June 1, 2017 / 5:26 PM / 6 months ago

Soccer-Chairman says Nottingham Forest is in 'intensive care'

LONDON, June 1 (Reuters) - New Nottingham Forest chairman Nicholas Randall has described the twice former European champions as a club in intensive care and ‘not fit for purpose’ in its current state.

In an open letter on the Forest website (www.nottinghamforest.co.uk) on Thursday, Randall said there was much to be done to turn the Championship (second tier) club around but promised stability and realistic targets.

Forest finished just outside the relegation zone this season, avoiding the drop on the final match day.

”We know that the necessary infrastructure is not in place to take the club forward,“ he wrote. ”I do not want to dwell on the past but it is clear to any outsider that the club has not been run as it should have been.

“To use the medical analogy the club is in intensive care. It is our job to ensure that we nurse the club back to health.”

Randall expressed full confidence in shipowner Vangelis Marinakis, a divisive figure in Greece who has been investigated for allegations of match-fixing but has repeatedly rejected any wrongdoing, as head of the consortium that took over last month.

The club, who won the European Cup in 1979 and 1980, were owned for the last five years by Kuwaiti Fawaz Al Hasawi who went through eight different managers since 2012. Mark Warburton took over in March.

“We are fundamentally committed to ensuring the club enjoys a period of stability. We want to assure the supporters we are here for the long term,” said Randall, who praised Warburton as “the perfect fit” for the club.

“Mark will be given the precious commodity of time to turn matters around and to build something special at the club again,” he added. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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