The City Ground - Home to Nottingham Forest since 1891

The future of Nottingham Forest continues to be up in the air, with the club still locked in a row with the city council over the rent the Reds pay each year for the land on the banks of the Trent that the City Ground sits on.

With their current lease set to expire in 33 years, the club and council came together to discuss renewing the deal on the ground Nottingham Forest have called home since 1898. However, talks stalled three weeks ago (29th February) with the council wanting to quadruple the rent, with a jump from £250,000 to £1,000,000 a season.

It’s important for its business planning […], in terms of where it can go in terms of it’s success

Paul Rawnsley – sports finance expert

The Forest board wants the issues resolved as quickly as possible so the club can either, continue with their £100 million redevelopment plan of the City Ground; or start to look elsewhere for a cheaper site to play on, with club Chairman Tom Cartledge telling the BBC, “It is now having to be a realistic discussion point as to look elsewhere”. Nottingham City Council, have said they are “more than happy” to work with the club to “explore new options”.

An artists impression of what the City Ground could look like after the development – from Invest in Nottingham

The expansion would see the ground increase capacity, improve the hospitality experience, and build a museum to the historic club, among other developments, to bring the ground closer to some of its Premier League counterparts; almost 350 jobs would also be created.

The museum would be able to pay homage to the club’s 159-year history, including the 19 trophies won while they have called the City Ground home for the last 126 years.

  • 2 x European Cups (1978/79 & 1979/1980)
  • 1 x European Super Cup (1979)
  • 1 x Intercontinental Cup (1980)
  • 1 x First Division (1977/78)
  • 3 x Second Division (1906/07, 1921/22 & 1997/98)
  • 1 x Third Division (1950/51)
  • 1 x Football Alliance League (1891/92)
  • 2 x FA Cups (1897/98 & 1958/59)
  • 4 x League Cup (1977/78, 1978/79, 1988/89 & 1989/90)
  • 1 x Charity Shield (1978)
  • 2 x Full Member’s Cup (1988/89 & 1991/92)

A potential site for a new Nottingham Forest ground could be 8.5 miles south, in Toton. Councilor David Martin has suggested it to the city council, and gave his reasons to the BBC, “Toton already has the infrastructure including a tram stop and railway station. Any new stadium at Toton will far surpass the current capacity of the City Ground”.

City council leader, David Mellen, wants to keep Forest at their current home, but he does believe a rent increase is “only fair”. Mr. Mellen is due to step down from his position in May, meaning if talks continue he won’t have much impact.

Experts, such as Paul Rawnsley, agree that a rent increase is justified due to the club’s league status, with Forest having made £116.1 million from league prize money alone last season.

Mr. Rawnsley also explains how, even though the lease expires in 33 years, it is important for the club to know where their future stadium is as “it’s important for its (Forest) business planning […], in terms of where it can go in terms of it’s success”.