NFFC Fan Advisory Board – City Ground Redevelopment

On Monday 26th, Forest reached out to the Fan Advisory Board (FAB) to arrange a last minute meeting, with a limited remit of ‘an important update regarding stadium developments’.

This fell outside of the previously mentioned remit of the FAB – where board meetings have to be scheduled two weeks in advance, along with agreed agenda items. Therefore we were not expecting to discuss items which Forest were progressing from the initial meeting (tickets), or items not discussed (safe standing, fan experience).

Ensuring safe standing at NFFC remains a priority agenda item for Forza Garibaldi, and recent comms on our X / Twitter feed provide an update on our current aims. The club chairman, Tom Cartledge, acknowledged this at the beginning of the meeting, but it has not yet been an item for discussion for the FAB.

As the FAB is in it’s infancy, it is encouraging that the club are already looking to go beyond the bare minimum remit of the Premier League Engagement plan (meet 3 times a season with prescribed agendas), and hopefully a meeting of this nature for a more urgent update will reflect well on how fans can now be engaged swiftly. We will continue to then pass any key details back to our fellow supporters.


Stadium Redevelopment

The meeting took place remotely, which had it’s challenges at times, but was attended by all members of the FAB bar one. The Chairman; Chief Communications Officer were in attendance and the meeting was chaired by the NFFC Fan Engagement Officer. It was very timely the meeting was held on the 27th February; one day before the 5 year anniversary of Forest announcing their plans for the new Peter Taylor stand (Nottingham Forest FC – Major stadium redevelopment to go ahead at Nottingham Forest).

The primary reason of the meeting was for Forest to update the FAB (as suggested to by Daniel Taylor in The Athletic last week) that there is an impasse with the council in regards to the new stadium. In the coming days, we believe we can expect to see this appearing in more detail in media outlets. A brief summary of items discussed is as follows:

  • The main issue lies around a lease with the City Council.
  • The club is clearly under immense pressure with PSR and the gap is getting bigger. The Chairman revealed some telling stats around the average stadium size of the top 10 being 55,000, and the bottom 10 as 24,000. As time goes by, the gap is widening.
  • The Chairman stated that the club could be ready to start tomorrow if given the green light; and millions has already been spent seeking planning permission and other costs.
  • The club have zero scope to do any extension work on the Brian Clough or Trent End.
  • It has been well documented that Nottingham City Council declared itself effectively bankrupt on 29th November by issuing a Section 114; this has confused regular processes with added scrutiny from central government and it is having an impact on Forest’s aim to negotiate the lease. That the City Council is now effectively under the control of of Government appointed commissioners this is understandably going to cause some additional difficulties.
  • The proposals from the Government to extend the lease are, according to NFFC, commercially unviable.

There was a chance for a Q&A towards the end of the call. There were limited questions; it was hard to argue beyond the detail provided. The items put forward by Forest did make sense although, as in any debate or dispute, it would be very interesting to hear the alternative view from the City Council. Ultimately, it is imperative that there must be a breakthrough soon.

One question that was asked was: “Is the club preparing a Plan B or contingency?” (this question was also raised at the original meeting). The answer was a straightforward ‘No’. The Chairman repeated the line that their intention is to remain at the City Ground. However, given the ongoing matter with the City Council, Forza Garibaldi will continue to raise this question as it remains to be seen whether this impasse will lead to alternative plans being explored.

From a supporter perspective, and with little knowledge of the mechanics or motivations behind this matter, this is clearly a challenging issue. Even if the issues were resolved tomorrow, this still leaves Forest way behind the quoted 55,000 that the Chairman highlighted as the disparity between the top half of the Premier League and the bottom half. Redevelopment would come at huge detriment of the Peter Taylor stand being closed for a period of time too. Many fans also raise daily concerns with basics amenities such as running warm water not being available and if this deadlock continues the club will need to spend money on significant upgrades, including to areas that may soon be redeveloped.

We very much hope, like all fans, a solution will be found.

Completely unrelated to this, the closing remarks of the session were based on the FAB administration:

  • The club informed us of imminent releases to the website of profiles of members of the FAB, along with formal communication channels for fans to reach out directly to FAB members (via email)
  • The club informed us that they are imminently planning the next meeting, which we hope will focus on revisits from the initial meeting: ticketing for season 24-25, along with recent commentary on FA Cup ticket processes and charges and safe standing.



  • The first positive note is on the willingness of Forest to engage the FAB on a topical and now evidently very political hot potato. We envision the FAB could be used for a wide range of issues to create a regular communication channel with the club – which would allow for a positive working relationship moving forward. There is a risk in meeting infrequently that issues may get lost in the mud (e.g. reviewing FA Cup pricing 8 weeks post event) – so we very much would encourage additional communication.
  • The second note is the club are clearly in a sticky situation with the stadium. PSR is breathing heavily and the club need to remain competitive. It is not for us to design the way forward, but hopefully an open dialogue remains with the fans moving forward, where possible, as many feel are understandably disgruntled and somewhat sceptical given we have now passed five years since the City Ground redevelopment plans were announced.

We will endeavour to communicate further updates as we have them, but we understand further detail will follow soon through the club and / or media.