Nottingham Forest: John Jay Moores' US consortium 'still in love' with Reds

Fawaz Al Hasawi
Owner and chairman Fawaz Al Hasawi first revealed he would consider selling Nottingham Forest in March 2016

The United States consortium which tried to buy Nottingham Forest is still keen to take over the club.

Forest owner Fawaz Al Hasawi said last week that the chance of a deal with the group led by John Jay Moores was over and he wants to remain in charge.

But Trevor Watkins, the lawyer who represents the prospective buyers, said the collapse of the deal was a mystery.

"Sometimes relationships break down and there is no way back, but sometimes there is," Watkins told BBC Sport.

"The fact somebody says they don't want to sell does not mean you fall out of love, throw your toys out of the pram and don't want to speak to somebody again."

Al Hasawi has claimed he has spent £122m since buying Forest in 2012, but has been widely criticised after the second collapsed takeover of the Championship club in six months.

Former Bournemouth chairman Watkins said the deal between the group, led by Moores and Charles Noell, and Al Hasawi seemed to be a matter of hours away before it fell through.

He said the discussions were "amicable" and "positive" and his clients were left bemused by the breakdown.

"We were just about there and it was all systems go," he added. "We honestly do not know what happened but something happened that knocked it off course.

"If we knew why it keeled over at the last minute we would have tried to put it right."

US group 'in love' with Forest

However, Watkins said the two sides had not fallen out and the US group had "fallen in love with the club and city".

"Forest is a big club, a big name and iconic," he said. "Who wouldn't want to be involved? It's a club with a great history. There is huge frustration and sadness.

"They feel they have an opportunity to add value and build for the long term."

Forest supporters have become increasingly angry and disillusioned with the Al Hasawi reign, which has seen the club fail to pay bills on time, be placed under a transfer embargo and part company with seven managers.

Academy director Gary Brazil is in interim charge following the sacking of Philippe Montanier last month, but the club are still without a chief executive, and fans have staged protests at the City Ground in recent weeks.

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