Nottingham Forest have released the following message to supporters regarding offensive chanting ahead of Sunday’s East Midlands derby.
Forest chief executive Paul Faulkner said: “I’m really looking forward to my first East Midlands derby. I understand the passion and rivalry created by local derbies and know how much this game in particular means to both sets of supporters.
“With a sell-out crowd at The City Ground I am sure the atmosphere will be intense, but it’s important that this match will be remembered for the right reasons.”
As ever, the club will be working closely with Nottinghamshire police. Superintendent Mark Holland said: “We want people to enjoy the banter of a local derby, but the club rightly wants to stamp out those chants that are deemed offensive or in bad taste.
“The atmosphere at the sell out game on Sunday will be fantastic, and we want to keep it that way. We are fully backing the clubs and will be policing the game. Our evidence gatherers will be on alert to record anyone looking to cause trouble but we will also be supporting the clubs to identify anyone who thinks it appropriate or acceptable to chant distasteful songs to the opposing fans."
Forest safety officer Alan Bexon said: “Football clubs now risk being subjected to strong sanctions from the football authorities for failing to control their fans. This includes racist, homophobic and offensive chanting. The club will deal strongly with anyone who participates in such behaviour.”