Shock as Nottingham Forest takeover falls through

City Ground

Nottingham Forest’s takeover by an American consortium led by John J Moores is off.

The deal to transfer ownership was believed to be all but done after the baseball tycoon flew into the UK on Tuesday.

But just after 9.20pm on Friday current owner and chairman Fawaz Al-Hasawi issued a statement saying the deal would not happen.

Al-Hasawi said: “It is with great regret and disappointment that the club announces today that, despite much speculation in the media, all negotiations in regard to a partial sale of the club to US owners have come to an end.

“We feel strongly that we have acted in good faith on behalf of the club and its fans and that such a deal as it stands is not in the interests of the long-term future of our club.

“Thank you for your continued support at this difficult time for the club.”

The news will come as a huge shock to Forest fans after four days of talks, which were expected to result in a consortium led by Moores taking control at the City Ground.

As recently as Monday, Moores had been quoted as saying: “I am optimistic that we will close, soon. But nothing definitive.”

He and the consortium were believed to have offered £50 million, which would have led to them gaining an 80 per cent stake in Forest while Al-Hasawi retained 20 per cent.

Fawaz Al-Hasawi (Picture: Nottingham Forest)

And it emerged on Friday afternoon Forest’s transfer embargo has now been lifted by the Football League, although officials stressed this was not connected to the takeover bid.

However, no updates had emerged from either camps after almost four days of talks, until Friday’s late announcement, via a club statement, that the deal was dead.

The news was greeted with a mixture of anger and resignation by fans on social media, although a few supported Al-Hasawi’s stance, saying it was impossible to know if the doomed takeover would have turned around the club’s fortunes.

Club captain Henri Lansbury’s future now appears more uncertain than ever, after reports the midfielder was due to head to Aston Villa once the deal had completed.

Forest travel to Birmingham City on Saturday, and are just two places and two points away from the Championship relegation zone.

Some fans said the failure of the deal should be greeted with visible protests.

Former Reds striker Stan Collymore tweeted ‘direct action’ should follow to force a sale of the club.

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