Appeal for public to get behind club

Glenavon director John Sinnamon and Club treasurer Frazer Follis discuss the club's financial needs for the remainder of the season.
Glenavon director John Sinnamon and Club treasurer Frazer Follis discuss the club's financial needs for the remainder of the season.

GLENAVON are calling on the public to get behind them and help the club urgently find £30,000 so they can meet their financial requirements before the end of the season.

A series of fund raising events are lined up but club directors stressed this week their appeal really goes out to the whole of Lurgan and not just the loyal band of fans who support the club on a regular basis.

“We need the people of Lurgan to come out and make a financial contribution essentially to help us keep Premier League football in the town,” said club chairman Adrian Teer.

“We have two battles - one on the pitch and one of it - we have done everything possible to reduce running costs but the last thing we want to do is cut the playing budget any more. The target is to continue to give the manager a budget that will allow him to attract good players. Players like Mark Farren, Guy Bates and Ciaran Martyn. We want that to continue, but we find ourselves in difficult times and really need the extra help from the public. The club has to live within its means and the board simply cannot spend or commit to money it does not have. This season in particular we have been badly affected by poor away crowds, withdrawals or reductions of sponsorships due to the recession and escalating matchday costs.”

During a meeting with the Mail, club directors revealed just how much it costs to run the club and how they have worked incredibly hard to reduce their annual losses from £100,000 to a projected figure of below £30,000 by the end of this season - all within three years.

Club treasurer, Frazer Follis, said it costs £290,000 a year to run the club. “That is what we need to operate. Some of that money will come in from gate receipts, supporters clubs donations, Sky TV and the IFA - the rest we have to try and raise ourselves. There seems to be a perception that Glenavon are a rich club and have money - that is not the case. We have to work extremely hard to keep going. The easy and ruthless solution would be to cut the wages budget even further, but that is not an option if we want to try and give the fans a strong and competitive team and that is what we want to do for as long as possible.”

To help attain their immediate cash target of £30,000 the club have organised a number of fund raising events, the first is on Friday night in the Bedeck Suite with a Night at the Races. A quiz is planned in for March 1 and a grand end of season draw with some superb prizes including a £1,000 holiday voucher is planned to start going on sale soon.

There is also the Mourneview Needs You Campaign underway and that really requires more people to come on board.

“We need more fans to join our Mourneview Needs You Campaign and this appeal is not just for our own fans, we want to reach out to the whole of Lurgan and try and encourage everyone to make a donation, be a sponsor or buy some shares. Any financial help big or small can make such a crucial difference,” said club director John Cinnamon.”

Formed in 1889, Glenavon FC are a proud club with a great history. Lurgan should have a team playing in the top flight, but the club cannot keep doing this without your help. The present board of directors and supporters clubs are all playing their part and should be commended for what they have been able to do in what are challenging times amid this recession. Now they need to draw on the whole of Lurgan for that extra help to see them through.”