Chairman Paul Scally sends an open letter to Gillingham supportersDear Supporters,
Without wishing to state the obvious, our start to the season has not been quite as planned and with just the three points from our first seven games to show I fully understand your concerns, worries and frustrations, and given we all share those same feelings, I thought I would write to you to assure you on how hard everyone at the Club is working in an effort to turn things round and get that first vital win.
It is a fact that when things don’t go so well during a period, and there have been many occasions when life has been tricky over the years at this football club, as well as some great occasions of course, the general mood changes and many negatives creep into our manner, our rhetoric and often our behaviour and we tend to take our frustrations out on the people who in fact are trying the most to get things right, and who need our total support the most. Can I at this stage put the record straight about investment in this team this season and state quite clearly that despite some utter garbage I have seen and heard mentioned of recent in regards to not spending in the summer, the investment in the team this season is amongst the top half of teams in the division insofar as payroll is concerned pro rata to income, excluding the likes of Wolves, Sheffield United, Coventry and Bristol City, who are in a league of their own as far as wages are concerned, and whilst Deon Burton, Lewis Montrose and Andy Frampton weren’t retained during the close season, we bought in seven senior players to add to the squad. Free transfers don’t come cheap, we still have to manage and find the money for players’ wages.
It was only a matter of a few months ago we, as a Club, were enjoying the fruits of a great season, an historic season which ended with the League 2 Championship, won by a group of honest, hardworking and committed players that battled every step of the way to achieve the final accolade, with a Manager and backroom staff who meticulously planned every move and a general staff who worked continuously to afford the team the backup they required to do their jobs so effectively.
It must also be said that all those efforts wouldn’t and couldn’t have come to anything without the dedication, support and loyalty of each and every one of you that supported by your attendance, your sponsorship and your passion for your Club, hence why I wanted to communicate with you before our next game on Saturday at Priestfield. When Martin Allen made our supporters the 13th man, he was trying to demonstrate the importance he believed you all held to the success of the team, the part you all play in transmitting your positive energy on a matchday to the players on the pitch, however so they were playing at any one time, the noise you create within the stadium and the atmosphere thus generated making it a real advantage to play in front of our own fans. Make no mistake, players are like anyone else, some can be sensitive, they hear comments from the crowd and whilst they are lifted and motivated by positive support, from time to time they too can have off days, bad games, games where things just don’t seem to go right, but there has never been any doubt as far as I’m concerned that our players always give it their best effort, and like you all they are desperately trying to get our season back on track.
We all know there can be upwards and downward spirals in football, we’ve experienced both over the years, but I would urge you each to a man to come to Priestfield on Saturday, bring your friends and bring your positive voices, sing your hearts out for the team, create an electric atmosphere, banish your nerves and tensions and really focus on what’s needed, and what part you can all play to help the team achieve our joint goal. I can’t promise it will guarantee a win, but I can tell you that if ever there’s a time for you all to play the 13th man, it’s now, and we have a better chance of a win on that basis than if the alternative occurs.
Fortunately we have plenty of time right now to change things round, the players are determined to change our draws into wins, and in fairness most of you will agree we have not had the best of luck so far in our exploits, certainly no one would question the view that we should have beaten Brentford, and draws against Colchester and Crawley may have better reflected performances, but we are where we are, we are all grown men and we know our destiny is jointly in our own hands.
Hope to see and hear you all on Saturday, let’s make Priestfield rock and thanks for your continued support of the Club.
Paul D. P. Scally
To download a pdf of the Chairman's Letter click here