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Gillingham FC to keep away fans out of the rain at Priestfield Stadium next season following Football Supporters’ Federation survey

Away fans will be given shelter from the rain at Priesfield Stadium next season.

Gillingham FC came bottom of the league when it came to entertaining away fans last season, according to a survey published last week.

Away fans in the Brian Moore stand at Priestfield
Away fans in the Brian Moore stand at Priestfield

The research, by the Football Supporters’ Federation, rated Priestfield as the worst club to visit in all four professional leagues in England.

The low score may have something to do with the fact that away fans are seated in the temporary Brian Moore stand, which is open to the elements. But now the club has revealed it will be making provisions next season to keep away fans out of the rain.

The club will reserve a section of the Gordon Road stand and, in the event of bad weather, away supporters will be moved to these covered seats. The allocation will accommodate the average away attendance at the stadium.

More than 5,300 fans took part in the Football Supporters’ Federation survey, and were asked to rate clubs on factors such as food and drink, safety, transport and view of the pitch.

Gillingham came bottom in League One with an overall score of just 3.69 out of 10 and were the lowest scoring club out of all 92 in the football league.

MK Dons, Preston and promoted Rotherham were voted the top three clubs in League One last season, while Oldham Athletic and Peterborough United were in the bottom three with Gillingham.

But Steve Greaves, from Notts County supporters’ club, said he didn’t think the facilities at Gills were too bad. He said: “I’ve been to a lot worse. The pies were nice and the people are lovely. I think Gills are on a par with other clubs in League One.”

Priestfield Stadium
Priestfield Stadium

The FSF hopes the study will help football authorities address falling away attendances.

Chairman Malcolm Clarke said: “Away fans travel in huge numbers in this country compared to many others. They’re a driving force behind the noise and spectacle at many games, it simply wouldn’t be the same without them.

“However, in recent seasons there does seem to have been a decrease in travelling supporters and we know it’s something that the football authorities are keen to work with fans on.”

A Gillingham FC spokesman said: “Our away area is a temporary uncovered stand and therefore is not up to the same standards as the rest of the fantastic facilities at Priestfield.

“When we move to a new stadium we will have some of the best facilities in the Football League, including our away area.

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