Home   Medway   Sport   Article

Gillingham chairman Brad Galinson hopes the club avoid further punishment from the Football Association following spectator abuse in League 2 game against Newport

Gillingham’s chairman hopes the Football Association will react favourably to their swift and firm action after a fan was arrested for racist abuse.

A home supporter was seen appearing to imitate a monkey infront of Newport County striker Omar Bogle at Priestfield as the player celebrated the first of his two goals.

Gillingham chairman Brad Galinson speaks out after a difficult weekend for the club Picture: Barry Goodwin
Gillingham chairman Brad Galinson speaks out after a difficult weekend for the club Picture: Barry Goodwin

The Gills are desperate to stamp out the abuse and chairman Brad Galinson feels they are doing what they can.

“We could get fined but the FA is pretty reasonable,” said the US owner, following a weekend of shame.

“What they judge you for is not so much what happened, it is: ‘Did you follow the guidelines to prevent it from happening? Did you follow the guidelines to react when it happened? Did you follow the guidelines to prevent it going forward?’ More than just the fact that it happened in the first place.

“We were fined last season, there were three episodes where we probably weren’t as great as we should have been, we learned a lot from that and have improved considerably and you could see on Saturday we think we followed everything, before the match, when it happened and after the match.

“The hope is that the FA say: ‘We get it, you guys did everything you could’ and they will be more lenient and then we will just get better and better at it.”

The Gills are being monitored by the FA - the game’s governing body - following those three previous incidents last season which they were fined for. The weekend abuse follows an object thrown from the stand hitting the opposition goalkeeper the week before, something that is still being investigated.

Three other fans were ejected on Saturday for discriminatory language, with claims that the visiting female physio was also the target of abuse from some spectators in the Rainham End.

Fans are constantly reminded at Priestfield of the club’s zero tolerance to abuse and Mr Galinson hopes Saturday’s events underline that.

He said: “What happened became this perfect storm nationally, so that unfortunately Gills were stuck with it but I think it showed the country, right there in colour, how serious and how small this problem is.

“We are never doing enough, I don’t think society is ever doing enough, but you have to constantly battle it. It took us 30 seconds to handle it, so I would say: ‘Yes, we did very well, 30 seconds, arrested, banned, done, publicly announced, the world should see it, it’s not acceptable.

“On the one hand that is good, on the other hand there were two other incidents in that game of chanting that we privately ejected (spectators) and I think every match in the country has those.

“I think it is a constant fight and we are going to continue the fight with all other clubs.

“Saturday was an event that was big enough that people are starting to get more courageous to say: ‘I don’t care if I am calling one of my mates out, I will call my mates out because that is the right thing to do.’ That is a hard thing to do in society.

“For me, until everyone doesn’t accept it, peer pressure, it’s not going to stop but I am hoping that Saturday, as horrible as it was, pushed people towards saying: ‘I am done with this, I don’t care if I am embarrassed to yell at my friends, this can’t happen anymore.’

“We are going to continue to ban people, continue to arrest them, there is a zero tolerance at Priestfield and really all of football for those kinds of chants.

“We appreciate it is a passionate game and there are certain things that people should be able to chant, but to me there are three or four nos, which you can never cross. You cross them and you’re gone. I think all of my fellow owners, the FA, the EFL all support that.

“There are very specific rules about what you can do and what you can’t do, there is just a zero tolerance once you cross it.”

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