Gillingham appoint Steve Evans: Every decision I have made in my time as chairman has been the right decision at the time and always made in the best interests of the club
GILLINGHAM chairman Paul Scally says he is considering leaving the club – on the day of appointing the controversial Steve Evans as their next manager.
Gillingham finished in thirteenth-place in League One last season, finishing five points above the relegation zone, having banked 55 points from their 46 games, but parted company with Steve Lovell with a couple of games remaining, with Mark Patterson coming in as caretaker manager.
Today’s appointment of Evans, 56, hasn’t gone down too well with the Priestfield Stadium faithful and Mr Scally issued a chairman’s report on the club’s website www.gillinghamfootballclub.com highlighting current issues.
“I believe the club is now at a critical point in its long history whereby after some considerable reflection and soul searching, I have to question why I am continuing to battle on a daily basis, often against the odds and under constant and extreme pressure to run a club,” said Mr Scally.
“I feel a segment of the supporter base (and I can’t determine to what level) have no regard, respect, support, understanding, trust nor any consideration for me as an individual, nor the role I perform as chairman of this club within a football pyramid that is dominated by rich pickings oat the top two levels of football, against the almost impossible task of being competitive, without the luxury of financial assistance in the lower echelons of the EFL.
“For these reasons, I must now seriously consider over the coming weeks whether I wish to continue in my role and lead this club forward, or indeed what the consequences for the club would be should I decide to take the easy option and just walk away.
“That’s attractive that I get my life back, will not have the daily stress I suffer but more significantly will not have to subject myself, my children, nor my friends to some of the disgusting and disgraceful abuse I experienced from so called “fans” during, but more so in the latter part of the season, but not so attractive in that I would be leaving a club that I believe can still fulfil its potential in time, the belief in same which has kept me driving forward for all these years.
“Not attractive either in that I would be leaving a club I believe in, care for and have always acted to protect, a club I have dedicated much of my working life to progressing, not would it be attractive if I can’t find another interested party to take on, or share the financial burden, the consequences of such a situation which do not bear thought.
The Gills chief added: “Despite there being some wealthy individuals in Medway and Kent, none of these people have had an interest in becoming involved, which is obviously their prerogative.
“However, it illustrates why I have had to search further afield in the past two years to try and find the right person or group, a search that is difficult, time consuming but ongoing to this day.
“For the club to really make progress, we need to galvanise our real supporters, bring in new fans of the future, rid ourselves of the damaging negativity, improve performances on the pitch, work harder on increasing non match-day revenues and I need to continue my search for external investment, not an easy task but one in which I believe is achievable.
“My problem now, of course, is that given those I have spoken to whom have shown interest in potentially becoming involved will only become involved if I stay and continue running the club, it would be wrong to engage further if I am unwilling, or more importantly, I feel unable to commit to being in that position and I can only commit to continuing as your chairman if I have the backing, support and more importantly trust of our entire fan base, hence our, and my dilemma.
“As to trust, I can without doubt state that every decision I have made in my time as chairman has been the right decision at the time and always made in the best interests of the club.”
Visit Gillingham’s website: www.gillinghamfootballclub.com