Glentoran manager Mick McDermott says he doesn’t believe the club’s £100,000 transfer fee paid for Shay McCartan will be beaten.
The former Bradford City and Accrington Stanley forward left Ballymena United and joined the east Belfast side for the eye-watering figure in August.
The six-figure sum smashed the Irish League transfer record of the £55,000 Linfield coughed up for Glenavon striker Glenn Ferguson in 1998. Crusaders also dug deep to net Jamie McGonigle from Coleraine in 2019, however Seaview officials say the financial package wasn’t a new record.
But Glentoran’s bumper offer for McCartan blew both deals out of the water and underlined the financial muscle of the club owned by Welsh-Iranian businessman Ali Pour.
The Glens had previously bid around £60,000 for Cliftonville’s Joe Gormley and then Ballymena United striker Adam Lecky but the McCartan offer stunned Irish League fans.
It was a transfer that saw the Glens hit with a ‘big spending’ label but McDermott maintains that other clubs have also invested heavily in their squads in recent seasons, with the help of European funding.
Only a few Premiership clubs could afford to spend that amount on one player but there are natural fears of putting the business at financial risk.
McDermott insists the club will always be interested in talented players when they become available but asked if the McCartan fee could be topped, he replied: “A big money offer, I doubt it. There’s nobody worth that much to me, who would you sign? They would have to be special and the value of players has gone up. You can get players in the south but the price of players has gone up.
“We have just signed Michael O’Connor for free and we are delighted to add him to the squad.”
O’Connor, whose brother Ciaran is at the club, will be eligible to play for Glentoran once the transfer window opens in January.
McDermott said: “I’ve said all along that when good players become available, we’ll be in for them. That will continue to be the case.”
At the wrong end of the table, Warrenpoint Town chiefs have insisted that manager Barry Gray’s position is not under threat.
The Milltown men are bottom of the table with one win from 13 matches.
The Town board stated: “The Executive Board of Warrenpoint Town FC wish to make it very clear that Barry continues to have the full support of the club.
“Barry has held various senior positions within our club for well over a decade now and is a highly respected Pro Licence coach with considerable experience in top-flight football in NI.
“We believe we have the right man for the job, not just the job at hand but also the job of bringing the club forward to bigger and better things over the coming years.
Meanwhile, Patrick McEleney and Michael Duffy were finally unveiled as Derry City players yesterday, with Ruaidhri Higgins believing that the club has signed “two of the best players in Ireland”.
Last Friday’s 2-1 win at Dundalk keeps the club in with a chance of European football next season, and the additions of Will Patching and now McEleney and Duffy means that there is plenty to look forward to in 2022.
“I’m delighted obviously to welcome Patrick and Michael back to the club,” Higgins said.
“We’re all singing off the same hymn sheet, it’s great to get them back and their success over the last few years will only enhance this club. They know what it takes to win, they have been around the top end of the table for years.
“They have played in Europe, and individually for me they are two of the best players in this country. They are both from here which is a huge help as well, and I’m sure I speak on behalf of everyone associated with Derry City Football Club that it’s fantastic for everybody to get them back here.”
McEleney has signed a two-year deal while Duffy has penned a four-year contract.