IRISH LEAGUE: Portadown chairman confirms resolution to clear debt problem - and ambitious plans for Shamrock Park ground

Portadown chairman Ronnie Stinson.
Portadown chairman Ronnie Stinson.

Portadown directors have confirmed a resolution to the historical debt issue which placed the future of the club under threat.

Club officials informed supporters at an open meeting last month that legacy loans up to £300,000 dating back approximately 15 years to solve a tax problem could cause Portadown to fold.

However, discussions have led to a positive outcome and chairman Ronnie Stinson feels the focus is now on moving forward with ambitious plans that include significant development work at the Shamrock Park ground.

“Having resolved those historical debts, everything is on the table to allow us to progress,” said Stinson in the aftermath of last night’s latest open meeting with supporters. “There remains the figure required to cover running costs and wage commitments to the end of the campaign but fund-raising plans are in place.

“The response over the past number of weeks from within the fanbase since we made supporters aware of the circumstances has been extremely encouraging and we want that growing trust and open communication to continue as we push on.

“The view of this Board of Directors has always been we simply hold roles as custodians of this great club and our ambition is to leave a legacy for future generations of which everyone can be proud.”

Future projects - of which some plans are currently on paper - include the installation of a 4G pitch at Shamrock Park, construction of an indoor facility for Portadown Youth on the site of existing training area and development of the Armagh Road stand to include an area to serve as community hall and social club.

“We want to introduce a bonds scheme with supporters to help towards any shortfall in grant funding for these projects,” said Stinson. “A sub-committee will also be formed to strengthen links with Portadown Youth, Portadown Integrated Ladies and the fans, with the chairman to serve as an non-executive member of the parent club’s Board of Directors.

“After a dark period we now hope to look to the future with optimism.”