Nottingham Forest’s new owners have provided a signal of their ambition for the club by relieving manager Steve Cotterill of his duties.
The Al-Hasawi family only completed their takeover of the Tricky Trees on Tuesday but, after meeting with the former Portsmouth boss on Wednesday, announced today (Thursday) that they have sacked Cotterill in order to “make a new appointment in a bid to deliver their long-term vision”.
Cotterill was commended in a club statement for his work in helping to steer Forest clear of relegation last season following a sluggish start under the stewardship of former England boss Steve McClaren.
However, his success in ensuring Forest’s safety has not been enough to convince the new owners he is the man to lead the club into a new era, with the Al-Hasawi family apparently keen to distance themselves from a recent cycle of underachievement.
It is worth noting that securing promotion is no easy task, even if a club’s owners are willing to bring in a high-profile new manager and splash the cash on marquee signings.
Instead, the new owners appear to be targeting a move up the Championship table and back into the Premier League.
With this in mind, punters are likely to be more inclined to bet on Forest winning the Championship at 11/1 than betting on them to drop back down to League One.
New customers who sign up for a bwin account can claim a free £20 bet and using this to back Forest to win the Championship title will return £240 if it proves successful.
Even so, it is worth noting that securing promotion is no easy task, even if a club’s owners are willing to bring in a high-profile new manager and splash the cash on marquee signings.
If proof were needed of this, you only need to look at the example set by Forest’s Midlands rivals Leicester last season.
With Sven-Goran Eriksson at the helm, the Foxes spent big in a bid to achieve promotion to the Premier League and were joint-favourites along with West Ham to win the title before the start of the campaign.
However, Eriksson was sacked mid-way through the season and Leicester rarely looked like getting into the play-offs, let alone the automatic promotion spots.
A year on and they are fancied to win the Championship title once again and are favourites in bwin’s football betting market at 13/2.
But with money not being the be-all-and-end-all, it could well be that a club operating on a more restrictive budget finishes first.
Having secured a play-off spot last year, Blackpool (16/1) and Cardiff (12/1) could challenge at the top after a summer of evolution rather than revolution, while Charlton will be looking to follow in the footsteps of Norwich and Southampton in securing consecutive promotions.
At 22/1, a successful £20 free bet on Charlton to win the Championship is set to return £460.
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