June 30 1999

Markham Speaks Out: Julian Markham has spoken out today after his shock resignation from the Forest board yesterday. He claims he has quit because he was being left in the dark over major business dealings. Markham will retain his 14% stake in the club though.

He outlines a string of complaints against the board including

  • Only learning about investment discussions with Nigel Doughty through an article appearing in the Evening Post
  • Never being informed of any plans to bring in Glenn Hoddle as new manager
  • Fears over the delay in appointing a new manager

He went on to say "I have been unhappy for some time about a variety of matters, but most recently at the lack of information that I have been receiving as a director of the company".

"I am seriously concerned that I may be perceived to be a party to actions by the board of a listed PLC, about which I have not been kept informed or properly consulted."

He finished the interview by saying " I wish the club and in particular, its loyal fans a successful future and a return to past glories. My hopes for the future are reflected in the present intention to retain a substantial financial investment in the club."

June 29 1999

Pierre off at Last: After what seems like an eternity, the whinging, oops, sorry, I mean waiting, is over and Pierre has completed his move to Vitesse Arnhem today. Forest receive �3.5m for the Dutch striker and he gets a reported �550,000 a year salary. The following article is extracted from the Sporting Life.

Pierre van Hooijdonk brought an end to his controversial four-year career in British football on Tuesday with a parting shot at Nottingham Forest. The Dutch striker completed a �3.5million move from Forest to Vitesse Arnhem. Van Hooijdonk, who staged a three-month strike at the start of last season, left the City Ground with few regrets. He said: "Everything is now sorted out, and I am going back to Holland with a clear head.

"In the future I will think three or four times before taking strike action again, but the relegation of Nottingham Forest proved that my words were right." Van Hooijdonk joined Celtic in 1995, before moving to Forest in 1997 - after an acrimonious bust-up at Parkhead - for �4.5million.

June 24 1999

Thomas off to Barnsley: Geoff Thomas has today signed a one year contract with Barnsley. He rejoins old boss Dave Bassett on a free transfer after deciding not to take Forest up on their offer of a three month contract to prove his fitness.

Barnes Hits Back: After yesterday criticism from Irving Scholar, Eric Barnes the Forest Chairman has responded with the following; extracted from an interview in the Nottingham Evening Post:

Nottingham Forest chairman Eric Barnes has blamed Irving Scholar for the First Division club�s on-field troubles. Scholar resigned as the club�s director of football earlier this week and hit out at his former board colleagues, blaming a lack of investment in new players for Forest�s relegation last season.

But Barnes insisted: "The responsibility for the playing side seems to me to have been in the hands of the director of football.

"While I have only been here for a couple of months, he has been director of football for two and a half years and presumably responsible for the football element of the club." Scholar also blasted Barnes for the 10-week delay in appointing a new manager. Barnes maintains there is still a shortlist for the job and insists he is not pursuing a specific target - despite speculation linking Forest with former England coach Glenn Hoddle.

Barnes revealed: "What I can say quite definitely is that the board are acutely aware of the timing and that the players are returning for pre-season training next week. We are working hard to resolve the issue of the new manager but the important thing is that we appoint the right person." Barnes has confirmed that Peter Shreeves has agreed to lead pre-season training.

Shreeves was assistant to outgoing boss Ron Atkinson and has had his contract extended to fill in until a new manager is appointed. Barnes added: "Peter has agreed to stay on at the club pending the appointment of the new manager. He will be here to welcome the players back and he has a programme in place and he has also organized the closed-season fixtures."

June 23 1999

Scholar Resigns: Extracted from an article in today's Daily Express.

Former Tottenham chairman Irving Scholar has resigned from the Nottingham Forest board amid controversy over the appointment of a new manager at the City Ground. Scholar reportedly wanted Forest to bring in ex-Liverpool boss Roy Evans but the newly-relegated side�s chairman Eric Barnes and director Nigel Doughty instead tried to recruit former England coach Glenn Hoddle.

"In a football sense, the club is run in amateurish fashion," said Scholar. "The most important thing is to plan thoroughly for a new season and whoever comes in as Forest�s new manager will have no chance to do that."

Scholar told The Express: "Everything should be put in place by now. There is too much politics going on at the club and politics and football don�t mix."

Forest are still officially managed by Ron Atkinson whose tenure in charge runs out at the end of the month.

June 12 1999

Little Quits: Brian Little has resigned as the manager of Stoke City. This action further increases the speculation that he is lined up to be the new Forest boss.

McGregor on a Bosman: Plymouth Argyle boss Kevin Hodges has clinched his first major summer signing after securing the signature of Nottingham Forest midfielder Paul McGregor on a free transfer under the Bosman Ruling.

Hodges had shown interest in McGregor before transfer deadline day last season but although he did come close to getting him, Preston North End came in at the last minute and a possible loan move was scotched. The 24-year-old has joined the Pilgrims on a two-year contract and after playing for Forest�s reserves over the past two seasons he admitted that he couldn�t wait for some first-team action.

"I nearly came down on deadline day but right at the death Preston came in for me and being such a massive club my agent advised me to go there," he said. "But I just can�t wait to get some regular first-team football." And he admitted that having been part of the Forest set-up since he was a schoolboy, his move south will involve a lot of change but he is relishing the new opportunity. He said: "It�s a completely new experience for me. I�ve been at Forest since I was 11 and I�ve lived in Nottingham all my life, so it�s going to be a big upheaval and a test of character. "I wasn�t sure about dropping all the divisions when I first thought about it but if we�re doing well and can pull the crowds in it�ll be better than the times I�ve had at Forest. "I�ve been languishing in the reserves at Forest and you do start not to enjoy it and so the biggest thing I�ve wanted for two years was to move somewhere and play."

The 5ft l0in Liverpool-born player is perhaps best remembered for the goal he scored for Forest in the third round of the UEFA Cup in 1995 against Lyon when, at just 19, he came on as a substitute and scored the two-legged tie�s only goal to send his side through to the quarter-finals.

This report was sent in by Dave "The PlymouthRed" Brown.

June 11 1999

Martin O'Neill has finally signed the extension to his contract at Leicester City. Finally putting an end to the speculation over him becoming the new manager at Forest.

June 8 1999

Doug Livermore, who joined Forest earlier this season to act as assistant to Ron Atkinson and Peter Shreeves, has today left the club and signed on as assistant to Bruce Rioch at Norwich City. It was originally thought that Livermore, originally Roy Evans assistant at Anfield would be reunited with his former boss should he come to Forest. Perhaps he knows something we don't...

June 7 1999

Marco Pascolo has at last ended his misery as Forest's third choice goalkeeper by Joining FC Zurich today. Forest have finally agreed to let him go on a free transfer. This in effect has cost the club �750,000, the fee they paid for him in the summer of 1997. Pascolo only made six first team appearances for the club which breaks down to �125,000 per game.

Forest are now left with only two first choice 'keepers, Mark Crossley and Dave Beasant. Though Beasant's contract runs out at the end of June and he has not yet been offered a new one. Whether the departure of Pascolo will alter this situation or not we will just have to wait and see.

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