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Chairman Paul Scally says Gillingham have the resources to hold their own in League 1

By Luke Cawdell

Gillingham chairman Paul Scally insists they are financially competitive with the majority of teams in League 1 and will remain so.

He is angered at suggestions the club are among the lowest payers in the division and hopes to better their budget for the next campaign – his 24th as chairman.

The Gills finished the 2017/18 season sitting 17th, six points clear of the drop zone, spending more than £2.5million on their playing budget according to the chairman.

Gillingham chairman Paul Scally Picture: Ady Kerry
Gillingham chairman Paul Scally Picture: Ady Kerry

Mr Scally said the budget for next season would be “the same, if not bettered” as the club look to put behind them successive campaigns where they have played with fear of relegation.

He said: “We have a reasonable budget for the team, which people don’t realise, and our budget this year was over two and a half million pounds.

“I see comments on social media and forums that flabbergast me because firstly they are ill-informed and secondly they are completely inaccurate.

“People talk about us having one of the lowest budgets in the league, or even the lowest, which is complete nonsense.

“There are lots of teams with less budgets than us this season that have done better and others with higher budgets that have done worse. MK Dons (relegated this season) are one of the of the highest in the division and they are playing in League 2 next season.

“We have to put things into context. I think maybe I should speak out a lot more on a number of issues, and I will do, because I think fans need to understand how it is and have a bit of a reality check.

“I have probably been guilty of not communicating and of course when you don’t communicate people make things up and that sets the wrong trend.”

The Gills are due to announce their retained list imminently, with manager Steve Lovell deciding which players he wants to keep and who is leaving.

Lovell will then be in the market to fill any voids.

He is keen to strengthen the depth of the squad, which he feels hampered them towards the end of the campaign.

Lovell said: “That happens sometimes when you don’t have back-up in certain areas.

"It’s something that we will look at in the off-season to make sure that if we have a dip in form then we are fully prepared for it.”

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