'Saddened' Alex McLeish walks away from Nottingham Forest chaos after 41 days - Football League - Football - The Independent

'Saddened' Alex McLeish walks away from Nottingham Forest chaos after 41 days

Adkins and Davies are favourites for job as Scot blames differences with owners for hasty exit

Nottingham Forest are searching for another new manager after Alex McLeish walked out of the post, just 41 days after the fanfare that greeted his appointment. "I believe he's the man who can help us fulfil our ambition of making it to the Premier League," the chairman, Fawaz al-Hasawi, had said on that day, 27 December.

McLeish left his position after the final three of the 41 days of his reign had been spent negotiating an exit strategy that would suit both parities. Billy Davies, Nigel Adkins and Roy Keane have emerged as the favourites to succeed the 53-year-old Scot. Since Davies left the City Ground in June 2011, four men have followed. In 20 months, a football club which has won the European Cup twice, will have had five managers.

"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," McLeish said in a statement.

"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. I want to wish Nottingham Forest the best of fortunes ahead."

Forest won one of the seven games that McLeish was in charge for, but the grounds for separation developed in the recent transfer window, during which the new manager felt undermined. New players did not arrive, members of staff left. McLeish was peripheral.

The attempt to sign Chris Burke from Birmingham City failed because Forest would not up their initial offer from £300,000. George Boyd's potential move from Peterborough fell through at the last minute when, after a lengthy medical, he was judged to have failed an eye test.

In the midst of all this was a letter sent to Keith Burt, Nottingham Forest's head of recruitment, that McLeish did not know of, putting Burt on gardening leave. That his wife opened the letter from the club as Burt was in a scouts' meeting said much for the behind-the-scenes chaos that proved unfathomable for McLeish.

Sean O'Driscoll, his predecessor, had himself only been in charge for five months, during which time Forest had moved to within touching distance of the Championship play-offs. The Kuwaiti owners of the club, the Hasawi family, had been keen to replace O'Driscoll with a manager with Premier League experience.

That opened the door for a return to management for McLeish, who endured a difficult season at Aston Villa after he had been in charge of rivals Birmingham. However, he felt undermined by the approach of the owners and was ready to leave after Saturday's defeat against his old club Birmingham when Burke, the player he was so keen to sign, had scored both goals in Forest's 2-1 defeat.

"I'm bitterly disappointed, as is Alex, it has not worked out," said Fawaz al-Hasawi. "I would like to put on record my thanks for his services and wish him every success in the future."

Shortest reigns: Brief managers

Bill Lambton Three days (Scunthorpe United, 1959)

Decided to take up a coaching role at the club shortly after verbally agreeing to be manager.

Dave Bassett Four days (Crystal Palace, 1984)

Never signed his managerial contract, and a quick change of heart saw him return to Wimbledon.

Kevin Cullis Seven days (Swansea, 1996)

Lasted just two defeats, conceding five goals.

Leroy Rosenior 10 minutes (Torquay United, 2007)

Rosenior was replaced within minutes of a local consortium taking over the club.

News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
Arts and Entertainment
Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel are bringing Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street to the London Coliseum
theatre

Returning to the stage after 20 years makes actress feel 'nauseous'

News
peopleThe Times of India said actress should treat it as a 'compliment'
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
property
News
The programme sees four specialists creating what they believe are three perfect couples, based on scientific matchmaking. The couples will not meet until they walk down the aisle together
tvUK wedding show jilted
Arts and Entertainment
US pop diva Jennifer Lopez sang “Happy Birthday” to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, president of Turkmenistan
musicCorporate gigs become key source of musicians' income
Arts and Entertainment
You've been framed: Henri Matisse's colourful cut-outs at Tate Modern
artWhat makes a smash-hit art show
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig believed to be donning skis as 007 for first time
Student
The Guildhall School of Music and Drama is to offer a BA degree in Performance and Creative Enterprise

Undergraduates will be able to study beatboxing and performance poetry at one of Europe’s leading conservatoires for the first time, after the Guildhall School of Music and Drama revealed plans for a “groundbreaking” degree course.

Sport
Mikel Arteta pictured during Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal
champions league
Voices
Yes supporters gather outside the Usher Hall, which is hosting a Night for Scotland in Edinburgh
voicesBen Judah: Is there a third option for England and Scotland that keeps everyone happy?
Arts and Entertainment
Pulp-fiction lover: Jarvis Cocker
booksJarvis Cocker on Richard Brautigan
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week