Forest consortium want Clark to stay: Football

Frank Clark, frustrated with Nottingham Forest's boardroom crisis, is being urged to stay at the City Ground as manager by the consortium who have emerged as favourites to take over the Premier League strugglers.

Irving Scholar, the former Tottenham chairman who is part of the consortium led by the Monte Carlo businessman Lawrie Lewis, said they echoed the thoughts of shareholders in backing Clark.

The 53-year-old manager was said in a newspaper report yesterday to be ready to leave Forest because of the uncertainty over the club's future which will finally be decided at an EGM of shareholders on 13 January. Forest are second from bottom of the Premiership and Clark will have no money for new players until one of the rival consortiums, led by Lewis and Sandy Anderson, is voted in next month.

The report was played down by Forest's ClubCall Line after they had spoken to Clark, but he is to have talks with the club chairman, Irving Korn, today. However, the news that the Lewis consortium are backing him will act as a spur as he prepares for tomorrow's trip to Liverpool.

"Frank is a strong and honest man, a very capable manager who has already done some terrific things at Nottingham Forest," Scholar said. "He had to follow Brian Clough, which was a daunting task for anyone, and be a success and a success immediately.

"The feeling we got when we met the shareholders was very supportive towards the manager and that married up to what our thinking was about him."

Scholar is confident the Lewis consortium will win the power struggle and they have the support of a rebel share-holder group led by a lifelong fan, Peter Blackbourne. He is claiming that around 130 of the club's 209 shareholders have indicated they will support the Lewis bid.

Korn will also try to reassure Clark that there will soon be light at the end of the tunnel with both consortiums having pledged money to strengthen a squad which will be missing England's Steve Stone for the remainder of the season through injury.