Alex McLeish leaves Forest by mutual catapult
Alex McLeish's brief and unsuccessful spell at Nottingham Forest is over, after club chairman Fawaz al-Hasawi announced the former Aston Villa boss had agreed to leave the Championship side by being catapulted into the River Trent.
McLeish was parachuted in to consolidate Forest's promotion push, but his reign got off to a bad start when he collided with the City Ground roof upon landing, breaking his collarbone. An early run of defeats and a small gas leak saw the Forest hotseat quickly turn into a firefighting job, with McLeish suffering first-degree burns while putting out the blaze.
In the wake of last weekend's 2-1 defeat to Birmingham City, many observers believed McLeish had dug himself into a hole, after the 54-year old retreated into a freshly-constructed bunker in his garden with just a blanket and some cheese straws.
Al-Hasawi assumed the chairmanship of Forest in mid-December, promising fans a new broom. However, his promised January investment did not materialise, leaving the struggling McLeish 'dismayed and sooty'.
"We appreciate the great efforts of Alex and his staff," Hasawi said in a statement. "But looking at the league table, it is clear to the board that the best course of action is to strap Alex into a trebuchet, weigh him down with stones, and hurl him into the freezing water. We would like to wish him the best of luck."
McLeish had been brought in just 40 days ago to replace Sean O'Driscoll, who took Forest to within a point of the play-offs before being fired from a cannon into Bridgford Park. O'Driscoll's predecessor, Steve Cotterill, lasted just two days following Hasawi's takeover before he was seized from his bed by masked men and strapped to the front of a Virgin Pendolino train heading north.
Al-Hasawi refused to comment on reports linking former Southampton boss Nigel Adkins with the vacancy, but did confirm that the club want to have both a new manager and a state-of-the-art snake pit in place before the next home game against Bolton Wanderers.