Scottish boss quits the City Ground.
Alex McLeish has ended his brief reign as manager of Nottingham Forest after just 40 days in charge of the English Championship side, the club confirmed today.
The second-tier side said said former Scotland and Rangers manager McLeish was leaving by “mutual consent” following reports that he had fallen out with Forest’s Kuwaiti owners, the Al-Hasawi family.
McLeish alluded to a dispute in a statement on the club’s website on Tuesday in which he said he was “extremely saddened to be leaving the City Ground after such a short period” of time.
“Both parties entered into the relationship in good faith, however, there was a difference in the understanding of the development strategy of the football club and it was felt by both parties that we should part company,” he added.
Forest chairman Fawaz Al-Hasawi said he was “bitterly disappointed” but wished McLeish well for the future.
McLeish was frustrated after missing out on several targets during last month’s transfer window, notably Peterborough winger George Boyd whose proposed move fell through for the unusual reason that he had failed an eye test.
To set the seal on a difficult week, Forest lost 2-1 at McLeish’s former club Birmingham on Saturday, with both Blues goals scored by another player he tried to sign — Chris Burke.
Forest twice lifted the European Cup, in 1979 and 1980, under legendary manager Brian Clough, having won the old First Division title in 1978.
But it is now more than a decade since Forest were in the Premier League and when the Al-Hasawis took over the club before the start of the current season, they unveiled a three-year plan to restore top-flight football.
A 4-2 home win over Leeds on December 26 last year left Forest within touching distance of the play-off places but the Al-Hasawis changed tack to target promotion to the Premier League this season.
That in turn led them to take the surprising decision to sack then manager Sean O’Driscoll and bring in McLeish the next day on the grounds the Scot had Premier League experience.
But the former Birmingham and Aston Villa boss won just one of his seven matches in charge of Forest and lost five.