Owner Fawaz Al Hasawi defends his role in Nottingham Forest takeover collapse

21 January 2017 06:24

Nottingham Forest owner Fawaz Al Hasawi has defended his role in the collapse of the proposed American takeover of the club.

After months of negotiations with an American consortium headed by John Jay Moores, the proposed takeover fell through on January 13 as Al Hasawi felt the deal was "not in the interests of the long-term future" of Forest.

In a statement issued on Thursday, Moores and Charles Noell expressed their disappointment and frustration at the talks collapsing and said it was "not due to any lack of immediately available capital, belief, desire, action or ability" on their part.

They said a revised offer from them with "significantly enhanced terms to acquire 100 per cent of the club, which was the owner's preference" had been turned down earlier this week, an offer they had made after "being informed last week by the current owners that there was no longer a desire to conclude on the agreed terms reflected in the documentation."

In response to that, a statement from Al Hasawi appeared on Forest's official website on Friday evening, which said: "I reject JMI's statement as to why the talks fell apart.

"I cannot go into more detail about the content of the negotiations as a result of the confidentiality restrictions in place. But I want to assure fans I remain as devoted as ever to this great club.

"Admittedly I am frustrated that we could not conclude a deal that would work in the interests of all involved, but I will not allow fans to be misled that the takeover fell through solely because of my actions.

"All negotiations of this type are inherently complex. I have acted with integrity and in good faith throughout the negotiations and reject claims that I had no desire to complete a deal.

"I have made a significant investment into Nottingham Forest and now that the path has been cleared of any obstacles, we can focus again on improving the club's position. I will continue to support the club as I have done from the first day I arrived, and work to build a better future.

"I thank the fans, staff and players for their continued support."

Moores and Noell's statement on Thursday, as quoted by the Nottingham Post, said: "We are disappointed that it was not possible to close the proposed deal for our acquisition of Nottingham Forest Football Club Limited.

"Until now we have chosen not to comment openly about the process of our negotiations with the club's ownership. We recognise the anxiety and uncertainty this situation has caused among Forest fans and share the very deep sense of frustration they are currently feeling.

"We have been firmly committed to completing the acquisition since we opened negotiations in August and we remained optimistic throughout that the sale would be completed.

"That the deal remains incomplete is not due to any lack of immediately available capital, belief, desire, action or ability on the part of either ourselves or our advisory team, who have worked tirelessly throughout.

"In anticipation of this sale actually closing, we made extensive preparations to improve the club, both on and off the pitch. We also chose to support the club financially by lending monies to it to ensure that salaries were met in November and December.

"Our most recently revised offer was made earlier this week. It was made with significantly enhanced terms to acquire 100 per cent of the club, which was the owner's preference.

"Sadly, this offer was not accepted. This offer was made following us being informed last week by the current owners that there was no longer a desire to conclude on the agreed terms reflected in the documentation.

"We will remain interested in following Forest's performance with a view to perhaps re-engaging with the ownership about acquiring the club in the future.

"Nottingham Forest is rightfully proud of its history and rich heritage. We love sport and believe we have skills and experience that would benefit a team.

"We recognise that the club urgently needs long term, deep rooted stability and professionalism to help it build a strong future and to make it a beacon of excellence in every aspect."

Source: PA


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