“Back us or lose us”

GLENAVON directors have renewed appeals for the general public to back the club - or risk losing top-flight football in Lurgan.

Board members at Mourneview Park remain determined to draw in additional support from the Lurgan community to aid Glenavon’s fight against an uncertain future.

With ever-tightening finances, the fund-raising initiatives have not, as yet, been sufficiently supported and so the directors have asked the club’s supporters and beyond to back Glenavon financially, or see it being forced to leave the Danske Bank Premiership.

“It is the responsibility of everyone with the best interests of Glenavon at heart to make sure we do not reach a position where we consider we are unable to continue operating as a Premiership club,” a statement from the directors read this week. “Over recent years, in order to remain financially viable, we have made significant reductions in expenditure.

“In particular, the wages budget available to the manager is considerably less than it was a few years ago.

“Further reductions would inevitably have an impact on the quality of the playing squad available to the manager and seriously compromise our ambition to remain as a competitive Premiership club operating on a semi-professional basis.”

Board representatives have also revealed that the club was only able to pay salaries and VAT in March “because directors, once again, donated sizeable amounts to the club”.

“This state of affairs cannot be allowed to continue,” continued the statement. “We would therefore urge that you support the current fund-raising initiatives.

“Recently a major end-of-the-season draw with some excellent prizes was launched and we ask all supporters and friends to contribute.

“If you feel you could assist by selling tickets please contact any of the directors.

“We accept that for many these are difficult economic times and we realise that some will not be able to afford to give as much as others.

“Nevertheless, we cannot stress strongly enough the potential serious consequences if we cannot raise substantially more funds over the coming weeks.”

Fans can also support the club through shirt sponsorship, buying lottery tickets or giving to future bucket collections at home games.

With three league fixtures left on this season’s schedule, officials have called on the public to back the team.

“We would appeal for anyone who has the best interests of Glenavon at heart, even if they haven’t been to a game for number of years, to make every effort to attend our final three home league matches,” continued the statement. “Less than £5,000 of the Board’s £30,000 fund-raising target for March and April has been met.

“We extend our sincere thanks to the supporters who have contributed but the reality is that this is far short of the amount needed to meet our financial obligations between now and end of the season.

“Last year, in an effort to improve our financial position, we launched the ‘Mourneview Needs You’ initiative.

“This allowed supporters to contribute as much as they thought they felt able to afford.

“We thank those 57 individuals who have joined up to date but feel there are many others in the wider Glenavon family who could contribute.

“What a difference 100 additional people giving £15 per month (50 pence per day), or whatever amount they wish to donate, would make.

“Again, if you feel you want to sign up please speak to any director or contact the club office.

“This is our club, our future, and we all have to do everything we can to make sure it is a successful one.”