Belfast Telegraph

Glentoran sell land for £1m and hope to seal further investment this year

Glentoran aim to redevelop their historic ground, the Oval.
Glentoran aim to redevelop their historic ground, the Oval.

By Steven Beacom in the Sunday Life.

Glentoran's well-documented financial problems could be coming to an end after the club agreed to sell two pieces of land at The Oval for a combined sum of £1 million.

And should an English born entrepreneur with Iranian family connections go through with a plan to invest in the east Belfast side more millions will be on the way – with Glentoran likely to go full-time using a similar model to Championship leaders Larne, who have been boosted by PurpleBricks owner Kenny Bruce buying the Inver Park outfit.

It is understood that talks are ongoing between the rich businessman and The Oval club about the prospect of him taking control of the Glens with hopes that a deal could be concluded this year.

That would be a staggering twist given that several years ago Glentoran were £1.7 million in debt with fears that they may go out of business.

Since then the board have been working to reduce the huge debt though that process is now speeding up.

Shareholders have been informed that the club are selling one portion of land (1.02 acres) at the Oval to Belfast Harbour Commission for £600,000 and another area of land (0.15 acres) for £400,000 to a private business which could see the debt lowered to below £200,000.

Supporters will hope that with debt decreasing and the potential of incoming investment that the outdated Oval could finally be redeveloped in the future. In May 2016 fans approved a board recommendation to demolish The Oval and build a new stadium with government funding. To date that finance has been unavailable as the Northern Ireland Executive has not been in operation for two years.

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