Nottingham Forest’s chief exec and his recruitment team could ALL be axed


Nottingham Forest boss Steve Cooper is in crisis talks NOW and could even be sacked today – with the owner ready to axe his chief exec and entire recruitment team after £150m summer spree

  • Nottingham Forest bought 22 new players this summer but it hasn’t worked yet
  • Forest sit bottom of the Premier League table after eight matches this season
  • Scrutiny has intensified on Forest chief executive Dane Murphy, head of recruitment George Syrianos and scout Andy Scott via the club’s ownership
  • FAN VIEW: After 25 turgid years, Steve Cooper should NOT be sacked as boss

A major overhaul at Nottingham Forest could be on the cards – starting with their manager Steve Cooper who is currently holding crisis talks with the club’s owners over his future.

In what could be a big shake up at the City Ground, Forest executive Dane Murphy and the roles of his recruitment staff are under threat as the club considers a management restructuring.

Cooper’s time is coming to a close with Forest bottom of the Premier League following Monday night’s 4-0 defeat by Leicester City. It was their fifth-straight top-flight loss this season.

Nottingham Forest chief executive Dane Murphy could get fired too following the club's poor start to the season - after his overseeing of 22 new arrivals this summer

Nottingham Forest chief executive Dane Murphy could get fired too following the club’s poor start to the season – after his overseeing of 22 new arrivals this summer

Head of recruitment George Syrianos could also be given his marching orders

As could scout Andy Scott

Head of recruitment George Syrianos (left) and scout Andy Scott could also be dismissed

However, Sportsmail understands that after £150million was spent on 22 players during the summer, other senior figures at the club could also depart this week.

American chief executive Murphy, head of recruitment George Syrianos and scout Andy Scott are all in the possible firing line as the club’s owners take stock of the situation and look to arrest their malaise.

Murphy, 36, a former midfielder with New York Cosmos, joined the club from Barnsley but his input has come under greater scrutiny in recent weeks and he is expected to hold talks with owner Evangelos Marinakis amid concerns they need greater experience. 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 possible replacement should decisive action be taken.

Head of recruitment Syrianos joined Forest from Stuttgart where he was head of data and analytics and was key to some of the signings hailing from the Bundesliga this summer – notably former Liverpool striker Taiwo Awoniyi from Union Berlin for £17.5m.

Head of scouting Scott, 50, previously worked with Swansea, Watford and Brentford.

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All face an uncertain future as Marinakis searches for answers in his bid to ensure Forest’s return to the top flight is not a fleeting flirtation.

Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis has spent lavishly and expected a better return on the pitch

Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis has spent lavishly and expected a better return on the pitch

The owner had a dinner meeting with manager Steve Cooper in London on Saturday evening as he stressed the need for swift improvement.

Cooper was candid in assessment of his side following Forest’s defeat at Leicester and remains popular among supporters.

He readily recognises the need for change in performance levels and hopes he will be given more time.

Rafa Benitez is among the candidates who would be considered if Cooper goes but the Spaniard, who last worked in the Premier League with Everton, would take some convincing to join Forest in their current situation. Sources were indicating on Tuesday that the Spaniard had not been officially approached by the Midlands club.

Cooper was offered a new contract by Forest in the summer after leading the club back to the top-flight last season.

Pressure is mounting on Forest boss Steve Cooper too

Rafa Benitez is being Rafa Benitez a possible successor - although the Spaniard would need some convincing to take over the jobo a possible successor - although the Spaniard would need some convincing to take over the job

Pressure is mounting on Forest boss Cooper (left) too with Rafa Benitez a possible successor – although the Spaniard would need some convincing to take over the job

But it is understood that the deal has now been withdrawn, a development that adds to the uncertainty surrounding Cooper’s future.

Behind the scenes at the City Ground, serious questions are being asked of the club’s recruitment team as a result of Forest’s difficult start to the season.

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It remains to be seen whether Forest pull the plug on Cooper’s tenure before Monday night’s game against Aston Villa.

But the highly-rated coach’s position at the City Ground is in jeopardy – but is now clear that he is not the only employee whose future is being scrutinised by Marinakis.

Nottingham Forest sit bottom of the Premier League after losing 4-0 at rivals Leicester City

Nottingham Forest sit bottom of the Premier League after losing 4-0 at rivals Leicester City

Cooper’s current deal is up 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.

Cooper is also admired within the FA after his England Under-17 side won the World Cup five years ago.

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