Published: 05:00, 20 January 2022
| Updated: 15:50, 20 January 2022
Gillingham chairman Paul Scally says his 16-year-old daughter has been a target of abuse.
Mr Scally’s mobile phone number was shared on social media recently, leading to unwanted calls at all hours from those who are against his running of the club, but his critics have also targeted his family members.
The Gills chairman admits he has recently been unwell, possibly because of the pressure of keeping the club afloat, while also dealing with some vocal opponents to his running of the club. While Mr Scally has come under criticism, some have taken it even further.
“I had to change my daughter’s phone number because of stuff that was being sent to her,” said Mr Scally.
“I am getting constant abuse on my emails and texts. It is mostly kids, we know who most of them are, and they think it is funny to wake me and my family up. I have had to change the number on two of my daughters’ phones because of it. My 16-year-old has been getting some shocking stuff.
“I have had phone calls throughout the night, obscene and vile comments, it is quite disgraceful. Does anyone think this is good behaviour?
“I am a businessman and chairman of a football club trying to keep it going and is this the way I should get treated by these people?
“I am getting calls at two and three o’clock in the morning, I have to keep my phone on because I am actually minding someone who is critically ill and I have to keep my phone live, otherwise I would turn it off. I am getting calls and they are constant.”
Second-bottom Gillingham are currently in a battle against relegation from League 1 and attendance figures are dropping. Steve Evans has recently departed from his position as manager and Mr Scally is in the process of appointing his successor.
The club chairman and owner - at the helm since 1995 - has been the target of those unhappy with what’s been happening at Priestfield in recent seasons. There have been several attempts from some fans on social media platforms to protest in person but only a handful have gathered for meets outside the ground.
But Mr Scally said: “It’s a small minority but none the less I have received some horrific stuff and it’s unacceptable. It is wrong and unfair, it is based on false stories all the time, it is disgusting frankly.
“Anyone who has that while trying to keep a business going will find it stressful.
“Agitators are damaging the club by their constant poor behaviour. It is not helping, it affects my family and children and is disgusting and has caused me great concern.”