Published: 06:00, 19 June 2020
Gillingham chairman Paul Scally hopes the club will be leaner and keener when the coronavirus crisis subsides.
While he’s been working on the numbers, attempting to keep the club afloat financially, a small group of volunteers have lent to hand to help in the process of “re-setting the business.”
Mr Scally, in a letter to fans, said: “I have enlisted a small group of volunteers who have joined me for a few days each week at Priestfield to assist in the process of re-setting the business, clearing the stadium of unwanted or not required paperwork, tons of it, cleaning public areas, reorganising ways of operating, freshening up the painting, renovating the pitch, writing new operating procedures and generally making sure the `ship` that sailed into Medway on March 13 will sail out on `play day` much lighter, more focussed, leaner, keener and more ready to take advantage of the opportunities ahead, opportunities that will present themselves as a result of this sad and awful pandemic.”
The Gills ended the season finishing 10th, with their 2019/20 season cut short by nine games.
Mr Scally has said there are some projects and refurbishments that the club would like to undertake during the period without play. And he’s invited any fans wishing to help to do so.
In a direct message to fans, he said: “If any of you would like to volunteer and spend a few hours or days a week helping ‘project cleanse’ here at Priestfield then let Tom Lawrence (the chief exec) know, send him your contact details and we’ll let you know what days and times we will be at work, always working to social distancing protocols of course.”
The chairman, meanwhile, has been busy working with the manager on the plans for putting together a new squad for a challenge on the field.
An expected board meeting today (Friday) will hopefully lead to five of their out of contract players, including captain Max Ehmer, being offered new terms.
Meanwhile, Mr Scally has thanked those who have sent the club messages of solidarity and support.
He says they are working on ways that supporters can assist from a financial point of view.
Mr Scally said they have already had offers “from a few pounds to a few thousand,” but none have been taken up so far. He said the club are “considering formal plans along the lines of bonds or crowd funding schemes.”
The Gills chairman added that: “My primary task has focussed on ensuring we all have a club to follow when normal Football returns and fans are again safe to enjoy their passion from the terraces.
"This has involved making some tough, painful, but necessary decisions and is an ongoing process, however, I feel confident our model will be fit and ready when the return to play card is shown.”