Nottingham Forest fans given 'trust us' message after new City Ground statement issued

Nottingham Forest fans show their support with scarves during the Premier League match between Nottingham Forest and Manchester City at City Ground on April 28, 2024
-Credit: (Image: Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

The new leader of Nottingham City Council has asked football fans to trust the authority to conclude a deal for the future of Nottingham Forest’s City Ground. The historic stadium currently sits on land owned by the Labour-run council and there are 33 years left on the existing lease.

The club first revealed a multi-million pound revamp for the City Ground in 2019. The council then declared effective bankruptcy in November last year amid a multi-million-pound budget deficit. Government commissioners were appointed in February to ensure it achieves the best value in all areas of its operations.

The authority reportedly sought to increase rent from £250,000 per year to around £1m, after the club was promoted to the Premier League in May 2022. While negotiations include a lease extension, the council said it would sell the freehold to the land for a reported fee of £10m.#

However, talks stalled and the club said it was considering a move to Toton, where a stadium fit for 50,000 fans could be built. However, it is now understood the stalemate has been broken and constructive talks are again taking place.

Neghat Khan (Lab), the new leader of Nottingham City Council, said: “On day one me and Ethan Radford said we wanted to work constructively with NFFC.

“I hope that the fans trust that both us and the board will be looking to conclude a deal that is the best for the club, the city and, of course, the Forest faithful.”

Back in May, the council had called upon the club to get back around the table and “put the news story to bed” following months of speculation. A joint statement from the council and the club added: “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.”