Glentoran look set to leave Oval for new home
Glentoran are ‘likely’ to leave the Oval and the club has identified two possible sights for its new home in east Belfast.
Glens chairman Terence Brannigan has revealed that negotiations are proceeding on a new stadium and the east Belfast side hope to have a new address within three or four years.
The Belfast Telegraph has learned that a developer is offering to pay an outstanding £70,000 tax bill as part of plans to erect a new stadium at the former Esso site, which would signal the end of the Glens’ home of 104 years.
However, experienced businessman Brannigan is remaining cautious, saying “nothing is being taken for granted.”
He added: “The Oval does not really meet our long-term objectives so it is unlikely a new stadium will replace it.
“While that area will be offered back to the community we are looking closely at two sites in east Belfast and internal discussions are ongoing.
“We have a team of people with the relevant expertise looking at business plans and determining whether the projects are in the best interests of Glentoran Football Club and the local community where we intend to stay.
“The Irish FA and government will be kept informed of our thinking and we need the right developer who will deliver for us.
“At the moment we have not chosen a site and we have not chosen a developer but that open process, open to scrutiny, will continue. My business experience tells me you should never put all your eggs in one basket because you could then be stuck in a corner with no option left.
“An 8,000 to 10,000 seater stadium would be ideal and deliverable and there is also an opportunity for us to pitch for the Irish FA’s centre of excellence costing around £3-4m being placed alongside the stadium.
“We are also working hard on an effective community enhancement plan.”