Marinakis admitted his disappointment over the controversial comment from Masters in his appearance before the Culture, Media and Sport Committee earlier this month.
Forest are facing potential sanctions later this season after being charged with an alleged breach of the Premier League’s Profitability and Sustainability Rules (PSR).
Everton have also been charged for a second time, and both clubs were left bewildered by Masters’ implication that they were “small”, while the case involving champions Manchester City’s alleged breach of 115 rules has been a protracted process.
Speaking at Wednesday’s conference at the City Ground aimed at tackling the issues of racism and gender inequality in football, Marinakis responded to the comments by insisting that two-time European Cup winners Forest deserve more respect.
“I think that was not appropriate. I think it was a bit careless. I think that Nottingham Forest and Everton are very big clubs and maybe are bigger than the ones that we consider today big clubs,” he said.
"The regulations apply to everyone, not just the SMALLER clubs."
Richard Masters letting us know his thought process
Everton is considered a small club because it doesn't generate billions for him.
— Football 𝕏 (@Football__X) January 17, 2024
“Of course we have surveys, extensive ones that examine supporters in the UK that show how big the support is for these clubs. Here in Nottingham and the region around the city, it’s about 2.2m people.
“Big teams and small teams is maybe not an appropriate expression. It’s a team that has a lot of support or that has achieved a lot of victories or a lot of trophies.
“But if you analyse it you see who teams are, these are the teams with the big crowds. Rarely is it teams without a solid supporter base who go on to win a trophy.
“You see the power of your supporters in the ground and even when you don’t play well the support makes you feel stronger. I think this is very important for our sport.”
Forest submitted their response to the charge earlier this week, with sports lawyer Nick de Marco and his team, plus former club chairman Nicholas Randall KC and Forest’s finance director Tom Bonser compiling their defence.
It is understood that Forest are waiting to discover the date of their hearing before an independent disciplinary commission.
Marinakis was present at the City Ground for Wednesday’s conference, which runs until Thursday and was attended by football icons including Thierry Henry, Lilian Thuram and Christian Karembeu.
The joint initiative between Nottingham Forest and The Weatherhead Center at Harvard University was organised to create a platform for in-depth debates on the challenges of racial and gender equity in the game.
The event has brought together experts, academics, industry leaders, current and former players and football fans to explore the issues and drive positive change in the sport.