Nottingham Forest F.C. are an English football club, based at the City Ground, which is just outside the official boundary of Nottingham on the south side of the River Trent. The club lies directly opposite the Trent from its city rival Notts County, the two clubs being the closest in England.
Contrary to popular belief Nottingham Forest takes it name from the Forest Recreation Ground, a public space in the city proper where the club were formed, rather than Sherwood Forest. They currently (as of 2004) play in the Football League Championship.
Nottingham Forest, who are often referred to as simply 'Forest', the title the club carries on its badge, were considered a small team in English league standards until the mid 1970s. The team then excelled through the English league system under the influence of their manager Brian Clough, winning the old First Division Championship in 1978. Forest then went on to win the European Cup twice in succession; they also won the European Super Cup, which was then held between the winners of the European Champions' Cup and the European Cup Winners' Cup. During the same period the club also won four League Cups.
Except for 1949-1951, they have been in either the FA Premier league (or old First Division) or the new 1st (old 2nd) Division since they joined the League in 1892. They were last relegated from the Premier League in 1999.
Nottingham Forest's charitable approach to the sport enabled teams like Arsenal and Brighton and Hove Albion to come into existence. Forest donated their football kits to Arsenal to help them establish themselves, hence why the London side now wear red. Forest also helped secure a site to play on for Brighton.
There was a scare in early 2002 that the club would be made bankrupt and non-existent. This was not helped by the collapse of a major sponsor, ITV Digital.
Nottingham Forest lost their Premiership status at the end of the 1998-99 season and have not been in the top division since. During that season, David Bassett had been sacked as manager in October and for the following seven months Ron Atkinson had been caretaker manager. When the board decided not to renew Atkinson's contract, several high profile names were mentioned for the vacant manager's job, including Glenn Hoddle (ex-Swindon, Chelsea and England), Roy Evans (ex-Liverpool) and Brian Little (ex-Leicester and Aston Villa). But the club's choice was 33-year-old former England captain David Platt, whose brief spell as head coach of Italian Serie A side Sampdoria had just ended in relegation.
Platt remained in charge at the City Ground for two seasons, guiding the club to mid table finishes in Division One, before quitting to charge of the England U-21 side. He was replaced by youth team coach Paul Hart, whose first season (2001-02) brought a disappointing 16th place finish in Division One. 2002-03 saw Nottingham Forest reach fourth place in the league and qualify for the Division One playoffs, but they lost to Sheffield United in the semi finals. Hart was sacked the following February with Forest 22nd in the league and in real danger of relegation to the lower half of the league for the first time in 53 years. Joe Kinnear, the former Wimbledon and Luton manager, was appointed as Hart's successor. He revitalised Forest's playing fortunes, bringing out the best in key players like Michael Dawson and Andrew Reid, and they climbed up to a secure 14th place in the final table. This gave Forest hope for a promotion challenge in 2004-05. However, Kinnear resigned in December 2004 with Nottingham Forest 23rd in Division One and seven points adrift of safety. He was briefly replaced by assistant manager Mick Harford who remained in charge for one month before Gary Megson was named as the club's new manager.
Gary Megson's success as manager with West Bromwich Albion (two promotions to the Premiership) gives Nottingham Forest fans hope that he will repeat the success he achieved in the Black Country with the East Midlanders. This season the ultimate priority is survival in the Coca Cola Football League Championship relegation battle, but if that is achieved then Nottingham Forest should aim for a promotion challenge in the 2005-06 season.
The official site for Nottingham Forest can be found at http://www.nottinghamforest.co.uk/
List of Forest managers
- Jan 2005- Gary Megson
- Dec 2004-Jan 2005 Mick Harford (Caretaker)
- Feb-Dec 2004 Joe Kinnear
- 2001-2004 Paul Hart
- 1999-2001 David Platt
- Jan-June 1999 Ron Atkinson
- Jan 1999 Micky Adams (Caretaker)
- 1997-99 Dave Bassett (Previously General Manager from Feb 98, took over full control May 98)
- 1997-98 Stuart Pearce
- 1993-97 Frank Clark
- 1975-93 Brian Clough
- 1973-75 Allan Brown
- 1972 Dave Mackay
- 1969-72 Matt Gillies
- 1963-68 Johnny Carey
- 1960-63 Andy Beattie
- 1939-60 Billy Walker
- 1936-39 Harold Wightman
- 1931-36 Noel Watson
- 1930-31 Stan Hardy
- 1925-29 John Baynes
- 1912-25 Bob Masters
- 1909-12 Fred Earp
- 1897-1909 Harry Haslam (Secretary-Manager)
- 1889-97 Harry Radford (Secretary-Manager)
League positions and Cup Results