Chairman Paul Scally writes a letter for the club's supportersDear fellow supporters
I would like to take a few moments of your time to update you on exactly where we are in our search for a new manager at our club, and to clarify a few misconceptions that have appeared from various sources.
I regarded Peter Taylor very highly as a man and a manager, I believe he was doing a good job in developing the team, not only in style but in character, and I had no intention of dismissing him, however following a telephone conversation on New Years Eve I was left with no option other than to terminate his contract. I wish him well in the future and thank him for his efforts.
Peter unfortunately suffered some serious personal abuse from a number of our supporters both at games and on different forums, such abuse being unnecessary, unpleasant and unhelpful in my view, and I would urge supporters to consider the negative effect such abuse can have on individuals and whether their energies and comments of a positive nature would be better directed at encouraging the staff and players, given we are all striving for the same end result.
Our previous manager is not with us now due to either lack of financial support, nor any disagreement over budgets, in fact there was not a player Peter requested that he did not get, and for those that continually speak about the perceived level of budget we allocate to the playing side, can I say that our budget is higher than probably 60% of the teams in this division, i.e. I understand there are 13 or 14 teams in League One with either a similar or a lesser budget than we have ourselves. The perception that we do not commit adequate funds to the team is misinformed and grossly inaccurate.
Given I was somewhat caught unprepared for a managerial change, the process of receiving, evaluating, considering and acting upon CV’s began immediately and I am flattered to have received many applications from a cross section of footballing individuals, many of whom would be suitable for the role, have various degrees of experience and are of various character. At today’s date, I have not met with any candidates face to face, albeit I have spoken to many, have carried out background checks and taken references and have spoken to a number of influential managers and individuals in the game about various candidates.
I understand in such situations speculation can run rife, especially on forums, and indeed I have seen ‘bookies favourites’ mentioned, most, if not all of whom I have neither considered or in some cases don’t even know. I would therefore urge you all to be cautious before you waste your money on speculation, as at this stage I have no idea myself who the new manager at GFC will be, and I’d probably have a good idea before the bookies.
This situation will become clearer as we progress the interview stage this week and next, and we will work our way through the fairly long short list in a professional and methodical manner ensuring each candidate is treated with dignity and allowed the privacy and respect that anyone looking for a job is entitled to receive. As such we will not fuel rumours, nor speak on individuals either way, but we will get on with the task aware that this is a significantly important appointment that we must try and get right, accepting there are no guarantees with any appointment in life.
To ensure the team remains focused on the job they have to do on the pitch, I have asked our four senior football coaches, Andy, Darren, Steve and Mark to form a mini management team and to work together in ensuring the training is organized and to prepare the team for games in the short term. They are all equal and debate team selection and strategy. It’s not an easy task for them, albeit they have many years of combined experience and are very capable of effectively carrying out the task, hence I would ask you all to give them your full support and energy as they strive to achieve a level of success for us all.
None of the above individuals are being considered for the new manager’s role, they do all however share a passion for the Club and want to see successful days return to Priestfield as quickly as possible.
I will be discussing all candidates with them and my co Directors and they will all be sitting on interviews with myself.
Finally I have no doubt you will all have your own views on who should be the next manager, what type of person should it be, what type of character and personality should he have. Whilst we have a large cross section of individuals already to consider, I’d be interested to have your views as supporters as all help is useful. If you have any ideas on anything to do with recruitment please send them to me at the Club, or e mail our Club secretary Gwen Poynter at, email@example.com with your thoughts, we will consider all comments.
Please be patient, this is neither a quick, nor simple task, and whilst we would like to make an appointment as soon as possible, we will not rush into a decision if we do not all feel comfortable with it. Less speed more haste is appropriate, notwithstanding with the points still to play for this season we want our new man in place in the shortest time possible.
Saturday against Coventry is our next challenge, I think those that have watched the last few games have seen the effort and energy put in by the boys, they’ve not had too much luck against Port Vale and Crewe, but their heads are held high, they are looking forward as a team and with your help they will battle on and try to get the results we all wish for, stay positive, there will be good times ahead.
Paul D P Scally