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Comper | "It feels like a natural fit"

The club's new Director of Operations offers an update on a variety of subjects.

22 May 2023


Comper | "It feels like a natural fit"

The club's new Director of Operations offers an update on a variety of subjects.

22 May 2023

Joe Comper addresses a number of topics as he prepares to take on his new role as Director of Operations.

Gillingham Football Club are entering an exciting new era and behind the scenes there is a great deal of hard work being done to ensure that it is a successful one.


Since the incredible takeover by American owners Bradley and Shannon Galinson there has been a whirlpool of excitement around ME7. The team valiantly fought themselves off the bottom of the table, making headlines whilst they quickly became one of the most feared sides in the division. Off the pitch at MEMS Priestfield there have been some equally good performances being carried out.


Joe Comper, the recently appointed Director of Operations, sat down exclusively with the club website to discuss his new role at the club as well as revealing some of the huge plans which are due to be imminently implemented around the stadium.


"I'm excited to be taking on this role at such a special club," said Joe, who previously worked as Head of Commercial. "It is a real honour and hopefully it will be a smooth transition.


“It feels like a natural progression for me at the club, and I feel like it feels a natural fit for myself and the owners. I have dealt with them heavily over the last six months and am in contact with them on a daily basis. I'm delighted to take on this challenge."


Joe will continue to concentrate on his remaining commercial objectives as he transitions to operations and speaking with him, marketing and sales clearly is an area of the business he is very passionate about.


"Commercially we are quite well placed at the moment," he enthused. "We have had a restructure of how we do sponsorship. The MEMS deal comes to an end at the end of this month and I would really like to thank them, and Colin Jarvis in particular. They have been huge supporters of the club and they have shown me support and I'm really grateful for that. I'm sure the club and fans would join me in expressing that gratitude.


"Going forward we need more sponsors and more businesses involved, we cannot be reliant on one, two or three businesses at a club like this; if you look at any club in the football league or certainly ones that are doing well commercially, they are not relying on one organisation. We are trying to modernise and I think we are moving in the right direction and soon we will be getting some announcements out."


Something that is already attracting a great deal of interest are the soon-to-be-installed LED perimeter boards which will be a huge benefit to both the club and local businesses. The boards will display vivid, dynamic and effective advertising displays using the very best LED screen technology and as Bradley Galinson rightly pointed out, they will 'look really cool'.


"This is a big thing for the club," Joe said. "It is going to give us a huge network, we should have over 100 companies involved if it comes off as I expect it to. 


"The boards get manufactured over in China, the company that we are using actually installed them at Man City, so if they are good enough for Man City then they are good enough for us. We are expecting them to arrive here in July and we should be up and running at the start of the new season. The sales of the advertising board spaces are underway and we have had a really good start, there is a real buzz and people are interested. We have a number of packages: the Business Club Package, Bronze, Silver, Gold, and a Platinum one. They range in price and obviously the more you pay the more you get. 


"There is a real buzz around the commercial department at the moment, we have new staff, new inventory to sell and internally people are starting to feel a real buzz and hopefully that is going to come across outside the building as well."


The football shirt is naturally something that means a lot to supporters and having a nice looking jersey out in time for the new campaign can be considered one of the first big victories of the new season, and it's something the club are striving for.


"We got full analysis of the shirt market and we have decided to do another one-year deal with Macron," Joe said. "We have a good relationship with Macron and the quality of their product is decent. We are slightly ahead of the game and our kit is currently in production, we are expecting to have them here in June. We are hoping to get some marketing done before the full bulk arrives so we can get it on a pre-order and hopefully in July people will be able to pick up the kit.


"The sponsorship for the kit is done, the front of shirt, back of shirt and back of shorts, which is a new one. They are all tied up and they will be announced over the next few weeks. We are trying to get a training kit sponsor and we are in conversations with a few different people for that.


"Obviously, we announced Magnus Search Recruitment as our sponsors of the Medway Stand, which Meg and the commercial team secured, which is great. The executive box sales are going really well. We have 20 boxes here and 18 of them are sold for the season, which is superb. We have two left, so if someone wants a box for the season, it is still possible.


"We are doing a little bit of work on them and will update some of them, we are doing five this summer. We are also updating the carpet in the Great Hall. We are not just chucking money at things to make it look great, the outlay is going to benefit the club over the next five to ten years, there is some serious business thinking behind our ideas."


One of the biggest questions supporters have asked is, 'will the club shop come back?'... Joe was very happy to answer this one.


"The shop is coming back," he said. "It won't be in exactly the same location. We are actually relaying the whole area. What was previously the club reception, that area will be the start of the shop and that is going to go all the way down to the player changing room area. 


"The shop will be open Monday to Friday and that is important for the club to show that we are open for business. In that area we are open for shop purchases, tickets and as a general front of house for the business. We are nailing down the designs and work starts in that area next week, initially it is about ripping it all out and getting it back to a shell, then we will be implementing the designs."


Gillingham FC are very proud to have a successful school operating within the stadium which performs an incredible service for local children in the community and the good news is they will also be benefiting when the builders start their work.


"As we are using school space for the shop, we need to give them more space," said Joe. "So where the old ticketing office is, that will be the school and it will be extended down towards the family enclosure as well, so it will take time. I am reluctant to put a timeframe on it because these things do tend to overrun but we are aiming and striving to open the shop for the start of the new season and the school-build will be open for when the school students come back in September."


Next up for discussion is the 'not-so-temporary' temporary Brian Moore Stand, a stand that was built over 20 years ago and has stood there ever since waiting for an upgrade.


"The back-half of the Brian Moore was out of use for the second half of the season. We are looking at all the options, can we use what's currently there, do we need a new stand, everything is on the table, so I don't want to sit here and say this is going to happen. We are looking at this and it is a conversation that is happening daily and we are working out what is best for the club. What we do will be a good decision for the club long term.


"We have a lot of other good things in the pipeline for the stadium, we are dotting i's and crossing t's and getting things over the line."


So while the players are lying on a beach somewhere, winding down and preparing for another campaign, there is still clearly a lot of work going on back at ME7 to ensure that the season is a successful one, both on and off the field. 


Everyone at the club wishes Joe the very best in his new role.


To take advantage of one of the many sponsorship opportunities at the club, please contact where a member of the team will be happy to help.

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