For our web site visitors
out there all over the world, could you tell us... Who is
Nigel Doughty? - Can you give us a little bit about your background?
I was born in Newark and am aged
42. I went to school locally and still live in the area at
Earlier in the year, you
invested a substantial amount of money in Nottingham Forest.
Are you simply an owner of the Club, or do you have an official
I am just a shareholder although the terms of the agreement
do allow me certain rights, particularly the appointment of
a small number of board directors.
How did you go from being
a Forest season-ticket holder to being an owner of the club?
Did you approach the Club or vice versa?
Clearly, I was involved in the Sandy Anderson consortium
and help to put that together at the end of 1997. I was, therefore,
well known to the people in the Club although during the 3
years since that take-over I had not had any involvement with
members of the Bridgford Consortium. Through a mutual friend,
Eric Barnes was introduced to me and we sat down for lunch
in April to decide what should be done about the problems
that the Club currently faced. We set out a plan and with
a great deal of luck and assistance from the people of Nottingham
we were able to achieve our objective in July this year.
What is your day-to-day involvement
with the Club?
Both Eric and I have mapped out a strategic plan over the
next few years to re-establish the Club, putting the Nottingham
back in Nottingham Forest and recruiting the best possible
talent for our senior positions. Beyond this the day to day
responsibilities for the running of Nottingham Forest rest
with the Board and my day to day involvement is negligible.
The Board is now comprised of well established, successful
Nottingham businessmen and the Club is in very good hands.
Investors are often told that
football clubs are not a 'safe' investment. How do you, as
an owner of a venture capital company resolve the issues involved
in putting your own money into a club such as Nottingham Forest?
Clearly, it is not primarily a financial investment. I
did it because I wanted to do it and my love for the Club.
I did not want to see the Club decline any further both in
terms of its competitiveness and its links with the community
You stated at the EGM that
your investment in the Club would be in two stages, the second
investment coming after regaining Premiership status. How
long is this offer good for?
This offer is for 3 years which I hope will be long enough
for us to re-establish the Club and regain and retain Premiership
What if we don't regain Premiership
status? Will you still be prepared to make further investments
in the Club to achieve this goal?
I don't know really, it remains to be seen.
We've seen an article in the
press, where Nigel Clough says that he hoped that Forest didn't
achieve promotion first time round, and that they should consolidate
in division one to get away from the yo-yo tag. Do you agree
with this idea?
I always believe you should grasp opportunity with both
hands but there is some merit in what Nigel has said in that
we have a lot of work to do to re-establish the Club and provide
a foundation for success. The money going in to the new academy
will pay dividends in the years to come. There is also the
fact that we have further money from me to invest in the Club
should we go up, so we would not be in the position of a Bradford
or Barnsley in lacking credible funds to purchase players.
It is a difficult question to answer - one thing we don't
want is to be a yo-yo club again.
You've chosen not to sit
in the Directors' box, which presumably you are entitled to
do. Why is that?
I like to sit with my family in the Brian Clough stand.
Nottingham Forest... when
did you first develop a love for the Club?
I have been a Forest fan as long
as I can remember and went to my first game when I was 7 or
What is the best Forest game
you have even seen?
I don't really have a particular
... and the worst?!
Every game I miss.
Who is the best player you
have even seen in a Forest shirt?
We have had so many good players
over the years it is difficult to isolate one particular player.
I was a great fan of Duncan MacKenzie in the 70's and obviously
the influence John Robertson had on the Club during the 80's.
... and the worst?!
If there was one player you
would like to see come to Forest (money no object), who would
That is really a question for David
Platt rather than me and the Board of Nottingham Forest -
I don't think I would want to prejudice anything they do by
answering that question.
If you were a betting man,
who would your money be on for promotion and relegation this
So far Charlton and Manchester City
look very strong but it is obviously a league in which everyone
can beat everyone else and its going to be very tight. I think
the fact that we have added to the squad will help us in the
latter part of the season as injuries and suspensions take
their toll on all clubs.
From various discussions that
we've had with people connected with the Club, we are lead
to believe that you played a substantial role in recruiting
David Platt... is this right?
Are you impressed with what
you've seen of David so far?
We interviewed a lot of people for
the role of Manager of Nottingham Forest. It is a big job
and you have to be a credible and capable person to do it.
A number of those discussions unfortunately were leaked to
the press but I have to say that both Eric and I were convinced
that David was the best candidate we saw. He is certainly
going to be a very successful manager in the future.
Now that you're an owner of
the club, you obviously need to be more diplomatic about what
you say about players etc. Were you a bit more vocal in
your criticism of the team
and players like our Mr. van Hooijdonk when you were 'merely'
Obviously, I have the same kind
of opinions that many Forest fans have. Recently my position
at the Club means that I have to be a bit more circumspect
about voicing them although they are not different from the
vast majority. We all have favourites and people we believe
can do well in a certain position, that's part of the fun
of football. Part of the fun of football is second guessing
The Club has just appointed
Mark Arthur as the next CEO. This is another significant step
in Eric Barnes' plans to put the 'Nottingham' back into Nottingham
Forest. How much more work do you think remains before Eric's
dream is achieved?
I think we are there now. We have
Board of very successful Nottingham based business people,
a Nottingham based CEO with a background in sports management
and a new manager who has the contacts and credibility to
take the Club forward. More importantly, a Club that is majority
owned by Nottingham people.
The Executive Stand was recently
renamed to honour Brian Clough. At the opening, Brian mentioned
that he would have liked it to have been named 'The Brian
Clough and Peter Taylor Stand' in recognition of the large
contribution Peter made in the partnership. Are there any
plans to honour Peter in a
similar fashion in the future?
This is really a question for the
Board of Nottingham Forest rather than me. It will be nice
to have stands named at the ground after all our famous players
Television has changed the
face of the game over the last decade, in particular the involvement
of Sky Television. Do you think these changes have been for
Yes absolutely, the money that has
come into football from television has transformed the game.
The Premiership is now the best league in the world and attracts
the best players in the world. There really is no turning
back from here.
Are we now reaching a saturation
point with televised football?
For me personally, but I don't tend
to watch that much televised football only if I can't get
to a Forest game and I am stuck in London. There may well
be a role over the internet in time once the capacity to transmit
TV pictures is there, but so far pay per view has not been
very successful in France and Italy except for very big occasions.
Do you think that players'
wages demands are getting out of control? Do you think that
wage-capping is a workable option? An on what scale?
No, there is always a demand and
supply question as in any other industry, if people are prepared
to pay it, then players must be worth it.
It is clear from the success
of 'Pinnacle Place' that reducing prices significantly is
the way to go if you want to put 'bums on seats'. In view
of this, are there any plans to continue this policy or even
expand it to other areas of the ground, and hence generate
the sort of atmosphere that is sadly lacking at the moment?
I agree entirely with this, particularly
as football revenues are more dependent these days on TV revenues
than ticket sales and therefore I think it is important to
generate atmosphere at the ground. It's a bit like having
a hotel room, which is not sold for the night. However, we
have to make sure that we don't cannibalise our current revenue
from season ticket holders by pricing things too cheaply but
there is certainly an argument here and it's a matter of balance
rather than anything else.
Everybody knows that you are
involved with Umbro, is there any chance that Forest supporters
may be able to obtain replica kit at a subsidised price in
No, this would be unfair to all
other Umbro clients.
What is your opinion on the
Internet and Internet communities?
As an avid user myself I find it
helpful. It really builds affinity with the Club and its fans
in different parts of the world. It is a great source of information
when you are travelling and a lot of the sites are very funny
Many thanks for all the support
you have shown for the Club and for taking the time to answer