BIG-SPENDING FOREST GO FOR BROKE WITH PROMOTION BID
IF YOU were trying to avoid a transfer embargo, would you go out and spend £5.5m on Britt Assombalonga?
Or £1.5m on a Michail Antonio? Or hand out hefty contracts to former Premier League players and established stars.
Of course not. So it is little wonder that Stuart Pearce says the sanctions imposed on Nottingham Forest this week “change nothing”.
With a wage bill up over £20m last season, Forest owner Fawaz Al-Hasawi must have known it would be impossible to comply with Financial Fair Play rules and push for the Premier League. With losses limited to £8m in 2013-14, he’d have needed to jettison half the squad.
Better, he reasoned, to throw his wallet at it before the rules kicked in. So that’s what he did, building a bomb-proof 30-man squad that – when fit – is arguably the strongest in the division.
The upside is that Forest are more than capable of riding through a couple of transfer windows. The downside is that they haven’t got a hope of complying with FFP in years.
So when Pearce says promotion to the Premier League is now “more important”, he means it is absolutely imperative.