Nottingham Forest: Chairman Fawaz Al Hasawi defends sale

Pearce (left) took over in July 2014 and is the fifth permanent manager employed by the Al Hasawis in two years

Nottingham Forest chairman Fawaz Al Hasawi has defended his decision to sell Karl Darlow and Jamaal Lascelles, insisting it was necessary to help the club meet Financial Fair Play rules.

Manager Stuart Pearce told BBC Radio Nottingham on Monday the duo were being sold to Newcastle against his wishes.

Al Hasawi said in a statement that tough decisions were needed to "preserve long-term sustainability".

Darlow, 23, and Lascelles, 20, are set to move in a deal worth about £7m.

But the pair are staying at the City Ground on loan this season.

Championship FFP rules
2013-14: Losses of no more than £3m, or up to £8m if owner can cover the £5m shortfall
2014-15: Losses of no more than £3m, up to £6m with owner investment
2015-16: Losses of no more than £2m, up to £5m with owner investment

Al Hasawi added: "Should the proposed move to Newcastle be completed as expected, the transfer fees will significantly help us meet the stringent Financial Fair Play criteria, all the while allowing us to retain two high-quality players for the 2014-15 season, paying nothing towards their wages.

"I would love nothing more than to hold on to our best young players. I gave both Karl Darlow and Jamaal Lascelles lengthy new contracts in August 2013 and March 2014 respectively, as well as investing in the futures of Jamie Paterson, Ben Osborn and Dimitar Evtimov.

"Sadly for me, there is no room for sentimentality in the running of a football club."

Reds legend Pearce, who only officially took over as manager in July, said as recently as last month that he was looking to "build a squad, not dismantle one".

And although unhappy with the decision to sell two of his "better players" in a "cut-price" deal, he told BBC Radio Nottingham's Matchtalk programme on Monday that he would not be quitting.

Pearce is the fifth full-time manager to have worked for the Al Hasawis since the Kuwaiti family bought the club in July 2012.

Steve Cotterill was sacked within days of them taking over, and Sean O'Driscoll, Alex McLeish and Billy Davies have also come and gone.