Hill leaves Forest for City


THERE WAS more turmoil at Nottingham Forest yesterday when one of its longest-serving employees quit because he felt "betrayed" by a club that was "going downhill very fast".

The general manager, Alan Hill, at Forest for 25 years, has decided to take up the post of number two to his old manager Frank Clark at Manchester City after failing to secure assurances about his future at the City Ground.

Hill's departure came only 12 hours after the Forest shareholders turned down a takeover bid from the millionaire Sandy Anderson, which forces the relegation-threatened club to wait another month for the cash to buy urgently needed players and meet a bank demand for £2 million to be knocked off Forest's estimated £10 million overdraft by February.

Although two new consortiums are planning to make takeover offers by the weekend - one led by the multi-millionaire Nigel Wray, the other by the video tycoon Grant Bovey - an EGM to vote on the plans would take another 21 days to convene

Hill yesterday warned the delay could lead to disaster for Stuart Pearce's embattled team: "At the moment the club is going downhill very quickly," he said.

Hill added that leaving Forest was a sad day. "I've been here 25 years and I love the club but I've spoken to the chairman about my future and he says his hands are tied about contracts. I've spoken to Stuart and he can't give me any assurances. I'm 53 now, I need security, I've a mortgage to pay and because of the uncertainty, I can't wait any longer. So I'll be accepting the Manchester City position."

Hill, who joins City on a 3 1/2 year contract, said of the Forest board: "I feel betrayed, and I hope it doesn't happen to any other of the staff. They are very very loyal and work hard. I say to the directors and shareholders, make sure you look after everybody and make sure you don't ruin this great football club."