Nottingham Forest City Ground row easing as 'constructive discussions' underway with council

Nottingham Forest's City Ground
-Credit: (Image: Getty)

Talks between Nottingham Forest and Nottingham City Council about the future of the City Ground have resumed after months of public disagreement. Discussions between the two have been underway for some years about Forest's future at the City Ground, with the city council owning the land on which the iconic stadium sits.

Forest's unveiling of a multi-million pound revamp plan for the City Ground in 2019 led the city council to consider the terms under which the club rents the stadium's land. The city council reportedly wants to increase rent from £250,000 a year to "north of a million."

The option for Nottingham Forest to buy their stadium's freehold for £10 million is also on the table. Earlier this year, Nottingham Forest went public over the rent dispute, with comments from chairman Tom Cartledge and owner Evangelos Marinakis indicating that the club could even move to land at Toton.

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But following the election of a new Nottingham City Council leader in Councillor Neghat Khan, who asked for a face to face meeting with Forest, talks now appear to have resumed. Councillor Khan, who officially took office in early May, said one of her first acts as leader was going to be asking Mr Cartledge and Mr Marinakis for a meeting.

Progress now appears to have been made, with Nottingham City Council saying that "constructive" discussions have resumed. The council said in a joint statement with Nottingham Forest: "Nottingham City Council and Nottingham Forest continue to work together regarding the future of the City Ground.

"Constructive discussions are taking place on a confidential basis. Both the Council and Nottingham Forest will make a statement when these are complete, and we will not be making any further comment until then."

A central part of the long-term vision for the City Ground is to increase the capacity of the Peter Taylor stand by knocking it down and rebuilding it. Plans also include improving and, in the case of the Bridgford Stand, extending the other three sides of the ground.

Once the major stadium work had been completed, Forest has also revealed plans for a 169-unit residential block near the existing Bridgford House apartments. It is the latter element in particular that the city council says changes the value of Nottingham Forest's current lease agreement, which has 30 years left on it.

Councillor Khan previously said: "There's a lot of history at the City Ground. You can't just move. You go to a new stadium, it doesn't mean that history or that feeling, that atmosphere is there. We don't want them to go and the Forest fans don't want them to go."