Published: 06:00, 16 September 2021
Gillingham Football Club say they are being hit by supply issues as they race against time to get their Factory bar open for the weekend.
The club had initially set a target of September 4 to allow fans back inside the Priestfield food and drink venue but the match that day against Charlton Athletic was postponed, giving them an extra couple of weeks to get things done.
But club chairman Paul Scally, speaking to fans this week, admits they are short of beer and limits on numbers may have to be capped.
He said: “The Factory was a major job, the whole floor had to be replaced and we have refurbished it. We are trying to get it open for Saturday, trying to get the brewery to deliver more beer.
“(There are some) challenging issues, we are getting past them and we are finding solutions. I will be disappointed and sad if we don't get it open for Saturday, at least for a limited number of people.
“I am trying to buy equipment for the Factory that we need and I am told it will be three months, stuff that you would normally get within four or five days.
“It is a supply problem of equipment, we have always had Heineken as our brewery, always have been very good to deal with, always been easy with supplies, we are now being limited to the number of barrels we can have, as are other companies because of supply problems of barrels and beer.
“Things that were the norm are not the normal any more and everyone is challenged. I am very much hopeful that the Factory will be open to supporters on Saturday, it is our plan to have it open.
“People who are in business will say that there is a huge supply problem, with all kinds of items. We are trying to get a car for one of our staff but we can’t get a car, we are told it will be 10 months before this particular car becomes available.”
The club also had delays with their replica kit for supporters which is supplied by Italian manufacturers Macron. That has just arrived and fans have been able to get hold of shirts ahead of this weekend’s game against MK Dons.
Supporters who donated their 2020/21 season ticket money back to the club are entitled to one for free.
Mr Scally said: “There is clearly a problem all across Europe of manufacturing and of course our kits are made in Italy by Macron and the Italians have had a very torrid time, as bad as us in England, it has affected production.”
The club appreciated there had been frustration among fans wanting to get a replica items, and said: “We would like to thank supporters for their patience and understanding as we awaited delivery. We would also like to thank Macron for their assistance.”