New owners ‘will try their best to take Nottingham Forest to where it should be’ – read the full transcript of Fawaz Al Hasawi’s latest interview


More than five months after selling Nottingham Forest to Evangelos Marinakis, Fawaz Al Hasawi has spoken about his feelings since leaving the club.

In an interview with the BBC, the 49-year-old revealed he didn’t know how difficult owning the club in the Championship would be, and apologised to supporters for not returning Forest to the Premier League.

Here is the full transcript of his interview.

Fawaz on selling Forest…

“My dream that I want to take Nottingham to the Premier League, but it didn’t happen so I’ve said sorry I couldn’t do it, to take them to the Premier League.

“I hope that the new owner… I’m sure they are the same owner for Olympiacos, and I think they will try their best to take Nottingham Forest to where it should be.”

Evangelos Marinakis

What do you think your biggest mistake was? What’s your biggest regret about why it didn’t work out at Nottingham Forest?

“In Nottingham Forest, as you know, the last year I decided to sell the club and there is another investor not only from Olympiacos.

“I don’t want to mention anybody’s name at the moment because, you know, we had an agreement.

“But it didn’t happen with them, so during the time we signed like an agreement like I cannot bring any manager, I cannot change any player, I cannot sell any player, l cannot buy any player, so I can’t.

“I was freezed, so the team didn’t do well till the end, till I remember January.

“But January we bought some good player and we were safe, we didn’t go down.

“This is the most important thing because we were fighting that we didn’t go down, this is was our issue that Nottingham Forest will not go to League One because we would like to keep the club in the Championship and to prepare it for the next season which is this season.

“And at the moment they are not far from the play-off, maybe I think three points or something like this.”

Former Reds owner Fawaz Al Hasawi

Looking back, if you could tell your younger self, in 2012, give that younger self some advice, about how to run Nottingham Forest, what would you tell yourself? What have your learned? What would you do differently?

“To do not be chairman for the club. I am telling you the truth because chairman is everything on top of your head. Whatever is happening at the club it’s your fault. Everything happen in the club it’s your fault.

“So this is what I think in the future if I buy a club I would bring a chairman and bring a chief executive, let them do their job.

“I will just come and look at the club from the director box and that’s it.”

Fans protest against Fawaz Al Hasawi last season

So you would do it in a different way? But do you regret your time at Forest or do you think actually, looking back, ‘I’m glad that I did that? It didn’t work as well as I wanted it to but it was nevertheless a good experience, a learning experience’?

“Of course, it’s a good experience for me.

“I learn many things here in this country that I didn’t learn in Kuwait because in Kuwait when I was there I was in the good side but here we were in the bad side.

“I mean in Kuwait we were winning competition, every single game, every single tournament.

“We were top of the league or we were winning.

“Here, we didn’t do well so I was shocked, I thought it was going to be easy but here is very, very difficult, especially the Championship is very difficult, you never know.

“Everybody can beat everybody, you know, even the top of the league can beat bottom of the league.

“I mean bottom of the league can beat top of the league very easily, but in Kuwait it is very different.”

Fans showed banners at away games in a bid to get Al Hasawi to leave



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