Belfast Telegraph

'No-brainer': Elliott Morris urges Glentoran shareholders to welcome £1m investment

Looking ahead: Elliott Morris is eager to see the takeover of Glentoran given the green light so that significant investment can be made in an effort to get the club back on the right track
Looking ahead: Elliott Morris is eager to see the takeover of Glentoran given the green light so that significant investment can be made in an effort to get the club back on the right track

By Graham Luney

Elliott Morris says the decision to welcome significant investment to Glentoran is a "no-brainer".

The Glens could receive around £1m to revitalise the club as part of a takeover move which has seen Mick McDermott replace Gary Smyth as manager.

Paul Millar has joined his good friend in the Oval dugout and now the club's shareholders will vote on whether to back the proposed deal.

If the takeover by wealthy businessman Ali Shams Mohammad Pour, who hails from an Iranian family, proceeds then The Oval could get a makeover, the squad will be strengthened and a new full-time set-up may emerge.

The Glens - who travel to Ards this afternoon - are currently fighting to hold onto seventh place in the Danske Bank Premiership which would give them a shot at Europa League qualification through the play-offs.

But the east Belfast club feel they should be packing a much bigger punch in domestic football and experienced stopper Morris is excited at the prospect of fresh investment, while feeling some regret over the way Smyth and Paul Leeman have been moved to the side.

"The only negative thing around it all is the fact that Gary and Paul have been left on the side slightly," admitted Morris, who may take on a greater coaching role in the coming months.

"The club may be trying to find a role for them but I just hope an amicable agreement can be reached because they are two top lads who have served the club so well.

"It's a shame they are not on the journey at the moment but we are still hearing good vibes surrounding the takeover.

"The takeover could be a massive success but the shareholders will have their say.

"Looking at it, when you see the money that could potentially be invested in the club, it seems like a no-brainer.

"We all want to see Glentoran competing for the major trophies again and hopefully that happens.

"I'm sure the supporters feel that way and this takeover could help us move in that right direction.

"Larne will be a force when they come into the Premiership and I also expect Ballymena United to keep improving with additional investment.

"Without the investment, Glentoran are in danger of not climbing the table."

The Glens have won 23 league titles and 22 Irish Cups but they are a club thirsty for stability and success after battling spiralling debts.

Morris, who has made 727 appearances for the club, added: "The changing rooms will need to be updated and training facilities should improve.

"Gary and Paul sorted that but the training facilities could always be improved further.

"It's obvious the ground needs to be redeveloped.

"There's different types of full-time football as well.

"It should be a natural progression and if the club want to climb the table we will need to keep pace with rivals by adopting a more full-time approach.

"Within two or three years you could have four or five full-time teams in the league and that can only be good for the league and European hopes.

"The manager has outlined a plan with a timescale and next season we will have targets.

"If you look at the table we are 39 points behind the leaders Linfield.

"That's a massive difference and we must close that gap.

"A top-six place is another target from next season and then progress from there."

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