This was a ground breaking year at the Oval. Glentoran landed their first ever sponsorship deal with Wilson Motor Group. As part of the package there were frequent displays of Mitsubishi Colt and Lancer cars driven around the cinder track which bordered the pitch before the games and at half time. Derby County had signed the very first shirt sponsorship deal with Saab but the shirts were never worn after a pre season photo shoot. It was left to Liverpool to lead the way with their deal with Japanese electronics firm Hitachi. In fairness to Glentoran they also saw the commercial viability of carrying a sponsors name on the front of the players' shirts and moved quickly in the close season of 78/79 to sign an agreement. The sponsored shirt was here to stay, but the thought which went into the Glentoran kit for that season left a lot to be desired. It certainly didn't win the club any trophies as the successful team of the mid Seventies fell apart. Warren Feeney threatened to go to Linfield, Peter Dickinson and Trevor McCullough joined other clubs and Rab McCreery faced an 18 week suspension.
Glentoran said goodbye to Umbro in May 1979 and signed up with German sportswear manufactuer Adidas. Just before Christmas 1978 manager Arthur Stewart had handed in his resignation to take up a post with the New Jersey Americans in the NASL. The board of directors moved to recruit former full back Ronnie McFall as a replacement. 1979/80 was to be Ronnie's first full season in charge. Despite numerous attempts to strengthen the squad his only acquisition this time out was Alan Gracey. Glentoran would revert to this predominantly green shirt during the season. Again it failed to bring the side any success as McFall struggled to remould an aging and decidedly average squad. The Glens even contrived to lose to Linfield Swifts in the County Antrim Shield. The only positive was the fact that a young Gary Blackledge had scored 21 goals in 39 outings in his second year at the Oval. Perhaps there was light at the end of the tunnel.