Brian Clough hated them, Billy Davies went to war with them, and Gary Megson believed that they were some sort of “sinister force”...
For a long time, directors and board members at The City Ground have lived a life shrouded in secrecy, and more often than not, have had to act the scapegoat in the face of public furore.
This rings true for some more than others; the much maligned Mark Arthur has very much been public enemy number one over the years, and somewhat subject to the occasional witch-hunt.
When Billy Davies’ less than tactile on-air rants about transfer policy reared their heads every Saturday, proclaiming his hands tied and his mouth gagged, fans had been very quick to buy into one side of the story - the only side they would consider entertaining.
In all fairness, Mark Arthur conducts his business quitely, and acts in the best interests of the club. However, he has overseen, if not been responsible for, some of the more bizarre decisions we’ve seen Forest make.
The ‘unveiling’ of Steve McClaren last year was a gruesome affair and came across as a statement of power from Arthur, aiming to prove to an increasingly vocal Billy Davies that Nottingham Forest did not solely depend on him.
It was a move that backfired, but considering the board’s deteriorating relationship with the manager, it wasn’t that surprising.
What did take a lot of us by surprise was the apparent need for a ‘Transfer Acquisition Panel’; the only thing transparent about this needless panel was how little David Pleat knew about football.
It seemed like a measure that would have been more suited to the ineptitude of David Platt’s reign.
Yet these are heady days for us. In my last blog, I spoke of this summer’s rapid transition, from no-hopers to high-hopers, and we can now even enjoy a refreshing wave of openness from our new owners.
From their very first warm and friendly news conference, on a contrastingly bleak Saturday, The Al-Hasawi’s have been keen to share their visions of the future with fans and journalists alike.
In fact, given their desire to give fans a more inclusive view of their team, it is rather apt that our new owners are a family, and would like to see those sorts of values transcend through every level of Nottingham Forest.
Quite infamously, Fawaz Al-Hasawi is a big fan of Twitter. He shares any information he can on new players and transfer targets, and even broke the news about buying Forest in July.
Admittedly, I have tweeted him a few times myself, unable to contain myself from telling him I love him. I’m sure I speak for all Reds fans, when I unashamedly say I mean it! It’s his own fault.
Him and his brothers Omar and Abdulaziz have embarked upon signing the type of players I wouldn’t dare sign for Forest when playing on ‘FIFA’.
It has been a match made in heaven, and we were won over when we realised that the Al-Hasawi’s had made their money through refrigeration contracts, literally making them ‘Fridge Magnates’.
Like the nosey neighbour reduced to peeking from behind the net curtains, we have only ever been able to see the fringes of the tumultuous manager and director conflicts.
Now with Fawaz and co moving in, it’s like being invited in for tea every weekend, and staying for breakfast the next day!