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Gillingham chairman Paul Scally hits back at negative fans

By Luke Cawdell

Gillingham chairman Paul Scally has hit out at the critics who he believes are damaging the club.

Mr Scally issued a lengthy statement, largely in response to concerns from sponsors over what he described as 'the unfair and unacceptable behaviour of a minority of fans.'

While the majority of that criticism has come online, through social media, Mr Scally felt he had no option but to respond to a number of issues.

Gillingham chairman Paul Scally Picture: Ady Kerry
Gillingham chairman Paul Scally Picture: Ady Kerry

He tackled what he described as the 'Scally Out Brigade' and said: "It's not nice getting hammered when the team loses football matches.

"I've tried to get used to abuse and generally I take it on the chin as part of the job. Strangely, apart from one foul-mouthed idiot, to whom I annoyingly reacted last season, unfortunately with one of our potential investors behind me (which wasn't good on my part).

"I never get anyone come up to me and have a go face to face, not outside the stadium, or when I go about my business in the towns etc. It's never happened in 23 years.

"What I do get is many fans telling me what's being said on the forums, and of course I hear the fans chanting 'Scally Out' from time to time, which isn't nice.

"I've tried to get used to abuse and generally I take it on the chin as part of the job..." Paul Scally

"I find it quite disrespectful given how I work so hard for these same people.

"Whilst I welcome debate and banter, I cannot accept the level of out and out lies and garbage that are put on these platforms, by anonymous cowards, people not man enough to argue their points to my face.

"As a result of these unfair, incorrect and unacceptable postings, normal fans looking for debate jump on the bandwagon and in many cases actually believe what is being posted as the truth, hence a misconception of what I actually do for the business is in people's minds."

Gillingham chairman Paul Scally Picture: Barry Goodwin
Gillingham chairman Paul Scally Picture: Barry Goodwin

His words were targeted at those who abuse him, saying: "You should realise that when you are posting false, untrue or distorted facts, you are actually damaging the very club you purport to support and everyone within that club that earns a living from it, assuming you're a genuine fan of course and not just a sad and lonely 'troller' in need of help.

"Given these forums are in the public domain and given I am seeking investment from people that check out the business and may look on these forums to see the fans' view, people that may have been sitting in the directors' box at games this season and last, you are painting a negative picture of me and the club that could deter investors continuing their interest, again ultimately at the expense of the club."

Mr Scally invited any fans with concerns to speak with him in person, saying: "My door is always open and it's better to behave like men (or women) and talk."

An open office forum has been set aside on Saturday at the stadium from midday to 1pm.

"No amount of nonsense written on these forums will deter my focus, nor sway my passion for the job I do and what I am trying to achieve..." Paul Scally

Mr Scally is seeking investment in a bid to put the club on course for bigger and better things and said: "Rest assured, I will continue to run this club to the best of my ability, for the good of those employed by the club and for the benefit of those that support and sponsor the club.

"No amount of nonsense written on these forums will deter my focus, nor sway my passion for the job I do and what I am trying to achieve.

"Those with clear agendas peddle negativity and comment that is simply unfair, unjust, lack truth or structure and affect not just myself in my ability to focus on the positive factors in the business, but more importantly they affect the players, management, sponsors and real supporters who come to Priestfield to give positive support and encouragement to the team, whether the result on the day is in our favour or otherwise."

In his statement Mr Scally also insisted the club had no money issues, amid talk that the club remained heavily burdened by an historic debt. He also scotched rumours that former main sponsor Colin Jarvis (owner of MEMS) tried to buy the club, saying both rumours were based on "fiction."

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