Having now been given approval by the EFL, Greek shipping magnate Evangelos Marinakis is the new owner of Championship side Nottingham Forest.
The man who also owns Greek giants Olympiakos has faced accusations of match rigging at home but has managed to pass the infamous EFL fit and proper person’s test and has been ratified as the new owner at the City Ground.
At first glance, he doesn’t seem the sort of person Forest fans may want in charge, given his dark recent history in the Greek Super League. However, in buying the club, Marinakis brings an end to the five-year reign of previous owner Fawaz Al Hasawi, something Forest fans have been desperate to see it happen for some time.
For the record, Marinakis denies the allegations against him and puts it down to jealous opponents. The businessman is not alone in this takeover, as fellow Greek Socrates Kominakis is also part of the successful consortium approved for ownership by the EFL, who have also asked UEFA for its views on their ownership of Olympiakos, apparently receiving a positive response.
Marinakis has moved quickly to guarantee Mark Warburton’s future after the former Rangers manager ditched his old club for Forest back in March. The new owner apparently wants Warburton at the helm for the foreseeable future and will back him and his coaching team in the transfer market over the coming months.
Marinakis, despite claiming that he doesn’t deliver ‘promises’, says he will return the club to stability and recognises the huge potential of a club, which he feels, belongs to the Premier League. It’s hard to argue with that given Forest’s history, although that counts for very little in England these days and a place at the top table will have to be hard-earned.
Part of that will come from Marinakis proving enough transfer funds for Warburton to build a successful team over the summer, within financial fair play rules of course. The opening sound bites though are good and Forest fans may for once, go into a pre-season with an optimistic view of what is to come. Marinakis’ past may be chequered, but given what Forest fans have endured in recent years, this is still a positive move for them and they will have every right to feel that their club can now move forward.
Forest escaped relegation on the last day of the season this time around. But we reckon that they will be challenging for a promotion to the Premier League in one year’s time.