Super Eagles stars Ola Aina and Taiwo Awoniyi's Nottingham Forest have started to find their stride in recent weeks, coming off back-to-back wins over Premier League heavyweights Manchester United and Newcastle.
However, the English Premier League side could potentially be hit with a point penalty should they be found guilty of breaching the Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules.
After a slow start to the season, winning just three of their first 17 league matches, Forest parted ways with head coach Steve Cooper, bringing in former Wolverhampton manager Nuno Espirito Santo. The Portuguese gaffer was able to turn things around, as the Reds won consecutive games for the first time since January 2023.
Why Nottingham Forest?
While things seem to be coming around positively for the side, their quest to avoid relegation might be dealt a fresh blow with the possibilities of a fine or points reduction dangling over their head. According to an article published by The Athletic, Premier League clubs will learn if they have breached the league's profitability and sustainability regulations.
This is especially concerning for Forest, who have signed a total of 42 players since they gained promotion to the Premier League at the end of the 2021/22 season. Although they had to sell Brendan Johnson to Tottenham for £47.5m, the club have reported a loss of £136.8m over the past three years, which is higher than the FFP's £105m limit over the same period of time.
What did the Super Eagles' club say?
On that note, Nottingham Forest has issued a statement which reads: “The club has fully complied with its reporting obligations in respect of the Premier League’s revised profit and sustainability rules.
“Promotion to the Premier League will always create challenges, and the treatment of promotion bonuses is just one such example.
“The club approaches all such challenges with its long-term financial sustainability firmly in mind, as the Premier League rules intended.”
Only two other teams have been sanctioned since the introduction of FFP regulations.
Super Eagles' different priorities
While the news would no doubt be concerning for the duo of Aina and Awoniyi, both players have different priorities at the moment.
Awoniyi is recuperating from an injury that has kept him out of Nigeria's party to the African Cup of Nations. The striker, who started the season at Forest on form, aggravated a groin injury while on national team duty for the Super Eagles in November. He has undergone surgery and is months away from a return.
On the other hand, Aina is part of the Super Eagles' 25-man squad for the AFCON in Ivory Coast. The right-back will be hoping to impress coach Jose Peseiro during their camp in Dubai ahead of the showpiece. The three-time champions are in Group A, alongside hosts Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea and Guinea-Bissau. They commence their campaign on January 14 with a game against Equatorial Guinea.