thought Platt will not want to risk it with the seasons opening game against Ipswich only one week away.

Jesper Mattsson and Andy Johnson are also ruled out of this afternoons match through injury.

July 28 1999

Youth Team Lose To Wycombe: A youthful and inexperienced team lost 2-0 to Wycombe this evening.

Only Steve Guinan, Christian Edwards and new trialist Ludo Pollet (French, from first division Le-Havre) had any first team experience at all. The rest came from the youth ranks. Wycombe fielded an almost full strength team for the game.

Doughty is In: The much publicized EGM took place in the Robin Hood Suite at the City Ground this afternoon. After three and a half hours counting the vote was announced this evening and the resolution to bring on board Nigel Doughty was passed.

The final voting was:

1700 shareholders, representing 57% of the ordinary shares voted, were for the resolution;

51 shareholders, representing 43% of the ordinary shares voted, were against the resolution.

Under the terms of the agreement, Nigel Doughty will subscribe for new ordinary shares to the value of �6 million in NFFC, together with an option to subscribe a further �6 million at a later date.

View From The EGM: As a shareholder in Forest I felt it was my duty to attend this afternoon's meeting, that and I've never been to one before so I wanted to see what went on at these things. After persuading my boss how important it was he allowed me an extended lunch break and off  I went.

One of my overriding impressions of the two hours I spent there is, there does seem to be a little paranoia about the Internet. As I have the memory span of a Goldfish I had taken along a Dictaphone to record the proceedings in the hope that I could give an accurate report on the events about to unfold. However, no sooner had I inserted new batteries into the device than I was surrounded by several rather large gentleman telling me it would be a rather good idea to give them the device and claim it back later. Being a coward I agreed with them. (in fairness they were firm but polite about it) I did ask them why I couldn't use it. To which they replied that Mobile phones and other such devices were banned because they had seen on the Internet that someone had declared their intention to bring along a mobile phone and broadcast the meeting  live on the Internet.

Well, I don't know who they are referring to, I saw nothing about this myself. But it does show that the club do look at these web pages from time to time.

The start of the meeting was delayed by 10-15 minutes due to the large turnout and the need to squeeze everybody in. The good news was that the large turnout would mean a good vote. The bad news was the large turnout meant the Robin Hood Suite became like the inside of an oven.

The meeting was opened by Eric Barnes putting the case for Nigel Doughty, in a nutshell (and because I couldn't take it all in), this simply said that Doughty was a local man, he loved the club, was a lifelong fan, wanted to give us money and his money would be good for the future of the club.

Julian Markham then made a speech on why it wasn't a good move. In a nutshell he said, those shareholders who bought their shares when they first went on the market would see them reduced further in value by this issue of new shares. Doughty would be getting the club 'on the cheap'. His option for a further investment of �6m was just that, an option, and not very likely to happen. 

For some reason a second dose of  Internet paranoia crept in and Markham went off on a tangent by attacking  the Internet, and fans on the Internet. I can't work out what this had to do with the business at hand but he gave the impression he had some strong feelings on the subject. He was telling us how he had been slagged off viciously on the net. He implied that  he had been called some very nasty names on the web and personally attacked through the medium. I know people have had a go at him on the net, particularly in discussion groups, but I don't recall any nasty name calling or such behaviour. So I'm not entirely sure what he was referring to.

After these two opening speeches we were introduced to Nigel Doughty who then told us about his plans for investing in the club and responded to the negative points raised by Markham. He looked nervous, he really doesn't appear to like being in the spotlight. However, despite looking nervous, he spoke well, telling us of his lifelong love affair with the club, etc.

Once the speeches were over with, Eric Barnes opened the proceedings for questions. The first question was to Nigel Doughty, from a shareholder who obviously didn't like his bid. The questioner wanted to know why he should be allowed to buy shares on the cheap (just over 20p each) when he had to pay the full price. Eric Barnes fielded the question and explained that the share price had been agreed with Doughty several months ago when the share price was around 24p each. It is the fact that Doughty showed interest that helped the shares climb to their current level of around 37p.

Several more questions followed from mainly pro-Doughty supporters,  with the odd one thrown in from anti-Doughty shareholders.

The final question went to a pro-Doughty shareholder who asked him what his vision was for the future. Doughty took the microphone and responded that he was not in a position to make silly promises such as a European cup in three years time, etc. But that he would be working along with the rest of the board to take the club as far as he could, to be watching Premiership football in the future, be that next season or the season after. He was confident in David Platt's ability as a manager and thought the club was moving onto a more secure foundation on which to build for the future. He finished by saying that he could make no promises what would happen in the future, and went on to tell us he was an equal partner in Sandy Andersons original bid and he saw that fail because rival bids at the time had made promises that they have never kept. This last bit got the loudest cheer and applause of the afternoon, and from where I was standing it got Doughty a 'bit of a look' from Julian Markham.

The meeting then closed for the vote to take place with an estimate that the vote counting would be over around 4 - 4:30pm.

An interesting, if warm afternoon. I voted for Doughty, so fingers crossed.

Youngsters Are Ready: According to an exclusive in tonight's Nottingham Evening Post, David Platt is ready to throw three young rookies into his battle for promotion.

The youngsters, all graduates of Forest's Youth Academy, are Chris Doig, Kevin Dawson and Stephen Melton.

Platt said "I would have no problems in calling any of these young lads up to start a game this season. They've been training with the first team and they've got an opportunity now. At this moment in time it looks like they will have a part to play.

"If you look at the squad, there's a shortage of numbers. We're going to need these young players."

July 27 1999

Forest Pass Test: Forest passed their sternest test yet when they Bradford City 2-1 at Valley Parade. Goals from Freedman  and Harewood ensured the victory. Full match report appears on the fixtures page.

Sternest Test Yet: Forest travel to Valley Parade tonight to take on Premiership new boys Bradford City in what should prove to be Forest's sternest pre-season match yet.

It is expected that Forest will field as close as possible, the team that will open up the Nationwide Division One campaign on Saturday 7 August against Ipswich Town at Portman Road.

New signing Riccardo Scimeca is expected to start again after a very good display against Brighton on Saturday, and David Platt is also expected to take a playing role in the proceedings, tough as with Saturday this is likely to be as a sub.

Wycombe Go-ahead Given: Despite earlier reports that it had been cancelled due to a Meningitis scare after Wycombe defender Alan Beeton was taken to Hospital suffering from Viral Meningitis, tomorrows game against Wycombe will now go-ahead. Medical experts from both clubs have looked at the situation and given the all clear for the game.

Scimeca Happy to Play For Forest: Riccardo Scimeca had nothing but  praise for Forest after his debut goal at the weekend and believes the club are only a few players away from promotion.
Scimeca made his debut along with David Platt against Brighton on Saturday, and both managed to get on the score sheet as Forest drew 2-2 with the Gulls.

The �2.5m signing from Aston Villa endeared himself to Forest fans by making several effective runs into Brighton's area. 
Scimeca said that he is looking forward to the new season though and believes that the club are not far away from a return to the big time, he went on to say:
"I have made the right decision coming to Forest and although I still think we have a fair bit left to work on, the manager still has a couple of top quality players to bring in. Once he has done some fine tuning I am very confident that we won't be far away."

July 26 1999

Scimeca Unveiled: Riccardo Scimeca was officially unveiled as a Forest player today, at a press conference held at the City Ground.

Scimeca was signed by the club last Wednesday, but no sooner had he put pen to paper he was rushed down to the south coast to join his team mates in their pre-season warm-up. He made his debut against Brighton on Saturday. He looks to be a quality player, keen, alert, always looking for the ball. He was calm under pressure, willing to run forward. He scored one goal, had one disallowed and was involved in an incident in the Brighton penalty area that looked to all the world like a definite penalty to Forest. All the world except the referee, who decided that if Scimeca was stupid enough to get fouled then Brighton deserved a free kick. Ho-hum!

July 24 1999

Platt and Scimeca Save Forest: Both David Platt and Riccardo Scimeca scored on their debuts to save Forest's blushes today.

Forest twice went behind to Brighton, playing their first home game back in Brighton for 27 months. 

Brighton started the brighter of the two clubs, obviously keen to impress their fans and geed up for the occasion. The home team went ahead on 16 minutes with a header from Gary Hart, who rose well above the almost static Forest defence to head home from the penalty spot. At least the first goal at Brighton's new ground had been scored by a Brighton player.

Forest replied almost immediately when Scimeca had the ball in the net only to see his effort disallowed for a foul. But just before half time Scimeca scored again after a neat one-two with Alan Rogers and this time the goal stood. The first half ended all level at 1-1.

The game was obviously a special one for Brighton and they were out to impress. Halfway through the second half  they took the lead after a long ball forward was knocked on by Hart to the feet of Darren Freeman who slid the ball under Mark Crossley.

David Platt made his first appearance in a Forest shirt 20 minutes from time, coming on as a substitute. He looked to still have the magical touch, though he is not yet match fit. A shot on goal looked to be going wide till Platt, standing on the far post stepped up and turned it back into the net to score his first Forest goal.

At the final whistle it ended 2-2, but at least Forest fans can take some heart from both Scimeca and Platt scoring on their debuts. 

Big Ron Speak His Mind: A month after his retirement Big Ron has decided to have a bit of a swipe at Forest, for using him as a human shield last season to deflect the club's behind the scenes problems.
In a new book the former manager labeled some of the players as 'precocious prats' for their attitude to football as a whole, and also refers to Pierre van Hooijdonk as 'pain in the neck Pierre' for his constant disruptions of City Ground life.
Atkinson said of Pierre: "I have to say in all honesty that his primary and most instinctive talent seemed to be for upsetting others around him."
Atkinson also had a swipe at the board for their lack of help during his time in charge, he has commented that he tried to sign striker Dean Windass from Oxford at one stage but was told that he couldn't have the money that he had originally been promised when he signed up to the job.
In fairness though Atkinson did have some kind words about certain members of the club. He goes on to say that Marlon Harewood is a player with a big potential, which goes to show why the former manager used him so often in his line-up despite the players inexperience. He also goes on to single out Alan Rogers, Thierry Bonalair and Mattieu Louis-Jean are all singled out for praise, and says he also expects Dougie Freedman to score freely in the First Division in the season coming.

Wycombe Cancelled: The friendly against Wycombe Wanderers on Wednesday 28th July has been cancelled according to local radio here in Nottingham.

They didn't give specifics regarding why it has been cancelled, just said Wycombe had problems.

However, as I was sat reading the paper this afternoon I discovered the following article in The Sun which may explain it.

Wycombe have been hit with a health scare after one of their players was struck down by Meningitis.

The Second division outfit have been forced to cancel today's friendly against Bohemians in Ireland after defender Alan Beeton was taken to hospital suffering from a viral strain of the brain bug.

Beeton, 20, has made a good recovery and is expected to return home within three days, but all his team mates needed to undergo full medical checkups to make sure they were in the clear.

Club spokesman Alan Hutchinson said: "Alan is in good spirits and should be out in a few days. None of our other players have been affected.

"It was a big scare and we took medical advice not to travel out to Dublin. We did not want anything to be passed on.

"No one knows where Alan picked up the meningitis from, but the main thing is he gets better. We hope he will be back training with us by the end of next week. "

July 24 1999

Gulls Fly Home: Brighton and Hove Albion end two years of exile in Gillingham, when they play their first ever match at their new home Withdean Stadium, against Forest later today.

Brighton, managed by Mickey Adams, who left Forest last season, have been playing their 'home' games at Gillingham since the Goldstone Ground was shut down 27 months ago.

A capacity crowd of 6,000 is expected for today's friendly, fuelled by the likelihood of Forest manager David Platt putting in a playing appearance. Though if he does it is likely to be as a substitute.

Forest fans are also likely to get their first glimpse of new signing Riccardo Scimeca today.

July 23 1999

Fate in Hands of Fans: On Wednesday July 29 an extraordinary general meeting is taking place in the Robin Hood Suite at the City Ground at 1pm. 

Shareholders are to vote on Nigel Doughty's proposed investment in the club. The deal is that for a �6m cash investment, Doughty will be given 40.5% of newly issued Forest shares and an option to invest a further �6m at a later date for an additional 14.5% shares, increasing his holding to 55%.

The option for the additional 14.5% is to be taken by July 1 2002, or within six months of Forest regaining Premiership status, which ever is the sooner.

It would appear that the majority of Forest fans are keen for the bid to succeed. The �6m in the transfer kitty being a very welcome addition. But some of the clubs major shareholders are not so keen.

For instance, Julian Markham and Irving Scholar, who both quit the board in an acrimonious spilt last month are both thought to be against the move. Despite quitting, the pair have retained their shares in the club and between them they own 24.3% of the existing shares. 

The vote will take the form of one share one vote, therefore, with Markham and Scholar having 10million+ shares between them, they have a very powerful voice.

The problem for the major shareholders like Scholar, Markham and independent bankers Singer and Freidlander is not the fact that Forest would have �6m in the transfer kitty, but that the shares being offered are new shares in the club. This will have the effect of devaluing all existing shares and the key issue is whether or not the shares would ever regain their value.

Eric Barnes and the rest of the board are arguing that the potential �12m investment in the club, the arrival of David Platt and players such as Riccardo Scimeca  will all have a positive effect and the share price will climb.

Of course, as we all know only too well, nothing in football is ever certain. Either party could be right or wrong.

The vote at the moment looks very close from the board level, too close for comfort. So it is vital that the ordinary shareholders, the fans themselves, who bought shares in the club, make their vote count. If they do they can make the difference.

As a shareholder you have two ways to vote, in person or by proxy.

To vote by proxy, fill in the voting card you received in the post and send it off immediately. It has to be at IRG headquarters by 1pm Monday 26 July.

To vote in person you can attend the City Ground meeting on Wednesday 28 July at 1pm.

However you do it, all we can say is please make sure you do it. The future of our club is in your hands.

 July 22 1999

Scimeca Signs: Riccardo Scimeca has finally put pen to paper and signed his contract with Forest.

Forest have got the player for �2.5m, rising to �3m on appearances. Scimeca returned to the City Ground earlier today to finish off the formalities and then promptly rushed off to the south coast to join the rest of his new team mates.

Scimeca said: "I hope to be involved on against Brighton on Saturday.

"The move was a bit drawn out, there were a few complications but I'm very happy that I've finally signed.

"One of the the major reasons I've come to Forest is David Platt. We've had discussions and I'm impressed with what he has got to say. He wants the club to bounce straight back up to the Premiership and so do I."

July 21 1999

Forest Lose Their Cherry: David Platt lost tonight, for the first time since he took charge at the City Ground.

Forest were playing Bournemouth in a pre-season friendly and were roundly beaten 3-1 by the Cherries.

The Forest performance was not one of their best by any stretch of the imagination. They were 2-0 down in the first nine minutes and didn't reply until the 24th minute when Nigel Quashie struck with a very sweet shot from 20 yards. It was not, however, a sign that things were getting better and on 36 minutes the Cherries struck again making it 3-1.

After half time the Cherries changed almost their whole team, and although Forest performed better in the second half, starting very well. It just wasn't to be. Freedman had the ball in the net but is was disallowed for a handball. The half continued with Forest playing better. Freedman fired over and Chettle headed wide, but the best effort came from Rogers whose shot beat the goalkeeper only to be denied by the post. Bournemouth almost had the last word though as Mark Stein missed an absolute sitter in the closing minutes of the game.

Its Not Jermaine: It has just been announced on Sky Sports News that Jermaine Wright has turned down Forest and accepted the offer from Ipswich Town.

July 20 1999

Johnson Out for 12 Weeks: Andy Johnson is going to be out of action for 12 weeks due to a torn Achilles tendon.

Johnson has been wearing a plaster cast for several weeks in the hope that the injury would heal and he would not require an operation. Doctors have told him that the injury is not healing and therefore, an operation is required.

With this news, and the already depleted squad it is looking more and more likely that David Platt will be putting in a few playing appearances this season.

It Is Jermaine: Forest have confirmed today that they have had a bid of �500,00 accepted by Crewe for midfielder Jermaine Wright.

Ipswich have also spoken to Wright, who is expected at the City Ground to talk personal terms with the club. He will then have to decide where he fancies playing.

No Signings Yet: Talks have started between Forest and Riccardo Scimeca, but nothing has yet been agreed. The player is expected back at the City Ground shortly and Platt hopes to have the signing done and dusted in the next 24-48 hours.

Blackburn are also interested in Scimeca and are monitoring the situation.

July 19 1999

Forest Confirm Names: Forest have today confirmed the names of the players they are attempting to sign.

They have agreed a bid of �2.5m with Aston Villa for Riccardo Scimeca. This will rise to �3m on appearances.

Scimeca is due at the City Ground today to discuss (and hopefully agree) personal terms.

They have also confirmed that they have had a bid of �1.5m accepted by Chelsea for Bjarne Goldbaek, the Danish midfielder. Goldbaek now has to decide whether he wants the move or not. If he does he will meet Platt later this week to discuss personal terms.

Birmingham City also tried to sign Goldbaek, but after agreeing a fee with Chelsea failed to a reach an agreement with the player over personal terms.

July 17 1999

Forest Draw Again: Forest drew 1-1 with St. Patricks this evening in the final game of their Irish tour.

St. Patricks took the lead on 41 minutes with a goal from McGuinness and Forest's reply came seven minutes later from Andy Gray.

July 16 1999

Forest Draw in Ireland: Forest drew 1-1 with Bray Wanderers in the first match of their two game tour in Ireland this week.

Bray took the lead on eight minutes when a shot from Irishman Mick Doohan was deflected into the net by Mathieu Louis-Jean.

After a very poor first half Forest equalized on 57 minutes with a goal from Marlon Harewood, shooting into an empty net after some excellent build up play from Quashie and John Burns. Alan Rogers then hit the post and Carlton Palmer hit the crossbar with a header.

Despite the slightly disappointing result David Platt was pleased with the performance. he said "We dominated the game and created the opportunities to go on and win it. We had 18 players out there and the important thing is just getting their fitness sorted out."

Clayton Goes: As speculated yesterday, it has today been confirmed that David Clayton, Commercial Director at the City Ground has left Forest as part of the new restructuring process.

July 15 1999

Palmer Relieved at FA Punishment: Carlton Palmer today expressed his relief after an FA disciplinary hearing cleared him to launch the new season with Nottingham Forest. It was feared that he may receive a one or two game ban, but instead the FA have fined him �3,500 and warned him about his future conduct.

July 14 1999

Forest XI Win at Hucknall: A Forest XI have beaten Hucknall Town tonight at Watnall Road. The final score was 3-0 to the reds team, made up mainly of younger players. Key points of the game were:

  • Allou missed a penalty (in fairness, it looked well saved) 
  • Steve Guinan was stretchered off after a bad clash for a 50-50 ball 
  • Hodgson scored 2 of the goals
  • Melton scored the other goal
  • Ulrik Drost came on after 60 minutes. He didn't score but looked good.
  • David Platt was there to watch
  • We won, nuff said!

Dane on Trial: Forest have taken Danish striker Ulrik Drost on trial.

Drost is 22 years old and his contract at Danish club Herfloge BK has expired. However, because he is under 24 years old normal Bosman rules do not apply and if Forest want him permanently they will almost certainly have to pay a fee.

Drost will make his first appearance in a Forest shirt tonight when a Nottingham Forest XI play Hucknall Town, KO 7:30.

It is going to be a mainly young Forest side that play tonight, though a few of those who played at Peterborough last night will be getting another run out.

The Forest team for tonight will come from the following: Goodlad, Cooper, Doig, Edwards, Dawson, Williams, Allou, Gray, Turner, Prutton, Guinan, Melton, Burns, Hodgson, Edds, Freeman, Drost and Harewood.

Psycho on the Loose: Newcastle are letting Rob Lee and Stuart Pearce go. Rob Lee is transfer listed at �1m, and Leicester are favourites to land him after having a �2m bid turned down in the middle of last season.

Psycho is available for free and has been told by Newcastle that he has kicked his last ball for them. He said: "I still feel I have a lot to offer, Ruud Gullit has made it clear I am here as a non-playing player, which is irritating.

"I have my own views but I have always behaved professionally and I will continue to do that."

Pearce, already working with Howard Wilkinson on the England youth squads, has offered to coach the Newcastle youth squad rather than waste away in the reserves.

Hmm! Psycho at left back with Rogers taking the left of midfield, there's something for Platt to think about in the coming weeks. 

July 13 1999

Platt Wins First Game: Forest have won their first game since David Platt took charge. The pre-season friendly at Peterborough saw Forest come away with a 1-2 win. Forest's scorers were Alan Rogers and Ian Woan, Peterborough's response came from Jae Martin. 

For a full match report see the match report section of this web site.

Platt's First Game: David Platt's first game in charge of Forest will take place tonight. The game is away at Peterborough United.

Platt, who is not expected to play in tonight's game, has named his first ever Forest squad. They are:    Beasant, Crossley, Louis-Jean, Mattsson, Palmer, Chettle, Edwards, Bonalair, Rogers, Quashie, Bart-Williams, Woan, Melton, Burns, Gray, Harewood, Freedman and Guinan.

July 12 1999

Dirty Forest Fined: Forest have been hit with a �25,000 fine, suspended for one year. The fine is for finishing second to bottom in the disciplinary table with 96 yellow and seven red cards. Everton were the only team with a worse record, they, logically, finished bottom.

Seven months earlier, in October 1998 Forest were in the running for a UEFA Cup place thanks to being top of the fair play league with only 27 yellow and one red card. Unfortunately the battle against the drop saw a more "committed" Forest team gather a flurry of yellow and red cards.

Forest have been given 12 months to "get their house in order", if they don't the fine will have to be paid.

July 10 1999

Platt's First Signing: David Platt has today signed his first player for Forest. No new faces I'm afraid, but he has persuaded Dave Beasant to sign a one year contract.

Beasant, recently the subject of interest from Premiership teams, Liverpool and Newcastle, and First Division teams including Wolves and Barnsley, signed after a week of Talks with Platt. 

He said: "David and I have met this week and we have agreed a new 12 month contract."

"I am very pleased to be staying on at Forest and hopefully, I can figure in first team football."

July 9 1999

Forest - Six short: Des Lyttle has today told the Nottingham Evening Post, in an interview with Oliver Kay, that Forest are six players short of having a team that could get Forest back to the Premiership at the first try.

 Platt now has a squad of just 20 players with first team experience. This includes two youngsters, Steve Melton and John Burns, with only one appearance each.

Injury and Discipline Problems for Platt: To add more woes to Platt's already threadbare squad, Steve Chettle is suspended for the first game of the season, against Ipswich at Portman Road. Andy Johnson is sidelined with a torn Achilles tendon and not expected back into full training until the middle of August. Jon Olav Hjelde is still not back in training after his injury problems last season and  Carlton Palmer and Thierry Bonalair both face disciplinary action which could see them banned in the early part of the season.

Platt, who has a reported kitty of �16m, is going to have to start delving into the transfer market fairly soon. The first pre-season friendly, against Peterborough, is only four days away. The start of the new season, August 7, is only five weeks away

July 8 1999

Lyttle Completes: Graham Taylor, manager of Premiership new boys Watford, has completed the signing of Forest right back Des Lyttle this evening.

Lyttle, whose contract expired last Wednesday,  was offered an extension to his contract, on greatly reduced wages, to allow him time to prove himself to new boss Platt. 

He declined the offer and joins Watford on a free transfer under the Bosman ruling.

July 6 1999

Carlton Hits Back: There has been very little feedback from the club with regards to Pierre's comments in the press this weekend. This may be a politically correct move on their behalf, not to enter into a slanging match with the Dutchman, and let the World decide for itself what a twat he really is.

However, Carlton Palmer has decided to speak up on behalf of the players Pierre referred to as crap, saying:

"Pierre Van Hooijdonk has upset and disrespected a lot of players at Nottingham Forest.

"To be honest I don't think he was that good a player. He hardly scored any goals from open play in the First Division and was not that good last season."

Palmer was one of several players - including Des Lyttle and Dave Beasant - to have a 'chat' with new boss Platt yesterday, to discuss their futures at the club. When asked how these discussions had gone he responded:

"I have worked with David for four years before. He is a very intelligent bloke and the players will love him.

"David is young and is hungry for success, and I am happy he has been appointed as manager.

"Both myself and David have had a good chat and we talked about a lot of things. I am under contract for another two years and I will now just be getting on with my job."

I assume from this he means he is going to stick with us for a while and see what happens in the first month or two of the new season.

July 5 1999

Platt Signs Two: David Platt, in full charge of the team for the first time today, has made his first two signings. The new people in question are members of his backroom staff and they are, Dennis Booth and Mark James.

Dennis Booth Joins as Platt's assistant, though Platt says that he will not have an official title as all members of his team are his assistants. Booth, an Ilkeston lad and ex Notts County coach, was only two weeks into his contract at Port Vale as chief scout, when Platt offered him the job.

Mark James is a Masseur, he has worked at Arsenal for several years and this is where Platt got to know him.

July 4 1999

The Whinging Dutchman Speaks Out: With the ink barely dry on his new contract at Vitesse Arnhem, Pierre has decided to share his thoughts on Forest with the rest of the world. In an exclusive interview with Fred Burcombe of the News of The World he reveals the following little gems:

"I�d be ashamed to play for Forest against a Dutch club. I�d rather not be on the pitch.

"Nottingham Forest was a big mistake. It is a terribly amateurish club. They have players who are such crap you don�t want to know.

"And they are getting astonishing wages. It amazed me. In England they believe they have the best league in the Europe. But does no-one wonder why the best players, Ronaldo and Zidane, don�t play there?

"I won�t go on strike again. I still think I was right. Forest�s relegation proved my words of warning. But getting others to believe is a different matter.

"Though Vitesse paid �3.5m for me. Forest initially wanted �8m. That is why I went on strike. It was a ridiculous fee.

"I�d scored 34 goals for them but that was in the First Division. It was my trip to Brazil with Holland recently that made me sure about leaving. I was strolling with Coach Frank Rijkaard and he said it would be wise if I went to a major club in Holland or elsewhere in Europe.

"I knew enough. It meant he wanted me to play at high level because he wants me in the squad for Euro 2000.

"I want to keep my place and be a star and wipe out the terrible nightmare of Forest. In the past 12 months there I have never developed. It was so negative � and the last thing is always what people remember.

"I had many conflicts with the club and I did have a bit of a fight with them over my departure. I was entitled to a fairly large slice of the transfer but I dropped my claim because I so badly wanted to cut out that period of my life.

"The battle between Forest and me was no result. I think we both lost.

"But there has been one winner. My new club have just signed the most motivated player in Europe".

Well, that�s him off my Christmas card list then.

July 1 1999 - A Special Day indeed!

The Waiting is Over: At last, after weeks of speculation, and O'Neill and Hoddle both turning the job down, Forest have finally announced the new manager. Despite a list of many names, the chosen one has come somewhat out of the blue, it is none other than David Platt.

Forest held a press conference this afternoon to make the formal announcement. Highlights of the press conference are:

  • Platt has been given a 3 year contract
  • He is officially just the  manager, although he is going to register as a player and will play, if fit enough, when necessary
  • Nigel Doughty approves of the appointment and will be investing an initial sum of �6m
  • A transfer budget of approx. �10m will be made available this season for Platt to strengthen the squad
  • He will make decisions on his backroom staff over the next few days
  • He officially starts his new job on Monday 5 July

I've got to say that this appointment took me, like a lot of other people, completely by surprise. My initial reaction, after the surprise, was one of a little disappointment. However, now I�ve had time to reflect on the appointment, and watched the press conference a couple of times on video, I�ve got to say that it looks very promising. I for one, and the rest of the lads here at the web site, will be right behind him in the coming weeks.

So, to David Platt, from all here at the web site, welcome to Nottingham, welcome to Forest, and the very best of luck to you and the team for the coming season.

If you want to find out a little more about David Platt, go to the Who's Who section of this web site and check out the managers page.



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