Nottingham Forest secure most important deal of the summer as City Ground future made clear

Nottingham Forest look set to stay at the City Ground
-Credit: (Image: PA)

This was always going to be a crucial summer for Nottingham Forest, and arguably their most important piece of business has just been done.

Several signings will no doubt put pen to paper for the Reds before the end of the transfer window, but no player deal will match the agreement struck between the club and Nottingham City Council for significance.

An agreement in principle has been reached between the two parties for the club to buy the freehold of the land the City Ground - the Reds' home for the last 125 years - sits on. It is not a case of signed, sealed and delivered just yet, but it should be soon.

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Council leader Neghat Khan said in a statement on X: “Football is staying home, here in Nottingham, and the mist will keep rolling off the Trent for years to come. The terms of the deal will be presented to the council’s executive board for a decision on 16 July. If agreed, subject to legal contracts and due diligence, this will be a historic day for the club, for the fans and for our city.”

Moreover, the statement says the agreement paves the way for Forest to push ahead with their stadium redevelopment project. “It will allow the club to move forward with its ambitious plans to expand the stadium while also securing a significant capital receipt for the council,” it added. “The council and club have agreed that measures will be put into the sale contract which will protect the council’s position in the highly unlikely event that the club should choose to relocate from the City Ground in the future.”

So there you have it. Forest are going nowhere. And quite right, too.

Fans made their feelings on the prospect of a possible relocation clear towards the end of last season. They responded in their numbers when a chant of “stand up for the City Ground” rang out in the final home game of last term.

The City Ground is special. It is unique. Iconic. The walk across Trent Bridge on a match day is unrivalled. Mull of Kintyre being belted out is unmatched. As former head coach Steve Cooper once said, it is a place with “football soul”.

The saga surrounding the uncertainty of whether Forest would stay put or up sticks to Toton had dragged on for too long. Clarity on the stadium’s future means full focus can now be given to overseeing progress on the pitch.

The Reds want to push on in the Premier League this coming season. Most importantly, they can now have an eye on doing so at a place on the River Trent they call home.

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