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Brad Galinson | "The club is unique"

Gills new owner addressed the media for the very first time on Tuesday morning with Paul Fisher also present.

18 January 2023


Brad Galinson | "The club is unique"

Gills new owner addressed the media for the very first time on Tuesday morning with Paul Fisher also present.

18 January 2023

Gills new Chairman met with the local media for the first time on Tuesday.

"It was tremendous, overwhelming and more than I could expect," reflected Brad Galinson describing the emotion of walking out onto the MEMS Priestfield turf with his family to meet supporters for the first time. 

The deafening roar of approval from Gillingham fans was evidence enough that the feeling was mutual about their new owner.

The times they have certainly been a-changin' at ME7. The club had been struggling but due to the intervention of the Florida-based businessman, and his wife Shannon, there is now a wave of optimism that everyone is happy to be swept away with.

An influx of promising player arrivals, a solid and well-thought out football structure being built, sold-out league games's all very positive. 

Brad Galinson and Chief Operating Officer Paul Fisher sat down with the local media who were eager to learn more about a turnaround in fortunes that nobody could have predicted.

"A lot of people told me not to do this," admitted Galinson. "Investment banker friends told me there is a better way to get a return on your investment, they said, 'are you crazy - do you know anything about football and by the way, isn't it soccer?!'

"There is nothing like it, there is no business like the experience of being in English football. This club is unique in its catchment area; there are 75,000 businesses, and this is the only league club in Kent. It's worth the risk and I think we will be successful at it.

"Going out and meeting the fans was tremendous. Not just from our family's perspective, but it was more looking out and seeing the fan base, that was what was tremendous. It epitomised what the club is about and what it can be about. The chanting and the flags and just wanting to show pride in their team, it made me and my family want to perform even better for the fans."

COO Paul Fisher, who is running the business aspects of the club, believes there has been a huge psychological shift at the football club since the Galinsons walked through the door and everyone in the stadium is benefiting from the positive lift.

"There's a huge buzz about the place now," he said. "When my alarm goes off in the morning I jump out of my bed to get to work. There's a buzz from fans and there is a buzz from staff; everyone feels it's a new beginning for the club and it's very exciting.

"Paul Scally was very clear that anyone who got involved in the club had to be the right fit for Gillingham Football Club and during the process it came very, very clear that Brad and Shannon were entirely the right fit.

"My email inbox is full with companies and people who want to get involved with the club again. Everyone wants to be involved with its success and I think it is an absolute credit to Brad and Shannon that considering that we are still bottom of League 2, hopefully for not much longer, that we are getting this interest from the local business community and the fans. There is a real good feeling of positivity around. This will be huge for the club, huge for the Medway Towns and huge for Kent."

The importance of community is clearly not lost on Brad either, and he has big plans to use the club to fulfil social responsibilities. He spoke passionately about harnessing the power of football to help, educate and bring together a community with the club as a focal point.

"The football club is the community and the community is the football club," said Galinson. "The two things are literally interchangeable. Everything about the success of the club drives the community, the pubs, the restaurants, everything, specifically the youth, The GFC School, women's sport, they are the initial things we want to focus on and grow. We really want to be a beacon of the community.

"We need to stay in the Football League first, almost everything else can wait. Once we get that right all the other 100 things that are on the list can be done.

"I wouldn't trade this for anything. It is a passion project, it is a long-term project. We are custodians of something that will go on way beyond us.

"Gillingham fans want to be proud of their club, they want them to perform on the pitch and the hope is something that is just tremendous. Hopefully we can continue to give it."

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