| 15.4°C Belfast

BetMcLean Oval: Glentoran stadium renamed in £250,000 sponsorship deal

Close

Glentoran's stadium has been renamed The BetMcLean Oval. Paul McLean (centre), managing director of BetMcLean, is pictured with Glentoran chairman Stephen Henderson (left) and assistant manager Paul Millar (right). Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Glentoran's stadium has been renamed The BetMcLean Oval. Paul McLean (centre), managing director of BetMcLean, is pictured with Glentoran chairman Stephen Henderson (left) and assistant manager Paul Millar (right). Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th August 2021 Embargoed 3.00pm - 25th August 2021 Paul McLean, managing director of BetMcLean announced a major new sponsorship agreement with Glentoran FC which involves the renaming of the club’s historic ground as the BetMcLean Oval. Glentoran Manager Mick McDermott with players at the BetMcLean Oval. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th August 2021 Embargoed 3.00pm - 25th August 2021 Paul McLean, managing director of BetMcLean announced a major new sponsorship agreement with Glentoran FC which involves the renaming of the club’s historic ground as the BetMcLean Oval. Glentoran Manager Mick McDermott with players at the BetMcLean Oval. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th August 2021 Embargoed 3.00pm - 25th August 2021 Paul McLean, managing director of BetMcLean announced a major new sponsorship agreement with Glentoran FC which involves the renaming of the club’s historic ground as the BetMcLean Oval. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th August 2021 Embargoed 3.00pm - 25th August 2021 Paul McLean, managing director of BetMcLean announced a major new sponsorship agreement with Glentoran FC which involves the renaming of the club’s historic ground as the BetMcLean Oval. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th August 2021 Embargoed 3.00pm - 25th August 2021 Paul McLean, managing director of BetMcLean announced a major new sponsorship agreement with Glentoran FC which involves the renaming of the club’s historic ground as the BetMcLean Oval. Mr McLean is pictured with Glentoran Chairman Stephen Henderson. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th August 2021 Embargoed 3.00pm - 25th August 2021 Paul McLean, managing director of BetMcLean announced a major new sponsorship agreement with Glentoran FC which involves the renaming of the club’s historic ground as the BetMcLean Oval. Mr McLean is pictured with Glentoran Chairman Stephen Henderson. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th August 2021 Embargoed 3.00pm - 25th August 2021 Paul McLean, managing director of BetMcLean announced a major new sponsorship agreement with Glentoran FC which involves the renaming of the club’s historic ground as the BetMcLean Oval. Groundsmen prepare for the new season at the BetMcLean Oval. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th August 2021 Embargoed 3.00pm - 25th August 2021 Paul McLean, managing director of BetMcLean announced a major new sponsorship agreement with Glentoran FC which involves the renaming of the club’s historic ground as the BetMcLean Oval. Groundsmen prepare for the new season at the BetMcLean Oval. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

/

Glentoran's stadium has been renamed The BetMcLean Oval. Paul McLean (centre), managing director of BetMcLean, is pictured with Glentoran chairman Stephen Henderson (left) and assistant manager Paul Millar (right). Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Glentoran’s historic stadium has been renamed the BetMcLean Oval in a landmark new sponsorship deal worth £250,000.

The agreement runs over five years with a further five year option and is the biggest sponsorship in the east Belfast club’s history.

The Northern Irish bookmaker has been Glentoran’s primary sponsor for almost a decade but both parties are confident that the stepping up of the relationship can play a significant role in the club’s new dawn.

“Hopefully this signals the start of a successful era for Glentoran FC and I’m delighted to be playing my part as the club looks to the future,” said Paul McLean, managing director of BetMcLean and called a “true friend” of the club by chairman Stephen Henderson.

It certainly looks another significant step in Glentoran’s recent transformation, which was kick-started by owner Ali Pour, who took control of the club in 2019. By early 2020, Glentoran was debt free having, at the worst point, been almost £2 million in the red with fears that the club could go out of business.

On the pitch, there is also renewed optimism of brighter days ahead with manager Mick McDermott, who came in as part of Pour’s consortium, having already guided the club to Irish Cup success last year and now assembled a squad that many feel could end what will be a 13 year wait for a league title this season.

For the stadium itself, plans submitted to Belfast City Council earlier this year bid to deliver the long-awaited renovation and transform The BetMcLean Oval into what Mr McLean called a “showpiece stadium”.

Daily Headlines & Evening Telegraph Newsletter

Receive today's headlines directly to your inbox every morning and evening, with our free daily newsletter.

This field is required

The plans feature two new seated stands totalling 4,000 capacity with a further 2,000 capacity on reconfigured terracing at each end of the ground and the installation of a synthetic pitch.

It is understood the renovation could cost up to £10 million, jointly funded by public money and the club owners themselves.

“Paul (McLean) stood firmly by the club and saw us through some dark times as we rescued, stabilised and restructured the club to enable us in turn to attract the investment that has come from Ali Pour,” said chairman Henderson, looking back over the club’s recent journey.

“He and his firm continued to stand by the club as we entered a phase of building and transitioning to full time football. Now they have once again, very publicly, stood by the club by signing the most lucrative sponsorship agreement in our history, and quite possibly the biggest for a football club in Northern Ireland.

“By aligning their brand with Glentoran for the next five years, BetMcLean are sending a clear signal of their confidence in the direction which this club is travelling. All of us, from the board, the manager and the players, hope to repay that faith by working to achieve trophy success.

The Oval is one of the most famous stadiums in Irish football, having been Glentoran’s home since 1892. It has played host to many famous occasions, including European nights such as the draw with the great Benfica side led by the legendary Eusebio in front of around 40,000 spectators and a 1-0 win over Arsenal in 1969.

Juventus and PSG are among the other great European sides to have played competitive games against the Glens at the old ground, which was badly damaged during the German air raids on Belfast in 1941 and reopened in 1949 thanks to fundraising games against Preston, St Mirren and Everton as well as the transfers of heroic figures Danny Blanchflower and Bertie Peacock. The main grandstand was built in 1953.

BetMcLean are already heavily involved in Irish League football as sponsors of the NI Football League Cup and the Sunday Life’s Fantasy Football competition.

Glentoran’s first home Premiership match of the season at the BetMcLean Oval will be against Ballymena United on Thursday, September 9.

Mr McLean added: “The past few years has been a roller coaster ride for Glentoran. There have been many ups and downs but I believe this is the perfect time for me to cement our relationship with the club, especially with a new owner, and as it progresses into the professional era.

“Hopefully in the next year or so we will see the BetMcLean Oval fully modernised and upgraded and become a showpiece stadium and the home of a great club with such an amazing footballing history.”


Top Videos



Privacy