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Gillingham chairman Paul Scally wants more fans to savour the good vibes now positivity has returned to Priestfield

Gillingham chairman Paul Scally says the buzz has returned to Priestfield.

He made his comments during last week’s fans’ forum.

Gillingham chairman Paul Scally took questions at last week's fans' forum Picture: Ady Kerry
Gillingham chairman Paul Scally took questions at last week's fans' forum Picture: Ady Kerry

More than 400 supporters attended the Q&A last Thursday where Mr Scally and the club’s management team answered a range of questions.

Mr Scally questioned his own position prior to the season but has enjoyed an unexpected play-off push this year under Steve Evans.

The average home attendance has been slightly up on last year, by around 100 fans, but Mr Scally wants more back.

Speaking to fans he said: “Our gates are down, our season ticket and ticket income is down over (what it was) four or five years ago and that is not surprising as we have had three or four mediocre years.

“It is a big concern because I think we are now in a position where we are playing some good football and we are not hanging on like we have been doing in previous campaigns.

“I am hoping over the next year or so we can bring back some of those fans that haven’t been coming regularly and we will be offering different schemes.

“We have seen that this year and last with the season ticket initiatives, that has been quite successful and I am confident that this year’s income from ticketing and season tickets will be up again on last year.

“Last year was up £120,000 on the year prior. We are moving in the right direction slowly, we need to do more, we are doing a lot behind the scenes.

“I would ask those who attend regularly to encourage those around them to come along and enjoy the experience because, generally speaking, this year it has been a good experience, home and away.

“Regardless of what happens for the remainder of the season, the buzz is back around Priestfield and there are plenty of reasons to be positive. The players have been exceptional and supporters superb.”

Mr Scally was emboldened by the support shown during the FA Cup campaign, with a bumper crowd in to watch Premier League West Ham.

“We felt like a club again,” he said. “We can go places that we haven’t been for many years.”

The Gills spent several seasons in the Championship under Mr Scally’s stewardship, and are aiming to return. But he won’t risk the club to get there.

“We have to be careful and we run our business based on what we can afford,” he said. “Lots of clubs are losing money by chasing the dream.

“The combined losses for last year (in the Championship) was over £700 million between 24 clubs. When we were in there we held our own.”

The Championship has changed. It's a problem the football world has to face up to.”

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