Nottingham Forest WITHDRAW Steve Cooper’s offer of a new contract as owner Evangelos Marinakis plans to shake-up the club – with CEO and recruitment team also in danger – after they slipped to the bottom of the table following defeat by Leicester
- Steve Cooper’s job as manager at Nottingham Forest is hanging by a thread
- The 4-0 defeat to Leicester was Forest’s fifth defeat in a row on Monday night
- Owner Evangelos Marinakis could get rid of a number of transfer staff as well
- Rafa Benitez could be the man to replace Steve Cooper if he is fired by the club
Nottingham Forest have withdrawn manager Steve Cooper’s offer of a new contract and numerous jobs have been put in jeopardy at the crisis club.
Forest went bottom of the Premier League after losing 4-0 at Midlands rivals and fellow strugglers Leicester on Monday.
Their fifth defeat in a row leaves Cooper’s future at the City Ground under major scrutiny, with Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis starting the process of identifying the former Swansea manager’s successor.
Steve Cooper could be saying goodbye to Nottingham Forest as job is hanging on a knife edge
Rafa Benitez, the former Liverpool, Chelsea, Newcastle and Everton manager, is among the options for Forest should they pull the trigger.
Cooper was offered a new contract by Forest in the summer after leading the club back to the top flight via the Championship play-offs. But it is understood the deal is no longer on the table, a development that fuels uncertainty surrounding his future.
The fact the offer was made to Cooper during the summer but had remained unsigned raised questions over his long-term commitment to Forest from certain figures within their hierarchy.
Cooper could remain in charge for Monday’s clash against Aston Villa, but the situation was said to be on a knife-edge last night.
The Forest side slumped to the fifth straight defeat on Monday losing to rivals Leicester 4-0
He retains the support of the vast majority of Forest supporters after last season’s heroics in securing promotion, a factor which is likely to be considered by the club’s owners.
However, Cooper is not the only Forest figure under threat, with a number of key transfer staff also in the firing line.
Head of scouting Andy Scott, chief executive Dane Murphy and head of data and analytic recruitment George Syrianos are also said to be under pressure.
Former Newcastle United chief executive Lee Charnley has been helping out at Forest on a consultancy basis and he could yet come into the reckoning as a replacement for Murphy should decisive action be taken.
Evangelos Marinakis is said to be ready to shake up the staff at the club to avoid relegation
Forest signed 23 players during the summer with an investment of at least £140million. And behind the scenes, serious questions are being asked of the club’s recruitment team as a result of their difficult start to the season.
Even if Cooper does survive to take charge against Villa at the City Ground next week, the highly-rated coach’s position is under review.
His current contract runs out at the end of the season and barring a remarkable turnaround, it is difficult to imagine him seeing it through.
The 42-year-old will not be short of offers if he does depart.
Cooper is regarded as one of the best coaches in the British game, and, as well as taking Forest up, he reached the play-offs twice with Swansea.
He is also admired within the FA after his England Under 17 side won the World Cup five years ago.