Forest chairman bemoans lack of council contact as club eyes move away from City Ground

Nottingham Forest are “progressing due diligence” on a number of sites should their stand-off with Nottingham City Council over the lease of their City Ground home not be resolved.

Forest chairman Tom Cartledge has revealed to online football magazine The Athletic that a site in Toton – which was once slated as a now-scrapped HS2 station – has been earmarked as a potential new home for Forest, but that it is “one of several” the club is looking at.

The dispute with the council is over a new 250 year lease for the land the City Ground sits on. The council owns this land and wants rent in the region of £250m for the lease. Forest aren’t prepared to pay that. Cartledge told The Athletic that he has no recent contact with the council and that’s why the club is looking elsewhere.

The outgoing leader of Nottingham City Council, David Mellen, has said that Forest shouldn’t expect “mates’ rates”.

Cartledge told The Athletic: “We had dialogues with some of the junior officers, but nobody senior came forward. That’s important context for the fans to understand. We are not just sitting here in a black hole waiting and hoping. We are trying to be proactive.”

Cartledge also reveals in the interview that a multimillion-pound deal to buy land off the A52 to be used a training ground has fallen through – another factor in the decision to ditch their City Ground home, which is where Forest have played their home matches for almost 130 years.

Forest currently sit 17th in the Premier League – one spot and three above the relegation zone, with two games left to play. The club earlier this week had its appeal against a four-point deduction dismissed by the Premier League.