'It will be hard to leave the City Ground, but...' - Nottingham Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis speaks out

Nottingham Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis
Nottingham Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis -Credit:Getty

Evangelos Marinakis has admitted that it will be a hard decision for the club to leave the City Ground, but he believes it will set Nottingham Forest on a different path.

The club's owner has opened up on the future at the historic ground with the painful admission that the club needs to move to a bigger facility to push forward and match his ambitions for the Reds.

"The stadium and training ground are not befitting the status and ambitions of the club," he said in an interview with the Daily Mail.

READ MORE: £10m City Ground deal offered in major Nottingham Forest stadium twist

READ MORE: Second new Nottingham Forest stadium site discussed on top of City Ground and Toton options

The club are currently at loggerheads with the council over the rent and lease situation at the City Ground with Marinakis leading a charge to find new potential venues for the club, something NottinghamshireLive has reported on extensively.

Yesterday we called on the club to be transparent about the future of the stadium, and it appears that was very much already in the mind of Marinakis who plans to lead a supporter consultation on the issue.

The Greek owner wants to see the club in a 50,000 seater all-purpose stadium with state of the art training facilities and Academy set-up and his reasoning is hard to deny.

"It will change the history in years to come of the region and the team for our supporters," he said.

"It'll be hard to leave City Ground, but in an age when revenue streams dictate success on the pitch, there's no doubt moving to a bigger facility will set the club on the right path."

"Over the last 10 years, the city of Nottingham has lacked the confidence and ambition of the other big regional cities of Manchester and Birmingham," he says.


Nottinghamshire County Council has confirmed that it has been approached by Forest to use land in Toton previously earmarked for HS2 as an alternative stadium site. The Conservative-led authority has just signed a 'memorandum of understanding' with Forest, which the council says will see it support the club's ambitions to "deliver new training and stadium infrastructure."

But Councillor Ben Bradley, the county council's leader, says the agreement is not about the Toton land specifically. Councillor Bradley said: "Our commitment at the county council is that we will work with Forest to deliver whatever the best outcome is in terms of their investment and their growth and what that brings to the economy of the area. It is not for me or any council to decide what the club's approach is to its stadium, we're just here to work constructively with any partners who want to invest in our part of the world, so I hope that those conversations between the club and the city council go well."

In terms of a potential move to Toton, Councillor Battlemuch, who has also been a Forest fan himself since 1967, said: "I think when Toton was first mentioned, people thought it was a negotiating tactic. Time will tell in the next few weeks, if people start to see detailed drawings or agreements with the County Council."

Tom Cartledge previously told Nottinghamshire Live: "At the moment, the city council conversations have stopped and we're actively talking to other councils in the county to say 'if we have to face up to moving, where can we go and what's the facilities and what's the land available to achieve that?'"

Is Marinakis right? And should the club move from the City Ground? Let us know in the comments