Belfast Telegraph

Paul Millar arrives at Glentoran after being made director of East (NO1) Ltd

 

Top team: Paul Millar (left) with Glenavon boss Gary Hamilton
Top team: Paul Millar (left) with Glenavon boss Gary Hamilton

By Graham Luney

The Glentoran revolution moved another step forward last night with confirmation that the club's former manager Paul Millar was returning to the Oval.

The 52-year-old will work alongside new Glens boss Mick McDermott, who was appointed as manager at the Oval on Sunday.

Millar spent seven years as part of Gary Hamilton's coaching set-up at Mourneview Park, during which time the Lurgan Blues twice lifted the Irish Cup.

And he becomes the second member of Hamilton's backroom team to depart this season after Kris Lindsay left in order to take up the vacant managerial post at Dungannon Swifts.

The former Cardiff City striker, who was sacked by Glentoran in 2007 after 16 months at the helm, is a close friend of former Iran assistant manager McDermott whose arrival at the Oval is part of a takeover plan by a wealthy businessman.

Millar stated on the club's website: "I'm delighted to be involved at the beginning of what we all hope will become a really exciting project if the shareholders approve the proposed investment.

"I've grown up in east Belfast and have represented the club for the Colts many years ago, the Seconds and also two great years as a first teamer here playing with some of the greatest players in the club's history.

"I also had the privilege of managing the first team as a young manager.

"Glentoran is a huge club as we all know. But in recent times the Glens have seriously underachieved and what we want to do is take the club back to where it belongs - the biggest and best club in Ireland.

"At the minute, I'm not going in as assistant manager, first-team coach or any other specific role, but as part of the coaching team. It's about offering help to Mick and the rest of the staff in whatever way I can."

The club had stated its desire to see current coaches Gary Smyth, Paul Leeman and Kieran Harding remain in their positions.

If the takeover process is completed, the Glens will look to adopt a full-time model and consider redeveloping the stadium as part of fresh investment totalling at least £1million. McDermott welcomed Millar's Glentoran return, stating: "I am delighted to have Paul Millar join our staff; his experience, knowledge and ability to fulfil multiple roles make him an invaluable addition. With over 35 years in football - as player, coach, manager - Paul brings an insight of local football that few can match.

"Paul will work closely with me on all technical coaching duties as well as off-field matters such as player liaison, player recruitment and general management.

"Glentoran FC has big plans over the coming years as we climb back to the top and I fully believe that Paul will be a massive asset to this project."

It has been reported in 'The Sun' that the man rumoured to be behind the takeover is entrepreneur Ali Shams Mohammad Pour. A company was recently set up, which is led by British-based Pour. The Private Limited Company is called East (NO1) Limited and it was registered with Companies House on January 10.

Millar, who has played a key role in the proposed takeover, was appointed as a director of the company alongside Pour on January 10 with McDermott also named as a director on February 21. A fourth man, Mark Glenfield, who is a chartered accountant based in the United Arab Emirates, was named a director on the same day as McDermott.

Pour comes from an Iranian family and is understood to have been educated in the United Kingdom, where he runs his own company, Altara Investments Limited, amongst other foreign businesses.

The new management team's first assignment is a trip to Dungannon in the first post-split fixture on Saturday.

Glentoran, who have frozen their season ticket prices for 2019/20, currently sit seventh in the table, in line for a Euro play-off spot, but all the off-field changes will leave fans wondering where the next surprise is coming from.

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