Forest and City Council locked in talks over future of City Ground

Both Nottingham City Council and Nottingham Forest are remaining tight-lipped on the club’s future use of the City Ground.

A statement issued on Monday afternoon (June 3) said that ongoing discussion around the amount of rent the council is asking the club are still taking place.

The joint statement said: “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.”

Last month, the owner of Nottingham Forest has admitted for the first time that the club’s future could be away from its historic City Ground home.

Evangelos Marianakis has used an interview with the Daily Mail to outline his vision for a 50,000-seater all-purpose stadium with training facilities and an Academy function on-site.

Marinakis said he is planning a fans’ consultation on the plans.

He said: “It will change the history in years to come of the region and the team for our supporters.

“It’ll be hard to leave City Ground, but in an age when revenue streams dictate success on the pitch, there’s no doubt moving to a bigger facility will set the club on the right path.”

“Over the last 10 years, the city of Nottingham has lacked the confidence and ambition of the other big regional cities of Manchester and Birmingham.”

Forest are currently locked in a battle with Nottingham City Council, the owner of the land the City Ground sits up, over a new 250-year lease. The council wants rent in the region of £250m for the lease. Forest aren’t prepared to pay that.

Last month, Nottingham County Council waded into the dispute.

The council said it had signed a memorandum of understanding to “deliver new training and stadium infrastructure”.

Councillor Ben Bradley MP, leader of Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “Nottingham Forest FC, like all the great sporting clubs we have in this county, is an important partner for us. The Club brings so much investment potential to the area which helps our infrastructure and economy.

“This agreement is a win-win as it will give us more scope to explore further options to benefit local communities and help with Forest’s ambitions and future plans.”