Alex McLeish leaves Nottingham Forest - just 41 days after taking charge

Manager was furious with owners during the transfer window
  • @simonrice

Alex McLeish has left his role as manager of Nottingham Forest - just 41 days after taking charge at the City ground.

There has been speculation surrounding the Scot's future ever since reports surfaced about his frustration with the club's owners during the January transfer window.

McLeish missed out on several key targets, most notably Peterborough winger George Boyd, whose transfer collapsed after he failed an eye test. Forest were labelled "a disgrace to the game" over the handling of the transfer.

Peterborough's director of football Barry Fry said of the incident: "Alex has been a gentleman over this, it was the owners who pulled out and they are a disgrace to the game. I don't know how they can call themselves fit and proper."

Forest's failure to bring in McLeish's targets was compounded at the weekend when Forest lost 2-1 to his former club Birmingham, with both goals for the Blues scored by Chris Burke, a player McLeish had wanted to sign.

McLeish, who replaced Sean O'Driscoll as manager on December 27, said via a statement on the club's official website, "I am extremely saddened to be leaving after such a short period.

"But even so, it has been a privilege to be manager of such a fantastic football club and I want to thank the players, staff and fans for their support and wish Nottingham Forest the best of fortunes ahead.

"Both parties entered into the relationship in good faith. However, there was a difference in the understanding of the development strategy of the football club and it was felt by both parties that we should part company."

When the Al-Hasawis completed their takeover of the club in the summer they outlined a three-year vision to get Forest back into the Premier League.

However, after a 4-2 home win over Leeds on Boxing Day left the Reds within touching distance of the play-off places, they changed their plans to target top-flight football this season.

The surprising decision to sack O'Driscoll was made that evening with the Kuwaiti's stating their intent to appoint a manager with Premier League experience.

Former Birmingham and Aston Villa boss McLeish was hired the next day but the Scot, in a brief 41-day tenure, won only one of his seven matches in charge and lost five.

Reds chairman Fawaz Al-Hasawi said: "I'm bitterly disappointed - as is Alex - that it has not worked out as we had hoped when he became our manager and I would like to put on record my thanks for his services to the club and wish him every success in the future."

McLeish's departure is the latest drama in a turbulent season at the City Ground.

Only last month the Al-Hasawi family caused outrage by sacking long-serving chief executive Mark Arthur and dismissing Reds legend Frank Clark from his ambassadorial role.

Chief scout Keith Burt was also given the boot along with Arthur and Clark.

McLeish leaves Forest 11th in the Championship table and six points adrift of the play-off places ahead of Saturday's trip to Bristol City, who recently appointed O'Driscoll as manager.