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Gillingham chairman Paul Scally appalled at criticism after tough 18 months

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Gillingham chairman Paul Scally insists the team is in good shape and has spoken of his disgust at those chanting for him to leave last Saturday.

Some supporters feel it is time for a change at the top but Mr Scally hit back, saying: “Despite what a small minority of fans seem to think, and seem to cause a lot of problems on the websites at the moment, we are in good shape player wise.

Gillingham chairman Paul Scally left dismayed at criticism Picture: Andy Jones
Gillingham chairman Paul Scally left dismayed at criticism Picture: Andy Jones

“It has always been a decent squad but unfortunately we got injuries and Covid, there are people out there on the streets and some people who went to Shrewsbury on Saturday that think Covid is all over.

“I thought the small minority that started chanting at Shrewsbury was appalling, I don’t want to try and big myself up but I have worked every day for the last 18 months to keep this club going and long days, long hours, in very difficult conditions and often on my own.

“For fans to start chanting “we want Scally out” at Shrewsbury, as they did, was quite disgusting and they should be ashamed of themselves, infact I am ashamed to think that they might even be fans.

“What reasonable, decent, normal human being would do such a thing or even consider such a thing? Having come out of what we have all been through and have that kind of behaviour, it is quite appalling.

“I would love to meet these people, find out what they think would happen if I left and walked out. Do they know what I do or understand how a football club runs, the pressures and the strains and the difficulties?”

The Gills were helped financially by a Premier League rescue package in the form of an EFL monitored loan, which comes with terms attached in respect to transfer spend and player wages.

Previously the Gills had been placed under a transfer embargo after the late filing of their accounts - the EFL website still includes the Gills on their embargo reporting service section - but Mr Scally confirmed to the KM this week that the embargo was lifted once those accounts were submitted and they are now only restricted to the terms of their loan agreement.

The EFL say the terms and restrictions of those loans, which aren't as strict as those under an embargo, are confidential.

Mr Scally said: “We took the monitored loan and that is totally different from the embargo.

“Every loan that anyone takes out has conditions, obviously. We along with many other clubs took the interest free loan from the EFL that was provided by the Premier League, understandably, otherwise we wouldn’t have been surviving.

“We are paying that back over a year or two and under that, there are conditions, the conditions are to stop clubs using it for things that it is not intended for, which is quite understandable.

“There are limits on numbers you can have and we are working within the terms of our loan.

“The loan is interest free, it has helped to get us to where we are today, along with season ticket holders and supporters and sponsors and everyone else.”

The Gills signed one player on transfer deadline day, bringing in striker Charlie Kelman from QPR. Mr Scally said they turned down some “big offers” for players in their own squad.

Manager Steve Evans has backed his boss, having been given the go-ahead to sign three players on deadline-day, but two clubs decided against sending their men out on loan.

Evans has said they are still able to sign free agents, should they wish and believes there are good options available. Players out of contract when the transfer window closed can still sign for a new club.

More: "Kill the hate" says Gills chairman

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