Gillingham chairman Paul Scally says it was 'absolutely right decision' to sack manager Martin Allen
Gillingham chairman Paul is all smiles as he unveils Martin Allen as manager last July. Picture: Peter Still
Chairman Paul Scally insisted he had no option but to sack manager Martin Allen – as he felt Gillingham were heading for relegation.
Mr Scally sacked Allen after the Shrewsbury defeat but admitted he was close to making the decision earlier.
Mr Scally said: “I was disappointed and concerned after the Shrewsbury game.
“I was looking at the bigger picture, of course and have been monitoring the situation closely over the last few weeks.
“While it was good to get the two wins, it really only papered over the fact that over the last quarter of last season and (first) quarter of this season, we’ve only won about four games from 25, including the two cup games.
“Our record was bad and I couldn’t really see any change or what was going to make any difference. I flew straight home from Birmingham airport on Saturday night, didn’t sleep and thought about it all the way home and all Sunday morning.”
He added: “It seemed to me that the only way I was going to see any change in the dressing room was if I changed the manager.
“Having decided that, I then spoke to my two other colleagues, one who was in America and the other in Jersey and they both agreed. They both agreed it was the right time to make the change.
“I called Martin and it was disappointing I couldn’t do it face to face and explain my decision. It is not nice to make a change and terminate someone’s contract.
“Martin is a character and as a person I actually enjoyed his company – most of the time – and unfortunately when you lose a character, it leaves a bit of a hole.
“But I have no doubt from a footballing point of view and for the benefit of the club going forward, it is absolutely the right decision to have been made at this moment in time.
“I thought before the Crewe game that I was going to make the decision because having watched most of the games up to that point, I was alarmed at the way we were playing.
'I didn’t watch the Crewe game but I listened to it and I am told Crewe were a particularly poor side that day'
"We seemed to have gone backwards almost as a footballing team. We beat Crewe and MK Dons.
“I didn’t watch the Crewe game but I listened to it and I am told Crewe were a particularly poor side that day. I was at the MK Dons game, where we played against 10 men for most of the game and while it was great to get the points, that only really papered over it and I thought we were fortunate to win.
“(Those wins) clouded the issue slightly but the overall position was that I do believe with the quality we have in the squad, we are not performing to our ability and that would necessitate a change in management, in my view.
“Our current form, if it continues, will put us down – it won’t be a relegation battle. We have played a quarter of the season and got nine points and we would go down with 36 points. No question. I couldn’t see what was going to change.”
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