Date:Saturday July 22 2006
We asked members of Vitalforest to tell us what questions they wanted answers to at the Fans Forum on Thursday evening at the City Ground.
This was the second of what the club hopes will be an annual event. Sally Cinnamon wanted to know 1.'Is there a new strategic plan in place in terms of funds been available for the club to gain access to the heights of where everyone associated with the club wishes to be?' Nigel Doughty said that manager Colin Calderwood, would have 'no constraints put on him to achieve his goals.' He went on to say they had players in mind that they wanted to bring to the club, and that the club was ambitious and was working hard to get out of League 1.
2. Once there would you consider outside investment to further progress the club? ND said, 'that would be a nice problem to have' he went on to say his heart was in the club and that he was still a Forest fan and that he was here for the long term.
3. Are plans still in place to knock down and replace the old Main Stand once we`ve acclimatized? Plans were in place for redeveloping the Main Stand, but Mark Arthur said the club would need to achieve Premier League status for this to happen and 'would only come about when the club stopped yoyoing' He also mentioned that the club was looking to introduce a further 500 seats in the lower Brian Clough stand.
New forum member Widow asked. 'We are told Nigel has invested over £30 million in Forest and the club is now debt free. So now he owns the club (lock, stock and barrel), is it not time for him to take the club by the scruff of the neck and show the passion and ambition to do whatever it takes to get us out of this division, even its just for him to get his money worth! Or will he continue to sit in the background and only be reactive instead of pro-active? First up Nd said he had invested much more than 30million in the club and that he would continue to do so. He said the club was looking to appoint a DOF at CC's request but would neither confirm or deny that David Pleat was the man. The final decision would be the managers. John Pelling (finance director) added that if ND was to walk away tomorrow the club was debt free and apart from a small amount owed on the Trent End, the club owed nobody anything. The clubs finances were in good order.
Most people were concerned over the pricing of season tickets Chairbear asked' I would like to know whether they expected decreased season tickets, in light of the price raise, and what justification is there behind it.' Mark Arthur went on to say that the club had substantially reduced it's revenue since being relegated from the Championship. He said turnover had been cut from 12.2 million in the Championship, to 7.5 million in League 1. It was also revealed that the ground capacity was to be reduced to 29,500, which would drastically reduce match day revenue. With regards to season ticket sales, he said figures were only 950 less than what they were this time last year. MA also went on to say that a decision on next years prices would not be made until the end of the season.
It was a very open and friendly evening where the club gave predictable answers to some questions, but in general i think they should be praised for giving the fans some insight into what lies ahead. Let's hope that at next years event, all the talk is on what we have to do as a club to get back to the Premiership. Thanks to the club for inviting us and thank you for your questions.
Date:Saturday July 22 2006
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