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Nottingham Forest fans want City Ground stay amid talk of relocating as redevelopment plans stall

Nottingham Forest fans want the club to stay at the City Ground amid talk of potentially relocating as redevelopment plans stall.

There is a possibility that the club may abandon their plans to redevelop the stadium and move elsewhere due to a dispute over rent.

Discussions between Nottingham City Council and the club have been ongoing regarding future options, with the City Ground situated on land leased from the council, with only 33 years remaining on the current agreement.

Negotiations for an extension have stalled as the council is requesting an increase in rent from the current £250,000 to around £1 million.

Fans are now worried about the impact on local businesses if Nottingham Forest were to leave the City Ground.

On Friday evening, Nottingham Forest chairman Tom Cartledge spoke more on the future of The City Ground…

A spokesperson for Nottingham City Council stated that they had been in discussions with the club about options for the future.

“We understand Forest’s need for a swift resolution and their ambition for expansion which will bring benefit to the area, and will work with them on a solution which meets their aims and our statutory responsibilities,” added the spokesperson, per BBC Sport.

“Any proposed new terms or agreements would need to be brought back to executive board for consideration and approval.”

BBC Radio Nottingham’s political reporter Hugh Caswell has been discussing his interview with Nottingham Forest chairman Tom Cartledge about the club’s stadium situation:

“The chairman was really clear to stress that relocation is not the club’s preferred option and it is certainly not at the stage of shopping around looking for other sites to build a new stadium on in the future. But, this is the strongest indication we have heard from the club yet that this could be a genuine option.

“Could it be a negotiating tactic? [Cartledge] says there are no discussions, the talks have ended and they have ended without an agreement. The city council in their statement say they are open to more discussions and to continue the dialogue, but they also make the point that they have this duty to ensure the best value for taxpayers – and that is all taxpayers, of which some may not be Nottingham Forest fans, of course.

“It is Forest who want to develop the stadium, it is Forest who have opened up this discussion. The big thing that has happened since the lease was originally signed and now is that Forest have been promoted to the Premier League, so is it fair for the council to ask for a bit more money?

“The club’s argument is that they bring in a lot of money to the city as it is, whether that is on matchdays or in the form of a stadium redevelopment, creating jobs – all of this is only going to go in an upward direction if they are increasing the capacity of the stadium. Central to this is you have to understand the council’s financial problems and they’re pretty well documented by now.

“Any situation now where councillors are seen to not be doing all they can to get best value, that will be very dangerous for them because these commissioners [that will be brought in] are there to focus on the bottom line and balance the books. You can imagine that they may care that much less about a decision being unpopular than an elected councillor might.

“That gives you an idea of the bind the council is in and how we have come to this impasse.”

Fan group Forza Garibaldi said in a statement: “In recent years the City Ground’s inadequacies have begun to show more and more – it leaks, it is cramped and, crucially, it has shown to be too small to meet demand.

“It is therefore a logical solution to explore the possibility of an alternative location, especially given the stalemate with the city council, but there will never be another home for us with the wonderful setting, the character and the soul that the City Ground possesses.

“We urge the club to consider every last possibility to remain at the City Ground, and repeat this call to members of the City Council who must equally ensure that their legacy is not the loss of 125 years of Nottinghamshire sporting heritage.”

Ellie Molloson, a fan of the club, said the council is leaving Forest with “no options”.

“As a fan the last thing I want is to see us move away from the City Ground – what we’ve got is so special, such a brilliant atmosphere, and I really don’t want to become one of those soulless, tinpot clubs,” she said.

“What it brings to the city is huge, especially now they are in the Premier League, they should be wanting to help Forest maintain their Premier League status so that businesses can grow even more.”

As mentioned, Nottingham Forest fans want the club to stay at the City Ground amid talk of relocating as redevelopment plans stall…

@blacknall_dave: Please don’t sell us down the river ! Nottingham Forest belong at the city ground , our desire is always to be here !

@ForestFanBase: Hopefully sense will prevail. 🙏🏻🔴⚪️💯

@NFFC_14: Can’t ever take the values and behaviours of this stadium and put it somewhere else. Every fan of those clubs will tell you this. It’s just a shame it’s come to this because the plans look incredible. Just sit on a table and come to an amicable conclusion. Don’t sell our home!

@martsparts: In simple terms.. the club and council can’t come to terms with future development of the CG. If this doesn’t get resolved soon, the club either stay put and stand still.. Or build a 50k seater someone else without it being a soulless bowl. You’re welcome.

@marleynffc: Well worded, whatever happens, I’m confident this man is the right man to sort it

@smccalden: Really honest assessment of the situation but clearly a statement to Nott council to wise up. Keep up the pressure Tom. 💪

@annastorey78: Have full faith in this man to deliver for the club, whichever path that takes us down. He will have the best interests of the club, players and fans as his priority, that’s an absolute guarantee.

@TrickyNFFC: Could not have applied any more pressure to the council. It’ll be interesting to see what comes next. Whichever route we choose to take, I hope progress can be made quickly. #NFFC

@JordanHooley3: Couldn’t imagine going to a forest home game not at the city ground, would be horrific anywhere else, hope it gets sorted and just make the current ground bigger #NFFC

@Tvbizzle09: If you tell us we are moving stadiums I for one will not have it. City ground is our home. Fuck you lot #nffc

@SamWheatley8: So frustrating, we have an owner who is willing to invest in the club, which as Tom correctly suggests will benefit the city and our own council are holding it back, comical really. The Manchester comparison is a great point, guess it shows why our council are bankrupt. #NFFC

@AurierForPM: Most of this is waffle, should’ve been made more simple. I’ll summarise: We don’t want to leave the city ground. He knows the fans don’t want to. Council incompetence forcing our hands. If new stadium was needed, priority would be to avoid becoming a soulless bowl. #NFFC

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