Nottingham Forest season tickets statement made as 'inexplicable' issue criticised

Nottingham Forest fans at the City Ground
Nottingham Forest fans at the City Ground -Credit:Getty

Nottingham Forest’s response to the fierce backlash they received to season card price increases has been chided as “relatively minor”.

The club have not reconsidered the cost of season cards for 2024/25, which have increased by an average of 24 percent. However, they have announced “a range of additional benefits” for season card holders.

The offerings put forward include an extension to the renewal deadline, from May 10 to May 15. The new date is still before the end of the current campaign, on May 19, meaning the possibility remains of fans having to decide whether to renew before knowing which division the Reds will be in.

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Additionally, a guaranteed buy-back scheme has been introduced and season card holders will receive free entry to one home pre-season friendly and to two home Forest Women fixtures at the City Ground. A 10 percent retail discount (excluding replica kit) has been reintroduced and all non-away membership season card holders will be able to enter a ballot to attend away fixtures.

The announcement has been met with “disappointment” by the Supporters’ Trust, although they said they welcomed the club’s willingness to listen to fans’ concerns. In a statement, they said: “In the period since the original announcement of 2024/25 season card prices, the Trust has been engaged in discussions with the club via our position on the Fan Advisory Board (FAB) on how best to mitigate the impact on supporters. The Trust notes the new offerings outlined by the club and has the following observations.

“We are very disappointed to see no reduction in prices. As has been noted previously, the average increase imposed is hugely disproportionate to prevailing inflation and also much higher than what has been seen at other Premier League clubs.

“We are equally disappointed at the fact that there has been no change to the altered concession bandings. The stand-out example of the increases to be experienced by 18- and 19-year-olds is we believe inexplicable, not least because virtually all other Premier League clubs have concessions for this age group.

“Based on emails sent by supporters to the Trust, we believe that the consequence of these unprecedented increases is that many loyal supporters are likely to be priced out of attending. This should be a matter of deep regret for all with the interests of the club at heart.

“The club’s acceptance of the proposal we made of a guaranteed cash buyback scheme for up to three games will, we hope, help some supporters in times when they are experiencing budgeting problems.

“We welcome the extension of the renewal deadline but would prefer to have seen it moved to beyond the end of the season so most fans would have had a second payday to help with budgeting. This would also mean fans would definitely have been aware of what division the club will play in which, given the scale of the increases, only seems fair – a case of knowing what you’re buying.

“We are pleased to see the inclusion of two women’s games added to the package. This will lead to substantially increased attendances and profile for this increasingly important and successful Nottingham Forest team.

“We welcome the fact that the club has listened to the FAB and has been influenced to improve the overall package, despite our regrets that the enhancements achieved have been relatively minor. We note that several other clubs have not offered any improvements whatsoever despite fan protests and so this evidence of Forest’s preparedness to listen and engage is positive. It needs to be built on and developed.

“In future we hope to be involved, via the FAB, in an earlier, more thorough and two-way consultation over pricing. All Forest fans recognise the commercial pressures the club faces, not least because of the introduction of the Squad Cost Ratio PSR rules in 2025/26. This should not however automatically lead to increasingly unaffordable tickets. We believe that fans can work with the club to come up with a programme that balances the need to optimise revenue without pricing out ordinary fans.”

When they announced season card prices, Forest said they were among the “most affordable” in the Premier League. However, supporters expressed anger at the price rises, along with the reconfiguration of age bands and the messaging from the club around the announcement.

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