Allocate DCAL cash to training facilities: Adrian Teer
Glenavon chairman Adrian Teer is urging the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure to rethink how they allocate the £36m promised to local football.
While welcoming the investment from the Stormont department, Teer, who also has a prominent place in the domestic game as chairman of the Northern Ireland Football League, wants the criteria for the funding to be examined in order to allow clubs to develop other facilities outside of their stadiums.
Teer believes that instead of upgrading grounds, improved training facilities are a must and even branded the standard of some around the league as 'disgraceful'.
DCAL's Sub Regional Stadia Programme for Soccer, which was published on Monday, earmarks £10m for Glentoran to redevelop The Oval, with a further £17m to be divided up between other Premiership and Championship clubs whose grounds are of a certain standard.
Under Teer's leadership Glenavon have carried out extensive ground improvement work over the last 20 years and he isn't even certain if Glenavon will bid for a £3m share - which is the maximum single grant - of the £17m.
"I think the focus should be on enhanced training facilities for club," said Teer.
"At present Mourneview Park is adequate to accommodate 95% of matches that take place at the ground without doing any more work.
"There are some clubs who do want to carry out work on their grounds, but overall most are sufficient for the crowds that they get. Their training facilities, however, are not on a par.
"We have plans to develop the social club end of the ground, but the funding for that would come from a different pot."
Glenavon's Mourneview Park has effectively become the home of the Northern Ireland under-21 and women's international teams over the last couple of years and it also hosted two League Cup finals in recent seasons.
In contrast the club is set to be given notice to vacate their current training ground close to the stadium within a matter of months, if not weeks, and few clubs have ownership of the venues where their team trains.
"If we were given £3m to spend on the ground I'm not sure how we would spend it, but I could spend £3m on a training facility tomorrow," said Teer.
"There is an urgent need for training facilities at most Premiership clubs. In some cases they border on disgraceful.
"Yes, it's nice to be able to attract players because you have a good ground, but they are only there for a couple of hours once a fortnight.
"We'd like to be able to offer good quality training facilities where they would come to twice a week."