Pearce knew about sales - Al Hasawi
Nottingham Forest owner and chairman Fawaz Al Hasawi insists Stuart Pearce was involved in the decision to sell Jamaal Lascelles and Karl Darlow.
Pearce, the Forest manager, reacted with some annoyance on Monday evening when asked about the two players joining Newcastle - insisting that they had been allowed to leave against his advice.
Central defender Lascelles, 20, and goalkeeper Darlow, 23, have since completed their moves to the Magpies, who will loan them back to the Reds for their 2014-15 Sky Bet Championship campaign.
Al Hasawi insists the decision was purely a business one made with the best interests of the club in mind and that there was no room for sentiment.
He believes the money the club will receive - thought to be in the region of £7million - will help bring Forest in line with Financial Fair Play guidelines as well as help strengthen the squad.
In a statement the Kuwaiti businessman said: ''I would love nothing more than to hold on to our best young players. I gave both Karl Darlow and Jamaal Lascelles lengthy new contracts in August 2013 and March 2014 respectively, as well as investing in the futures of Jamie Paterson, Ben Osborn and Dimitar Evtimov.
''I have demonstrated my keenness for the club to produce more players of Karl and Jamaal's quality more than ever this summer, investing heavily in the facilities and supporting Stuart in his desire to integrate our youth set-up with the first team's.
''The manager and I openly discussed the proposed sale of Karl and Jamaal and he was aware of the negotiations throughout.
''The business side of football is changing and the requirement to increase revenue means, unfortunately, difficult decisions have to be made.
''As Stuart mentioned in his media interview, I have always backed him financially and that will continue. I respect him greatly and I strongly believe together we can achieve our aims and bring success back to this great club.
''Should the pair's proposed move to Newcastle be completed as expected, the transfer fees will significantly help us meet the stringent Financial Fair Play (FFP) criteria, all the while allowing us to retain two high-quality players for the 2014-15 season, paying nothing towards their wages.
''Sadly for me, there is no room for sentimentality in the running of a football club and it is up to me to start making some tough decisions to preserve the long-term sustainability of Nottingham Forest.
''But while balancing the books is a hugely significant part of my role, it remains my job to ensure the manager has the best possible squad to work with as we pursue a place in the Premier League.
"Rest assured, therefore, that more additions will be made and the squad will be trimmed further to ensure we have a balanced and talented group of players in place.''
Al Hasawi added on Twitter shortly afterwards: ''In addition to that, Stuart and I work together as a team, and not work behind each other's backs to bring the best out of this club.''
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