"In what would be one of the most remarkable club acquisitions of an English football club, if not the most controversial, Evangelos Marinakis, owner of Greek champions Olympiakos, is set to take majority control at Nottingham Forest, playing in England’s second-tier Championship.
Forest owner Fawaz Al Hasawi has told media that he hopes the deal will be done within a month. The Kuwaiti is expected to retain a 20% stake in the club he bought in 2012. He claims he has spent £106 million on the club.
The hold up on the sale is apparently because Marinakis has to pass the Football League’s fit and proper persons test. Al Hasawi says he is waiting for the green light from them to make the sale – no figure has been released for the deal.
But passing the fit and proper persons test will not be straightforward for Marinakis who is banned in Greece from taking an active role at Olympiakos.
Marinakis is accused of multiple counts of match-fixing in the Greek Super League with the allegations surrounding a match-fixing conspiracy involving Greek domestic games between 2011 and 2013. He has been cleared of a previous match-fixing charge.
Charged with being the mastermind of a criminal gang, he is accused of multiple counts of bribery and blackmail. The accusations also extend to violence and the beating of journalists and the bombing of a bakery owned by a referee.
He is being charged alongside a number of Greek FA officials. Prosecutors are believed to be close to a decision on whether he will face trial.
Marinakis supporters claim that the charges are a result of jealousy of his success with Olympiakos which has won the Greek Super League six times since he bought the club in 2010. But the evidence of match-fixing and intimidation is far too great to ignore.
The attraction for Marinakis in Forest is a club with a very strong history and European name recognition, with a large stadium in a big city, and the potential to compete quickly for the promotion to the riches of the Premier League", was the article of English columnist Paul Nicholson about the Greek businessman.