NFFC Fan Advisory Board Meeting – March 27th 2024

The Forest Fan Advisory Board (FAB) held its second in person meeting on Wednesday 27th March at the City Ground, from 5:30-8pm. In this piece we explain the content covered and present a brief research piece we have undertaken on home season tickets for the 24-25 season across a select band of other clubs.

Present at the meeting was Chairman Tom Cartledge along with other officials from NFFC, along with the existing members of the FAB.

Formal minutes from the meeting have been published on the official NFFC site and we thank Forest for taking this feedback on board that the club should issue the content themselves. We will continue to offer up our own detailed commentary in conjunction with this which we believe has been welcomed by supporters.

A link to the club’s own release can be found here:

Nottingham Forest FC – Nottingham Forest host second Fan Advisory Board meeting


Season Card Pricing

This FAB meet was not a forum for Forest to propose pricing models or ideas and pitch them to the group. We did not see a proposed number or percentage.

Newly appointed Chief Operating Officer, Paul Bell, led an exploratory piece – primarily non-numbers based on comparisons between Premier League clubs and where Forest lie now and moving forward. Forest clearly have to maximise their revenue in all streams possible to remain competitive in the Premier League. A deep question that arises for any fan is, ‘what level am I prepared to financially contribute, via my season ticket to my club, or what can I afford?’ In the age of growing PSR pressures, does this change? Should fans shoulder this burden? The club must be applauded for exploring other revenue streams, such as the new museum in which opening slots have all sold out within a matter of hours, but they also state they are reliant on maximising gate receipts to allow them to compete.

From a fan point of view, it felt like groundwork was being laid for price increases, although this was not categorically stated. In our research piece below it seems most clubs are lying around 5-8%, although this is not an exhaustive sample that has been studied.

It must be remembered that the 20,000 or so season card holders Forest currently possess are entirely supporters who acquired their seats when Forest were not challenging for promotion or a Premier League club, based on no new sales having taken place for numerous years now. Past loyalty, including many who made financial donations to the club by renewing even during Covid should not be forgotten. It is wonderful that there is now such demand to attend games at the City Ground, but we must not price people out of something they love just because there is someone willing to take their seat.

Forest have positioned themselves as a community club, most recently with a new mental health initiative. They must not overlook the community that is closest to them – their supporters. We would ask the club to consider how a price increase, which may not make a significant impact on their overall turnover, may impact the individual supporter.

We would encourage Forest to also look at some of the newer initiatives they have implemented such as last season’s 21-year-old price bracket going from £150 to £640 in some areas. The club must protect these young fans and not effectively sell season cards to the highest bidder. A reconsideration of this would therefore be welcome.

As Forest look to drive the club forward to a mid to top Premier League club under Evangelos Marinakis, it feels like the club may want to increase prices to match this ambition. What is critical, however, is that Forest are currently in a relegation fight and are not able to yet say they are an established top flight club. Pricing should therefore reflect that we may be a Championship team next season and not get lost in some as yet unachieved ambition.

As part of the club’s findings, they referenced several other social / sporting activities across Nottingham. The point was made that Forest are currently have a very fair value model when it comes to other social and sporting occasions – 1 hour of axe throwing at Hatchet Harry’s, weighs in at £25. An adults ticket at Nottingham Panthers v Coventry Blaze this weekend is £27. An average ticket to see James Blunt, £72. Notts County v MK Dons, £22. Notts T20 v Durham, £22.

However, it should be stated that these are not reflective of annual season card / ticket pricing and that such comparisons are often flawed and will not always incorporate some of the points made above on loyalty and lifelong support. For many, following Forest is not a social or sporting occasion but a way of life. Finding a means of fair pricing but also recognising this is key.

As a closing note, although not discussed in the meeting, My Forest Pro members, will pay up to £52 to watch Forest v Wolves this weekend. Given the membership alone weighs in at £95 this has quickly become a very expensive means of watching Forest. However, fans paying such levels will hopefully not be a comparison in which to measure season card prices.


Safe Standing

One of the primary goals of the FG representative on the FAB is the continued attempts to get safe standing at the City Ground. Forza Garibaldi have met with Forest several times over the years to try to drive this forward, and the presentation notes were recently shared on our Twitter / X account.

Forest’s Head of Procurement prepared a very impressive presentation for the FAB, which was positively received by all members. Forest are indeed investigating the options of safe standing and have paid visits to other grounds (Old Trafford, which has 3 types of safe standing) to see what methods are used. Their own minutes linked above go into some detail about their own findings.

We are encouraging Forest to install the legitimate rail seating which involves an entire new frame and flush seating, and we presented a short piece within the meeting showcase the importance of this solution being the chosen type at the City Ground. The case of Everton was also discussed, who are future proofing their new stadium by installing rail seating which could allow the capacity of the new stand to change from 13,000 to 20,000 if certain factors are met and legislation allows. Clearly, given capacity restrictions at the City Ground this is a much better prospect rather than installing rails into existing seats which will only absorb more space.

We welcomed the chance to distribute our previous presentation to the FAB, and we also noted recent progress made by Luton who increased their attendance by 800 by installing a bespoke rail seated solution. We hope Forest can also take this this dynamic approach to maximise capacity but also enhance the supporter experience.

Ultimately Forest are seemingly still in the research stage and will need to (as with all decisions at the club) find the most appropriate cost benefit solution. We would oppose safe standing being funded via enhanced pricing in these areas, and do not believe the club would have an appetite to do this, regardless. However, the bottom line is this would be a significant financial outlay for the club, with no direct monetary return, and so we would welcome further dialogue about ways to justify the spend to find the right solution.


Ticket Exchange Platform

As introduced last season, the re-sale platform (ticket exchanges) is, the club say, becoming ever more critical, as they try to ensure maximum capacity at every game. The club stated they were aware that many season cards were not being used every game, and a considerable number were not then made available on the ticket exchange function.

Supporters, it was said, should be conscious that other clubs have implemented means of combating this and while this is not something that is definitely going to happen at NFFC, it may be something that is considered.

In Leeds United’s new season ticket policy, fans must attend 80% of games to sustain their right to have a season ticket. As part of this 80%, listing your season ticket on the exchange does count as an attendance.

Brentford have taken a similar stance – under their ‘Every Seat Counts’ campaign.  If season cards are not used 4 times over a season, you lose your right to renew next season. Brentford are also very clear on the use of the exchange (see link included below).

Brentford, this season, have also enhanced the scheme with time blocks – tickets must be listed by 2pm the day before the game. Recent feedback we heard in the FAB meetings was for fans living far away, the glut of tickets listed on game day nearer to kick off provide a huge mental drain – seeing tickets available on the exchange but with no time to get to Nottingham. Brentford’s current season ticket occupancy per game is around 93%. Brentford also have a “guaranteed pay out scheme”, where ticket ‘refunds’ are paid to season ticket holders who list at least 7 days in advance.

One entirely valid caveat to this (which, notably Brentford do implement too) were points raised by the Forest DSA – who noted fans with disabilities can often have last minute changes of plans due to health, other circumstances, or care. Brentford allow 1 on 1 discussions pre-season to put on the record for any fans, circumstances that may affect last minute nonattendances.


Other Business

PSR: The club confirmed there would be no update at all for the FAB as this is a legal matter – we welcome the club not just ignoring the obvious elephant in the room, but no new information was offered, and we understand that this is not something that could be discussed in detail given the ongoing appeal.

City Ground Redevelopment: There was no update to be given on any stadium developments beyond what has already been widely shared.

Outside of the FAB, we can see from 22nd March (Nottinghamshire Live), NFFC stated the revised offer on the lease from the council had resulted in the situation going backwards. The City Council’s recent financial plight has been well documented, and central commissioners are now involved. Political game-playing in an election year is also unwelcome and we would urge Forest to tread carefully.

A lead commissioner, appointed by central government to work with Nottingham Council states in his remarks to Nottingham, “It’s about looking at the long-term and saying what is important to Nottingham, how do we best preserve and protect it if that’s what it’s important, or how to best realise the value from it if that’s what makes more sense.”. Our response to him would be quite simple in that the City Ground is staring right back at you, and needs preserving and recognising as thing of beauty.

In the previous FAB, Tom Cartledge referenced some telling stats around the capacities of the top 10 vs bottom 10 (55,000 v 24,000); even if Forest do enhance the Peter Taylor stand, it will leave them just shy of 20,000 short of the potentially increasing top 10 average. The Supporters Trust recently shared a survey of their members; revealing 30% of fans do not want to move at any cost, 30% believe we should move, and 40% would reluctantly accept a move if redevelopment was not possible. Whether this reflects the wider fanbase is clearly difficult to establish.

Before writing a piece of war and peace on the pro’s and con’s of Nottingham Forest ever moving ground, one thing that is absolutely critical is that we would never want a debate over Forest’s spiritual home of over 125 years to be centred over a flimsy argument over a lease with the local council, or, as an economic obligation to hit the latest “PSR” regulations. Fan engagement in this decision therefore remains crucial.

Mansfield Museum Exhibition: The Forest Disabled Supporters Association made everyone aware of their participation in the Beautiful Game exhibition in Mansfield which opens soon (link below) which we would encourage everyone to attend.

Communication of FAB: Forest, and the FAB chair, are exploring best practice for releasing minutes and notes of meetings via the NFFC fan engagement page. We stated that we would welcome this, given the FAB is in its infancy, to ensure consistency. Forest FAB Chair, Asif, met with other Premier League FAB chair’s recently and will draw on their experiences. It was also briefly discussed if the FAB could meet more often, which we would encourage. We are fully aware that meeting quarterly can mean that topical hot potatoes get lost in the noise, but the FAB could be a perfect forum to raise these quickly and efficiently.

In addition to this, I would encourage any individuals with questions, points, or concerns, to drop me a mail at [email protected]. Your feedback is invaluable.



Even though there were no huge surprises or concrete proposals, it was pleasing to see the level of detail and research being undertaken on safe standing and ticket research by the club. We hope this will materialise into some more concrete developments soon which put the supporters at the heart of the decision making.

We hope the club will continue to engage with all FAB members, and supporter groups where possible, on the development of these proposals prior to release.

Other important topics, such as away ticket sales for 2024/25, were also not discussed and can hopefully be on the agenda for an upcoming meeting. We continue to urge the club to make sure that any updates or amendments to the scheme are done via proper consultation.

Thanks for reading and will endeavour to update supporters on these matters as best we can.


Appendix: Premier League Season Card Review

In conjunction with the club’s own research into season card pricing, we have undertaken our own look at some of the schemes or adjustments certain other clubs have released ahead of next season. This is by no means an exhaustive study but aimed to give some comparison.

It is important to state, however, that while comparisons across the league are to be expected, copying the model of other clubs should not be a sole excuse to adjust season card pricing.

  • Tottenham have increased prices by 6% – with the cheapest ticket at £856. They have also proposed removing some of the senior bands. This has gone down terribly in the Spurs fan base.
  • Crystal Palace have removed long standing discounts for NHS and military staff. This has not been well received.
  • Ipswich have raised prices by 8% across the board. They sold out all their season tickets last year (around 21,000) and given the potential dangling carrot of Premier League football, there appears to have been less backlash.
  • West Ham have risen by 7% on average, with a range of £345 to £1720. This has not gone down well with fans.
  • Manchester City have increased their prices by 5%. This has not gone down well as preceding seasons have also had price rises and season ticket holders feel they are being slowly squeezed out as the club look to maximise single day ticket sales.
  • Manchester United have increased their prices by 5%.
  • Brentford have risen around 10%.
  • Burnley have followed suit in Forest’s example last year, in massively hiking up youth tickets from £145 to £260.