Home   Medway   Sport   Article

Gillingham supporter Graham Perry responds to club chairman Paul Scally following trouble and protests at Priestfield


More news, no ads

LEARN MORE

A Gillingham fan named by chairman Paul Scally as being partly responsible for Saturday's disorder at Priestfield has hit back at those suggestions.

Graham Perry - known online as Fred - is an administrator of an online Facebook forum that Mr Scally said is “the catalyst of a lot of the problems that have occurred over the last 18 months and most definitely the events of Saturday.”

Gillingham supporter Graham Perry with title-winning boss Martin Allen
Gillingham supporter Graham Perry with title-winning boss Martin Allen

Mr Perry has also been accused of organising the plane that circled over Priestfield with a banner that read “Time For Change Scally Out.”

There was trouble in the Rainham End and in the club’s Factory Bar - leading to one arrest - but Mr Perry was keen to distance himself from the actions of some.

Responding to Mr Scally’s claims, he said: “I categorically deny and refute any suggestion that I am responsible or connected for anything that happened inside the stadium.

“I was part of the fan protest that flew a plane over the stadium, nothing inside the stadium. I was not responsible or connected with anything inside the stadium, in The Factory or in the Rainham End itself.

“If he is trying to connect me in anything that resulted in arrests, ejections, bans, and or aggressive behaviour, then he is absolutely barking up the wrong tree.”

“I was part of the fan protest that flew a plane over the stadium, nothing inside the stadium..."

Mr Perry did admit to paying £50 towards the banner but was one of several who contributed to a cost which was believed to have been over £1,000.

But he said he was not the chief organiser.

He said: “I did not organise the flyover and if he has evidence to show I did then he should produce it.

It is an outrageous suggestion of his, his sources are wrong and he really needs to up his game when it comes to making accusations against me that are absolutely false.”

Gillingham chairman Paul Scally described the weekend protests as 'organised thuggery' Picture: Andy Jones
Gillingham chairman Paul Scally described the weekend protests as 'organised thuggery' Picture: Andy Jones

The Gillingham chairman said he is going after fans who stoked up the trouble on Saturday which he said was “organised thuggery.”

Mr Perry, who was born in Chatham and now lives in Folkestone, admits he has had issues with the chairman previously and removed screenshots of documents from the Facebook forum in 2018 that were private and confidential.

He has stopped going to home games and only travels away, saying: “I haven’t been to a game since 2017, I go to away games but I won’t be stepping foot inside the ground, the main reason is that I am not interested in funding him.”

Asked if he would meet Mr Scally in person to discus his issues, Mr Perry said: “No. Not any more. I have met him before and there are never any resolutions. I am not interested in talking to him anymore, especially after these allegations.”

He would, however, correspond by email and has said he will make any communication public through his Facebook site.

“I haven’t been to a game since 2017, I go to away games but I won’t be stepping foot inside the ground..."

One of Mr Perry’s gripes was the comments in May 2019 from Mr Scally when hitting back at critics, calling them “a form of cancer that I am not sure I can heal.”

“That is frankly outrageous,” said Mr Perry. “He is talking about me and people I am associated with. He is calling us cancer?

"I have family members and friends who have died of that disease, friends who are now battling that disease.

"It is a disgrace to say stuff like that, to describe any fan of the Gills as a form of cancer, simply because they don’t like him and his methods.”

Mr Scally said on Monday he wasn’t sure what “Scally Out” meant, having heard it many times in recent days and welcomed feedback.

"I have family members and friends who have died of that disease, friends who are now battling that disease..."

Mr Perry said: “My opinion against him was crystallised when he used the word hate and used it in the same sentence when talking about me; that is outrageous. I don’t hate the man.

“There are people in this world I hate, I am an ex soldier.

"But Mr Scally I don’t hate, I just want him to go on Sky Sports News - like he did with the fried egg and the paella pan - and announce his intention to create a succession plan and part of that plan may be to sell the club and invite offers to see where we can go forward.

"That is “Scally Out”.

Mike Gammon is among those who want a change of leadership and is an active member of the Gills Discussion Forum, which Mr Scally is against.

“I find it incredible that he can sit there and say that he doesn't understand what the problem is..."

He wrote: “Have I called for a change in leadership because he's taken the club as far as he can? Yes, and it is not out of any hate or malice, but it is out of concern.

“I find it incredible that he can sit there and say that he doesn't understand what the problem is. In my opinion the problem is stagnation.

"The problem is lack of disclosure for what the next five years will even look like, not only to give fans something to look forward to but also something that we can hold him to deliver.

“The chairman has had ample opportunity to respond to my correspondence regarding my concerns but he has chosen not to. I won't speculate the reason as to why, only he can answer that.

"This is why some fans, including myself, feel disenfranchised and disillusioned about the future.

“The chairman has had ample opportunity to respond to my correspondence regarding my concerns but he has chosen not to..."

“Different supporters will react in different ways (good and bad), same as supporters of the chairman have had varying degrees of behaviour ranging from cordial to vicious (which the chairman has chosen not to address).

"I'm sure others will agree when I say this, but supporters want to be taken seriously, supporters do not want to be ignored when they have concerns.

"You can't on the one hand say your door is always open and then on the other not, at the very least, acknowledge receipt of correspondence.”

A light aircraft displaying a banner 'Time for Change Scally Out' during the first half against Sunderland Picture: Andy Jones
A light aircraft displaying a banner 'Time for Change Scally Out' during the first half against Sunderland Picture: Andy Jones

There are no planned protests for Tuesday night’s game against Doncaster Rovers, at Priestfield.

On Monday, in response to the disorder, Mr Scally drew attention to Mr Perry’s Facebook site. He said he would be going after those who have defamed him.

Mr Scally said: “Those behind the organisation and who mounted this campaign and tried to whip up the hysteria must take responsibility.

“(The forum) peddles personal and vile abuse mostly aimed at me, and others. There is no doubt there are some postings of defamation of character about me or some others, principally myself.

“There is no doubt some of the postings could be seen as incitement to violence, certainly we saw that on Saturday which was unpleasant and unacceptable.

“Those behind the organisation and who mounted this campaign and tried to whip up the hysteria must take responsibility..."

"What mostly concerns me in the amount of misleading or blatantly untrue information. Young fans believe what is on the site.

“Responsibility has to go to Perry because he has not moderated it.”

In response, Mr Perry said: “He knows how to contact me, he has my email and number, he can contact me at any point about a particular post. He has never, in recent times, pointed out a post he believes is defamatory or libellous.

“I appreciate he might not like some of the posts, I don’t like some of the things he said about me, but it doesn’t necessarily say they are defamatory or libellous.”

Read more: Gills set to face League 1's bottom side

Read more from Gillingham to Italy's top-flight

Read more: All the latest news from Medway

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More