The owner of Nottingham Forest has expressed disapproval of Richard Masters’ behavior during a parliamentary hearing, where he seemingly referred to Forest and Everton as “small clubs.”
According to Evangelos Marinakis, the Premier League’s CEO made careless comments while trying to defend the league’s profit and sustainability rules to members of parliament.
Marinakis stated that the action was not suitable and displayed a lack of caution. He believes that both Nottingham Forest and Everton are significant clubs and possibly surpass those currently considered to be big clubs.
Forest and Everton are being accused of violating profit and sustainability regulations. The club from Merseyside is facing a second evaluation from an unbiased group this season, as they were previously penalized 10 points for a similar offense. Their appeal for this disciplinary action is currently being reviewed.
During his appearance at the culture, media and sport committee two weeks ago, Masters was asked about the potential bias towards “big clubs” in regards to the ongoing investigation of 115 charges against Premier League champions Manchester City. In response, Masters stated that the standard guidelines for the Post-Season Review (PSR) apply to all clubs, not just smaller ones.
The previous week, Caroline Dinenage, the chair of the committee, sent a letter to the Premier League requesting clarification from Masters regarding his comments. Dinenage expressed concern over Masters’ statement that Everton, a nine-time league title winner, and Nottingham Forest, a two-time European Cup winner, are considered “small clubs”. She also questioned whether all league members are treated fairly and consistently if they are categorized based on size. Masters had also referred to Everton as an “important member” of the league during the committee meeting.
During the European football conference on racial and gender equity, hosted by Forest, Marinakis expressed doubts about labeling clubs as “big” or “small.” He believes that the size of a club’s crowd is the most important factor.
“Big team and small teams is maybe not an appropriate expression,” he said. “It’s a team that has a lot of support or that has achieved a lot of victories or a lot of trophies. But if you analyse it you see who are these teams, these are the teams with the big crowds. Rarely is it teams without a solid supporter base who go on to win a trophy. You see the power of your supporters in the ground and even when you don’t play well the support makes you feel stronger. I think this is very important for our sport.”
On Wednesday, Forest finalized the acquisition of USA’s midfielder Giovanni Reyna on a temporary basis until the end of the season. The 21-year-old is the son of former players for Rangers and Manchester City, Claudio Reyna. He has played in 121 games for the Bundesliga team since transferring from New York City in 2019.
Reyna is the initial player acquired by new manager Nuno Espírito Santo for the Forest team.