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Glenavon have no regrets at all over turning down takeover bid in 2018, insists Adrian Teer

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Glenavon Chairman Adrian Teer says shareholders were concerned about the club’s long-term future

Glenavon Chairman Adrian Teer says shareholders were concerned about the club’s long-term future

Gary Hamilton has been able to attract big names through his standing in the game

Gary Hamilton has been able to attract big names through his standing in the game

Paul Millar moved to become No.2 at Glentoran and help bring through Ali Pour's takeover

Paul Millar moved to become No.2 at Glentoran and help bring through Ali Pour's takeover

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Glenavon Chairman Adrian Teer says shareholders were concerned about the club’s long-term future

Glenavon chairman Adrian Teer insists there are no regrets at Mourneview Park that they did not give the all-clear to a takeover bid four years ago that could have led to major investment coming into the club.

In May 2018 principal shareholders at Glenavon voted against an outside takeover which then Lurgan Blues assistant manager Paul Millar was believed to be involved in.

The following year in early April 2019, Millar left Glenavon to become number two to Mick McDermott at Glentoran and was a key figure when businessman Ali Pour's much publicised takeover at the Oval was finalised a few months later.

Since then Glentoran have spent big on a host of new players in terms of fees and wages, broke the Irish League transfer record signing Shay McCartan from Ballymena United for £100,000 and invested in facilities at the east Belfast ground.

After years of being in the doldrums and in serious debt, the Glens are a major force in the Irish League again and with the biggest and best squad in the country their fans expect them to win the league title.

Could that have been Glenavon? Asked by Sunday Life Sport if the Lurgan Blues had any regrets over their decision in 2018, chairman Teer said: "No, not at all. That actually was not a board decision. That was a decision by principal shareholders which was accepted by the board and from my regular contact with the shareholders they think absolutely the decision that they took was in the best long-term interests of Glenavon Football Club.

"It was given a lot of thought, discussed with our shareholders and our main sponsors and they were unified in that short term it sounded great but the long-term future of our club could be at stake and we were not prepared to risk that."

Teer is one of the most experienced and respected officials in Irish League football. He has watched with interest the big transfers and mega money swirling around the game here lately and the introduction of full-time operations at Linfield, Glentoran, Larne and Crusaders.

In 1998 it was Teer who negotiated Glenn Ferguson's record £55,000 fee when leaving Glenavon for Linfield. The going rate for a top quality player in the Irish Premiership now appears to almost be double that.

Teer says: "Money dictates the game worldwide be it in Spain, England or wherever. In the Irish League it creates an uneven playing field for clubs like ourselves whose support base and income suggests we have to be a part-time club. It makes it all the more difficult to exist and compete but it's still an incentive when you are playing full-time teams to roll up your sleeves and say 'we are as good as you'.

"One benefit so far with all the money being spent by certain clubs is that the big transfer fees are staying within our game. You can't handcuff clubs who want to spend money on transfer fees or wages. It is up to every club to live within their means and that's what we intend to do. Our first priority is to keep our club solvent, the second is to stay in the Premiership and third is to put as competitive a team on the park as we can afford and attract."

Previously under long serving manager Gary Hamilton, Glenavon qualified for Europe through Irish Cup success and league placing but achieving that today, with a change in the football landscape here, seems beyond them.

"Not necessarily," says Teer, striking a hopeful note.

"I know we are sitting eighth but our performances over the season have been better than that position suggests. For various reasons that's where we are and we are disappointed we are there.

"At the outset of the season Gary's aim was to qualify for Europe and you have two ways of doing that, one is to win the Irish Cup and the other is to qualify through the league. We are out of the Cup but still are in with a shout of reaching the play-offs.

"We give Gary a very competitive wages budget and because of Gary's standing in the game we have been able to attract some of the biggest names in Irish League football. For instance now we have Andy Waterworth, Mark Haughey and Mark Stafford and in the past we had players like Mark Farren, Sammy Clingan and Jonny Tuffey and we will still be able to do that providing the wages across the board don't go daft.

"The wages situation is a bigger issue for us as a club than £100,000 transfers happening in the Irish League which I feel has gone from strength to strength since it came into the hands of NIFL and I hope it continues to do so."


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