Glentoran set for debt-free New Year as Mick McDermott targets Europe
Glentoran manager Mick McDermott has delivered an early Christmas present to the fans by revealing the club will be debt free next month.
The news will be a huge boost to the supporters who have feared for the east Belfast outfit's future over the past decade when at one point debts totalled £1.7m - a staggering amount for an Irish League team.
Back in 2010, Glentoran faced a winding up petition by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs over an unpaid tax bill until a wealthy benefactor stepped in to rescue the club. Money was still owed to creditors with the Glens working to pay them off in the years that followed.
Earlier this year, Welsh/Iranian businessman Ali Pour led a consortium, including McDermott and his assistant boss Paul Millar, to take over the Glens and since then there has been significant investment on and off the pitch which has helped transform the side into title contenders and put the club on a solid financial footing.
McDermott insists, though, that the club must be sustainable long-term and to achieve that goal he says European football must be achieved in the next three seasons.
"There's still some financial things to sort with the former charge holder. That will all be taken care of by January so as of then there will be no charges on The Oval. The club will own the ground completely. We are paying our bills, we don't owe anything. We have no tax liabilities other than what comes up every month and those are being paid," said McDermott.
"The club is moving in the right direction but of course it has to be sustainable and sustainability only comes with an increase in your revenues. There are multiple ways to do that with ticket sales which will only ever get to a point in this league, your commercial revenue with bars and advertising which is increasing and then the other is qualifying for Europe.
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"The reality is we have to eventually get in whether it be this year or next year. By year three we have to be getting there."