Nottingham Forest: Former European Champions Make Premier League Return after 23 years

After 23 years away, two-time European Champs Nottingham Forest have been promoted to the Premier League. As Forest prepare for a return, we look at their history, how they got there and if they can avoid relegation

Who are Nottingham Forest?

Founded in 1865, Nottingham Forest is based in the East Midlands city of Nottingham. They are the city’s most successful football club, despite being founded after Notts County.

Nottingham Forest’s most successful period came under the leadership of manager Brian Clough. Alongside assistant Peter Taylor, the duo led The Reds to back-to-back European Cup glory in 1979 and 1980. This followed their one and only First Division title in 1978, after being promoted from the Second Division just a year earlier.

Before retiring in 1993, Brian Clough also led Nottingham Forest to four League Cups, a European Super Cup, a Charity Shield, and two Full Members Cups.

Throughout the 1990s, Forest went back and forth between the Premier League and Division One. Clough’s successor, former player Frank Clark led the club to a 3rd place finish in the Premier League in 1995, securing a place in the UEFA Cup in the process.

However, by late 1996 Clark was sacked as Forest were relegated. In 1998, Dave Bassett led the club back to the Premier League at the first attempt as Division One Champions. This would be the last time Forest were promoted to the Premier League for 23 years.

When was Nottingham Forest last in the Premier League?

Nottingham Forest last played in the Premier League in the 1998-1999 season. However, they finished bottom of the league with just seven wins from 38 games, achieving 30 points.

The season saw Dave Bassett removed from his position as manager in early January. His replacement, Ron Atkinson, failed to stop the slide. He even sat in the wrong dugout during his first home match in charge.

In addition to this, Dutch star Pierre Van Hooijdonk went on strike early on in the season due to his striking partner, Kevin Campbell, being sold to Turkish side Trabzonspor.

The season was exemplified by an embarrassing 8-1 home defeat to Manchester United in February 1999.

In the 23 years since Forest was relegated from the Premier League, they experienced three seasons in the third tier of English football (League One) between 2005 and 2008. They have spent the past 14 seasons in the EFL Championship.

How Did Nottingham Forest Get Promoted To The Premier League?

On May 29th 2022, Nottingham Forest won the EFL Championship Play-Off Final at Wembley Stadium. They defeated Huddersfield Town 1-0.

It was the culmination of a miraculous turnaround for a club that had it worst start to a league in 108 years. The 2021-2022 season started with just one point after seven games. However, on September 16th 2021, manager Chris Hughton was sacked and replaced by new head coach Steve Cooper five days later.

Out of the remaining 38 games, Cooper and Forest lost six games, won 22 and drew 10. They finished 4th in the EFL Championship, as they qualified for the Play-Offs for the first time since the 2010-2011 season.

In the Play-Offs, Nottingham Forest defeated Sheffield United over two legs. The first match at United’s Bramall Lane saw Fores get the advantage with a 2-1 win. However, the return leg at The City Ground was an intense affair. With “The Blades” evening the score 3-3 on aggregate after extra time, Nottingham Forest goalkeeper Bryce Samba was the hero as he saved three penalties to end the dramatic night as Forest won 3-2 on penalties.

The Reds went on to defeat Huddersfield Town in the Play-Off Final thanks to an own goal from defender Levi Colwill. It was Forest’s first visit to the new Wembley Stadium after it opened in 2007.

Away from the league, Forest went on a strong FA Cup, defeating Arsenal, current holders Leicester City, and Huddersfield Town. They were defeated by eventual winners Liverpool in the Quarter-Finals.

The Nottingham Forest results that got them to the Premier League

Over the course of 2021-2022 EFL Championship season, Nottingham Forest played 46 games. They won 23 games, drew 11, and lost 12. Their final league position was 4th. This qualified them for the EFL Championship Play-Offs. They would win the Play-Offs after defeating Huddersfield Town.

  • Games played: 46
  • Won: 23
  • Draw: 11
  • Lost: 12
  • Goals Scored: 73
  • Goals Conceded: 40
  • Points: 80
  • Biggest Win: Nottingham Forest 5-1 Swansea City (30th April 2022)

Who was Nottingham Forest’s top goalscorer?

Brennan Johnson finished 2021-2022 as Nottingham Forest’s top goalscorer. The Nottingham-born forward scored 19 goals across all competitions, including 16 goals in the EFL Championship.

The Wales international also scored two vital goals in the Play-Off Semi-Finals against Sheffield United, scoring in both legs, becoming the first Forest player to do so since his father, David Johnson, in 2003 also against Sheffield United.

Who is the Nottingham Forest Manager?

The current Nottingham Forest manager is Welshman Steve Cooper. It is his second job in senior club football.

Considerably, his playing career was unspectacular consisting of spells at various Welsh clubs including The New Saints, Rhyl, and Bangor City.

His coaching career began at Wrexham’s academy, eventually becoming their Head of Youth Development. In 2008, he joined Liverpool’s youth coaching team. During his time there, he helped oversee the development of future England stars Raheem Sterling and Trent Alexander-Arnold.

In 2014, he took over England’s Under-16 team before moving up to the Under-17’s a year later. As England U17 manager, he led them to the final of 2017 UEFA U17 European Championship Final, losing to Spain 4-1. Later that year, they got their revenge by defeating Spain 5-2 in the FIFA U17 World Cup Final in India. The Young Three Lions’ squad included Phil Foden, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Conor Gallagher, and Emile Smith Rowe, who would all go on to be capped for the England Senior side.

In the summer of 2019, Cooper took his first step into senior club management as he became Head Coach at Swansea City. Despite his lack of experience, he led the Swans to back-to-back Play-Off positions in the EFL Championship. However, they lost to Brentford both times. First in the semi-finals 2020, and then in the final in 2021. Cooper departed Swansea by mutual consent in July 2021.

By September, he was recruited by Nottingham Forest Chief Executive Officer Dane Murphy to replace manager Chris Hughton as the new Head Coach of Nottingham Forest. In May 2021, Cooper had led Forest from the bottom of the Championship back to the top flight of English football.

Who is Nottingham Forest CEO – Dane Murphy?

Born in Redding, Connecticut, Dane Murphy is a former football player and is currently the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Nottingham Forest.

His playing career saw Murphy play as a midfielder for D.C. United, VFL Osnabrück in Germany, and the New York Cosmos. Since retiring in 2015, he has held various positions off the pitch.

He was the Head Scout at New York Cosmos before taking up the role of Technical Director at first Real Salt Lake, then D.C. United. In July 2019, he joined EFL Championship club Barnsley as their new CEO.

As CEO, Barnsley escaped relegation from the league in 2020, before finishing 5th the following season.

In the summer of 2021, he was recruited by Nottingham Forest to replace Ioannis Vrentzos as their CEO. Murphy played a key role in hiring Steve Cooper as Nottingham Forest Head Coach.

Who is the owner of Nottingham Forest?

Since May 2017, Evangelos Marinakis has been the owner of Nottingham Forest. He is from Greece and made his money in the shipping business, as he is the Founder of and Chairman of Capital Maritime & Trading Corp.

In 2010, he became the owner of his hometown (Piraeus) club – Olympiacos. Since becoming President, Olympiacos have won the Greece Super League 10 times, along with four Greek Cups.

As owner of Nottingham Forest, Marinakis had appointed five different managers/head coaches in four years as he aimed to get the club back to the Premier League.

In the summer of 2021, Marinakis made structural changes to the club replacing Ioannis Vrentzos with Dane Murphy as CEO of Nottingham Forest. This was followed by the appointment of Steve Cooper as Head Coach in September 2021.

After five years as owner, Nottingham Forest achieved promotion to the Premier League in May 2022.

The City Ground, Nottingham
Nottingham Forest’s stadium, The City Ground, is located next to the River Trent.

What is Nottingham Forest’s stadium?

Nottingham Forest play their home games at The City Ground, which is located in the West Bridgford, area of Nottingham.

Their home since 1898, it has a capacity of 30,445. However, plans to expand the stadium to 35,000 to 38,000 have been on put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic and planning approval from the local Rushcliffe Council.

The City Ground is situated next to the River Trent, making for a scenic view on a matchday. Across the river is Notts County’s home stadium, Meadow Lane.

Are Nottingham Forest favourites to be relegated from the Premier League?

More often than not, teams who are promoted from the EFL Championship to the Premier League are the favourites to be relegated. Therefore, it is no surprise Nottingham Forest are one of the favourites to be relegated from the 2022-2023 Premier League season.

Some of the other favourites for relegation are Bournemouth and Fulham, the other two sides who were promoted alongside Nottingham Forest. If you are looking to bet on football online current Premier League sides, Leeds United, Brentford, and Southampton are some of the other names favoured by bookmakers.

What are the Nottingham Forest fixtures in the Premier League?

Nottingham Forest fans will be looking forward to returning to the Premier League to play the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea, and more.

Nottingham Forest will begin the 2022-2023 Premier League season with a visit to Newcastle United’s St. James’ Park on Saturday, August 6th. Their first game at The City Ground is scheduled to be against West Ham United on Saturday, August 13th.

Nottingham Forest will return from the 2022 World Cup season break with a Boxing Day trip to Manchester United. Their final league game is away at Crystal Palace.

  • 06/08/2022 — 15:00 Newcastle United v Nottingham Forest
  • 13/08/2022 — 15:00 Nottingham Forest v West Ham United
  • 20/08/2022 — 15:00 Everton v Nottingham Forest
  • 27/08/2022 — 15:00 Nottingham Forest v Tottenham Hotspur
  • 31/08/2022 — 20:00 Manchester City v Nottingham Forest
  • 03/09/2022 — 15:00 Nottingham Forest v A.F.C. Bournemouth
  • 10/09/2022 — 15:00 Leeds United v Nottingham Forest
  • 17/09/2022 — 15:00 Nottingham Forest v Fulham
  • 01/10/2022 — 15:00 Leicester City v Nottingham Forest
  • 08/10/2022 — 15:00 Nottingham Forest v Aston Villa
  • 15/10/2022 — 15:00 Wolverhampton v Nottingham Forest
  • 18/10/2022 — 19:45 Brighton v Nottingham Forest
  • 22/10/2022 — 15:00 Nottingham Forest v Liverpool
  • 29/10/2022 — 15:00 Arsenal v Nottingham Forest
  • 05/11/2022 — 15:00 Nottingham Forest v Brentford
  • 12/11/2022 — 15:00 Nottingham Forest v Crystal Palace
  • 26/12/2022 — 15:00 Manchester United v Nottingham Forest
  • 31/12/2022 — 15:00 Nottingham Forest v Chelsea
  • 02/01/2023 — 15:00 Southampton v Nottingham Forest
  • 14/01/2023 — 15:00 Nottingham Forest v Leicester City
  • 21/01/2023 — 15:00 A.F.C. Bournemouth v Nottingham Forest
  • 04/02/2023 — 15:00 Nottingham Forest v Leeds United
  • 11/02/2023 — 15:00 Fulham v Nottingham Forest
  • 18/02/2023 — 15:00 Nottingham Forest v Manchester City
  • 25/02/2023 — 15:00 West Ham United v Nottingham Forest
  • 04/03/2023 — 15:00 Nottingham Forest v Everton
  • 11/03/2023 — 15:00 Tottenham Hotspur v Nottingham Forest
  • 18/03/2023 — 15:00 Nottingham Forest v Newcastle United
  • 01/04/2023 — 15:00 Nottingham Forest v Wolverhampton
  • 08/04/2023 — 15:00 Aston Villa v Nottingham Forest
  • 15/04/2023 — 15:00 Nottingham Forest v Manchester United
  • 22/04/2023 — 15:00 Liverpool v Nottingham Forest
  • 25/04/2023 — 19:45 Nottingham Forest v Brighton
  • 29/04/2023 — 15:00 Brentford v Nottingham Forest
  • 06/05/2023 — 15:00 Nottingham Forest v Southampton
  • 13/05/2023 — 15:00 Chelsea v Nottingham Forest
  • 20/05/2023 — 15:00 Nottingham Forest v Arsenal
  • 28/05/2023 — 16:00 Crystal Palace v Nottingham Forest