Scally speaks out over ground speculation
Gills chairman Paul
by Danny Boyle
Gillingham Football Club chairman Paul Scally has spoken out
amid growing speculation about the club's proposed purchase of
He urged anxious supporters to trust him after they were left
baffled by a special resolution calling on shareholders to back the
Mr Scally's own company Priestfield Developments wants to sell
the stadium for £1,050,000 - just three years after it bought
the ground for nearly £10m.
Fans fear the deal could jeopardise the club's finances and
speculation is rife that a private investor could be helping the
Gills or the move might be ahead of a bid to sell the club.
But, after a storm of debate on our website, Mr Scally posted:
"I would ask supporters to trust me in that what I am doing is very
much in the interests of Gillingham Football Club.
"I am not selling the club, nor positioning it for a sale, nor
have I found a Middle East sheikh, but I am positioning it to go
forward in a positive and exciting way, with staff who are very
focused on the big job in hand and who are also looking forward to
the challenges ahead.
"I accept some fans are concerned and some are behaving quite
pathetically, judging by the nature of some of these postings, but
I have never baulked the challenges at Priestfield, have always
acted in the best interests of the club, have been working
tirelessly for nearly five years to bring this deal home and will
continue to do so for the benefit of the vast majority of good fans
who appreciate and understand what I do.
"Look forward to meeting shareholders on 5th August. Up the
However, Mr Scally declined to shed light on the proposed
transaction, announced in a letter to shareholders.
In a statement released by the club, he said: "There is nothing
in this to concern our fans, but the time for explanations is
actually at the company's annual meeting, when the shareholders
will have the opportunity to ask questions."
to read yesterday's report on the ground purchase
The annual meeting will be held on August 5.
Mr Scally owns Priestfield Developments, which bought the ground
in 2008 as part of a restructuring deal to ease the club's debt
The ground was rented back to the club for an apparently nominal
The purchase was funded by a £10m loan from the Bank of Scotland
which, according to the latest accounts, holds a charge over the
The company would not be able to sell the ground without the
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