Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

New Glentoran chief dedicated to stadium plan

Terence Brannigan has had to balance the books at the Oval
Terence Brannigan has had to balance the books at the Oval

Glentoran chairman Terence Brannigan has walked away from The Oval, after three years at the helm of the cash-strapped club.

The experienced businessman joined the Glentoran Board in 2011, with the club on the verge of bankruptcy.

While Brannigan helped keep the east Belfast club in business, he was unable to deliver a new stadium.

Brannigan confessed that the lack of progress on the new stadium has been a source of frustration for him.

"My focus upon the creation of a stable financial position for our club has meant that the relocation to a brand new stadium has not developed as quickly as I had planned.

"This is a great personal disappointment to me and to the club at large.

"However, after some delay, progress is now being made and I am confident that the Board will make a positive announcement in the near future."

While Brannigan may not have achieved his stadium objective, the club's financial situation has improved.

At the club's Annual General Meeting last night, the club announced a profit of £83,000 for the last financial year.

The outgoing chairman explained: "I stated at last year's AGM that our objective for 2013/14 was for the club to break even on the season's trading. I am pleased to report that we not only achieved this but, due to our success on the pitch and by making a further reduction in our overheads, we delivered a trading profit of £83,000.

"Indeed, even whilst imposing continuing constraints on our budget, we did win last season's Irish Cup and managed to achieve a top five finish in the NIFL Premiership this year.

"Whilst this does not satisfy the high ambitions of this great club, given that our initial key objectives were to firstly ensure financial survival and then secondly to create stability, it does point towards a better on-field future for our club.

"As with almost every other club in the Irish League, Glentoran continue to face financial challenges and we will do so until our stadium goal is eventually met.

"However, I feel this is achievable now that we have clearly demonstrated that our club can not only remain in existence, but can also enjoy some measure of success whilst operating within its means."

Brannigan will be replaced by former vice-chairman and lifelong Glentoran fan Stephen Henderson.

Henderson reaffirmed the club's ambition to build a new stadium within east Belfast.

"This remains a challenging time for Glentoran but the rest of the Board and I will continue to ensure stability and complete commitment to both the day to day running of the club and to securing the club's long term future in a new stadium within east Belfast.

"On the issue of relocation, I have met directly with those individuals who since 2011 have supported our efforts to stabilise the club and who will help secure the necessary funding.

"I am pleased to confirm that these key individuals have confirmed that their commitment to securing these goals remain as strong as ever."

Henderson was also keen to confirm his support for manager Eddie Patterson, who has just signed a new two-year contract with Glentoran.

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