Fawaz Al Hasawi made "lots of mistakes" when he was Nottingham Forest owner but had the best interests of the club at heart, says ex-Reds captain Andy Reid.
Reid, 35, was forced to retire in 2016 because of a persistent groin injury, but was at the club for all of the Al Hasawi family's five years in charge.
"He didn't improve the infrastructure which was what he should have done," Reid told BBC Nottingham Sport.
"We went top heavy without foundations and things started to crumble."
Former Republic of Ireland midfielder Reid came through the youth ranks at the City Ground, leaving for Tottenham in a £4m deal in 2006.
He returned in 2011 for a second spell and ended his Reds career with 42 goals in 290 games and is now taking his coaching badges.
Reid said he told Fawaz that he needed to invest behind the scenes to ensure he left a legacy, otherwise there would be "no reminder when he left".
He added: "Fawaz made a lot of mistakes at the club, but I don't think they were malicious. I think he was ill-advised; the people around him gave him bad advice.
"He put a hell of a lot of money into the club. But he didn't put anything into the structure. He put money into the players and playing staff. He didn't improve the training ground, he didn't improve the stadium or help the academy .
"He has taken a lot of stick and I can understand why, but it wasn't for his lack of caring and I know that from conversations with him."