Nottingham City Council has been working with Notts County FC towards hosting a celebration fanzone engagement event in July.

The aim of this was to give fans and the wider public a chance to take part in an open day in the Old Market Square involving football activities, as well as for the club players and officials to engage with fans looking ahead to the coming season.

It would also have involved a small private reception for the club in the Council House to provide civic recognition of the club’s fantastic promotion achievement. Offers of funding contributions had been secured from partner organisations towards the costs of this.

However, Notts County FC has now informed the council that this won’t be feasible for them as they are rightly and understandably focused on preparing for their return to the English Football League.

Spokesperson from Notts County FC said: “While we appreciate Nottingham City Council’s cooperation in our planning of a pre-season event celebrating our return to the EFL, we have decided this will not be feasible.

“We look forward to welcoming our supporters back to Meadow Lane for our exciting home pre-season friendlies against Stoke City and Nottingham Forest, which we’re sure will help build further anticipation for the exciting campaign ahead.”

City Council Leader Cllr David Mellen said: “We fully understand the Club’s position on this and while we would have loved to stage this celebratory event next month, it’s obviously a priority for Notts County to be fully ready for their first season back in the English Football League.

“We accept we got it wrong by not staging an event for Notts County immediately after they secured their promotion, and we apologise again to them and their fans for that. It in no way diminishes how proud we are of them in securing a return back to where they belong.”

The council is now reviewing protocols for marking and celebrating significant sporting success by the city’s professional sports teams and athletes.