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Interviews

Chairman | "Your club is safe"

Gills Chairman Paul Scally thanks the fans for their assistance and support during "challenging times."

3 August 2020

The Chairman says the club is in good shape going forwards.

Gills Chairman Paul Scally says the club is safe as management and players prepare to return to training this week.

The Chairman was speaking as part of the club’s virtual end of season awards ceremony on Friday, where Connor Ogilvie claimed four trophies, including the main `Player of the Year` award.

Manager Steve Evans and Assistant Manager Paul Raynor also took part in a zoom call with selected players, but the Chairman opened and concluded the ceremony with some words for the fans.

He said: "I'd like to thank all of our supporters; I know it's been a very tough four or five months for everyone. We have been working very hard for the last six weeks trying to keep the ship going and get enough funds in to pay the bills.

"We are in the most challenging of times, but your club is safe. We are not in bad shape; we haven’t had income since February 29th when we played AFC Wimbledon but in the last six weeks we have spent time well.

“We are making the ship lighter; we are leaner, keener and September 12 is now looking very good for our start, behind closed doors initially. We are looking at protocols for crowds coming back into the stadium and October 3 looks like the date we will be able to bring some fans in – it will be a trial and will probably go out to season ticket holders first, and if everyone observes the protocols, we can increase the crowd throughout October and into November.

"I will come to fans with a more detailed analysis of where we are. I'm sorry that I haven't done so in the last few weeks but we have been frantically busy trying to sort a number of issues out. The Manager and Assistant Manager have been very busy, looking at players and talking to agents.

“We all want to be playing Football; we need income from somewhere and I’m told there is a potential package on the table that the EFL have negotiated. We are spending our money wisely, and carefully, protecting our position.

“Let’s hope we can manage to conquer this virus, work together and that we can, as soon as possible, play Football normally. Let’s stay together.”

The Chairman paid tribute to his management staff after a successful 2019/20 season and said he is very much looking forward to what the new campaign will bring.

He added: “It was a great season, we finished up 10th, a fantastic finish and I think if the season had carried on we would have got into the play-offs; I am confident of that and we had a team who I think would have done very well.

“It was disappointing to finish but it was probably the right decision for every club in the league because of the problem with finances. Some of the players have left, and we wish them well for their future roles.

“Steve [Evans] I have known for a long time and have always wanted to work with him. I know there was a little bit of a backlash in the early days when he was talked about but I never had any doubt that he was the right man for the job.

“As we have got closer together doing the job I am even more confident that we have a fantastic management team at the club. They are driven, focused and it was sad we couldn’t finish last season in a proper way but I’d like to thank Steve and Paul [Raynor] for the work they have put in, for their effort, dedicated, support and for getting the team in such good shape.”


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