Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Oval sale going ahead: Reynolds

Carnegie Premier League

Glentoran chairman Stafford Reynolds says the club's proposed move away from the Oval will still go ahead - despite the restrictions being placed on property development around the George Best Belfast City Airport.

It was feared that the restrictions would see the proposed buyers of the Oval pull out of the deal with part of the ground now practically worthless as it is situated in a public safety zone, designed to limit damage and casualties in the event of an aircraft overshooting the runway.

That would mean that the Glens would be stuck at the ageing venue and would find it difficult to make any amendments to the Oval due to the restrictions.

However, Reynolds has moved to pour cold water on those worries and claims the club are very close to finding out where their new home will be and when they can move in.

"As far as we are concerned our objective, as it has been for quite some time, is to get out of here," he said.

"We have an arrangement with a commercial partner (with regard to the Oval's sale) and that remains. We will be here until we find a suitable venue to move into and we are expecting a Government announcement about stadiums - plural - pretty soon.

"This is old news as far as we are concerned. It came out last year that we were beneath the flight zone and it has basically just been rubber-stamped.

"I have not been in contact with our commercial partners but why would I? As far as we are concerned nothing has changed and so they have no reason to get in touch with us over it."

Glentoran have a deal in place with Girona to sell the ground with a stipulation in the contract which says that as soon as they receive planning permission the clock will begin ticking on the time they have left at the Oval.

Girona also put a percentage of the fee up front to help ease the clubs debts.

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