Nottingham Forest fans are already aware that in owner Evangelos Marinakis they have quite a character. The Greek shipping magnate has a, let’s say, intriguing past in his homeland and for many his takeover was met with trepidation. That said, most Forest fans were just happy to see the back of Fawaz Al Hasawi’s reign of mediocrity.
Whilst many of the tales of Marinakis’ past are likely to be hyperbole his most recent news-grabbing actions in Greece should certainly have the Forest players on alert.
As reported by the BBC the Forest owner has severely punished the players at his other club, Olympiakos.
A 1-1 draw with Levadiakos at the weekend left the perennial Greek champions in third place behind both AEK Athens and PAOK Salonika. Olympiakos have won just three of their last eight games and it seems their seven-year stranglehold on the Greek title is coming to an end.
Marinakis has taken great offence to the players’ woeful recent performances. The squad have been fined £350,000 and ordered on holiday. The BBC report suggests most of the first-team squad will not play again this season, with under-20 players to feature instead.
Nottingham Forest players better shape up then. Whilst there has undoubtedly been some leeway and improvement under Aitor Karanka since taking over, any leniency could dissipate over the summer.
With a pre-season to get in order for a Championship promotion fight, Marinakis may not be so forgiving of poor performances like the one v Millwall on Good Friday.
Forest players should certainly beware of looking disinterested or not putting in their best. Because it seems the boss upstairs is not averse to punishing his players when he does not feel the coach is to blame.
If ever there was an incentive to put in a little extra v Middlesbrough at the weekend, this might be it.