Nottingham Forest’s City Ground capacity reduced over safety concerns


Nottingham Forest’s City Ground has had a restricted capacity placed on it after a safety review.

Nottinghamshire County Council said earlier this month it had been forced to officially designate the ground as a nil capacity stadium.

It came after the club was unable to confirm the it had a designated safety certificate holder during an audit.

The authority now says the ground can admit spectators – but only a maximum of 24,357 or 80 per cent of last season’s capacity of 30,445.

The council added the club has now put forward a certificate holder, there are still problems to be ironed out.

Robert Fisher, Group Manager for Emergency Planning and Registration at the Council, said: “The council and our Safety Advisory Group partners need to be confident that the club is fully supporting the certificate holder to fulfil their role, and unfortunately a number of concerns remain.

“For example, we require evidence to demonstrate that safety matters are discussed in senior management meetings at the club. We also await an action plan for improvements to the facilities for visiting disabled spectators and an up-to-date written safety policy outlining roles at the club.

“As a consequence of this, a restriction on spectator capacity is required until these issues are resolved.”

A certificate holder is a legal requirement for sports clubs, and the council says it had “no option” but to restrict the club’s spectator capacity until a suitable person was found to fill the role.

Forest’s first home game of the new season is a friendly at home to Hull City this Saturday. The club announced on Monday it had begun selling tickets for the fixture.

Mr Fisher added: “Our priority is to ensure the safety of spectators at Nottinghamshire sports grounds and we have worked very successfully with local clubs over many years to maintain this.

“We are pleased that Nottingham Forest has now put forward a suitable person to take on the crucial role of safety certificate holder.

“Alan Bexon has previously held the post and is a highly competent and experienced sports ground safety officer.

“The council is continuing to work closely with the club to see that an appropriate action plan is carried out to address remaining issues, so we are able to restore the club’s previous full capacity status over the coming weeks.”

He added the current ‘safe’ capacity for the ground has been determined using an assessment process set out by the Sports Ground Safety Authority.


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