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Gillingham manager Steve Evans backs chairman Paul Scally as the waiting games goes on

Gillingham manager Steve Evans believes the club’s cautious stance remains the right one.

While many of their League 1 rivals are busy assembling squads and returning back to training, the Gills boss is having to play a waiting game.

Steve Evans supports the sensible approach that chairman Paul Scally is taking Picture: Ady Kerry
Steve Evans supports the sensible approach that chairman Paul Scally is taking Picture: Ady Kerry

Chairman Paul Scally won’t spend money the club haven’t got and that means no contract offers are being handed out. That’s unlikely to change until a date for the new season is known. Only then can the club put a financial plan into operation.

Evans has a handful of potential new signings awaiting contract offers along with Brandon Hanlan and Mikael Mandron, two players from last season’s squad, who are out of contract.

Captain Max Ehmer chose to sign for Bristol Rovers this week, before an offer could be made by the Gills, although it’s unlikely the club could have competed anyway with deal that Evans described as “stunning".

Evans said: “The bottom line is I can’t make an offer to any player. That is the situation I have got, so I have to respect it and go with it.

“Max sent myself and Paul Raynor (the assistant manager) some lovely words and messages of thanks. He has done great for me and we wish Max all the best. Bristol Rovers have got a very good player.

“Obviously I am disappointed but I have to work to instruction at the moment and at the same time I understand it.

“I am watching some of the signings going on in League 1 and some clubs who have multi-million pound losses every year. They are doing it again but that is their business, not my business. I need to wait until the chairman gives me the go-ahead.

“The chairman has set the strategy at board level and I do understand it. We still don’t have a start date.

“We are all geared up for September 12 but I have seen Shrewsbury Town have come up with a new proposal to say ‘let’s start when the crowds come’. It won’t be much longer before they say will we play at all?

“The chairman is insisting we don’t put offers out there because we cannot put the club in jeopardy and I look at Lincoln, who have signed a couple of players in the same week they have made some people redundant. They are just one example.

“Bolton are signing players and look at the trouble they were in. I know it is a different ownership but what is the sensible approach?

“The sensible approach has to be when we have a start date, when we know the league is going to start, you work backwards from that and we put a squad together.

“It doesn’t stop me, as a football manager, being frustrated, hurt, down, call it what you like, but I am self motivating and I can see the bigger picture, I can see the strategy, I can respect it, but it doesn’t make it easier.

“I have to respect it and I will keep having the conversations with players, keep having conversations with senior clubs and their representatives, and then we will see where we go.

“I understand the position which is that the chairman will not jeopardise the situation of the club in these times and I 100% respect that.

“We are not in any form of panic. We have a concern when we lose a player but that will be the same as a lot of clubs. We would have loved to have kept Max but he goes with our best wishes, both as a captain and a player.

“At the same time as well, from a player’s point of view, he has to make the right decision for his family. His contract is up with us and he needs to have an income. I, as an individual, wholly respect that. He has held off longer than most, I assume.

“The offer that was made, an outstanding one, was made weeks ago. He held off as long as he thought he could for us to come to the table.

“Bristol Rovers have got themselves a good player and a good man. We are disappointed but we move on and my job is to recruit to improve us.”

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