Simon Jordan has taken aim at the ‘cowards’ who have targeted Gillingham chairman Paul Scally, saying he would ‘make it his life’s mission to make their lives a misery’.
Scally, 67, took ownership of the League Two club in 1995 when he purchased them for a sum of £1 to save them from going into liquidation and pulling them out of administration.
Unfortunately for Scally, he has been the subject of intense harassment following the club’s relegation from League One last term, leading him to bring Paul Fisher on board as co-chairman and CEO while taking an enforced break from club duty due to a group of fans trespassing on his property, damaging his car and intimidating his family.
Describing the abuse as ‘relentless, personal, abusive and disgusting’, Scally has called out the group of Gillingham fans for ‘crossing the line’ and admitted that he’s worried about what they’ll do next.
Speaking to Jim White, Scally said: “It’s gone past what would be considered as normal football banter, in my view, and I don’t know what it’s about.
“These people are desperate and obsessed with making my life miserable and bringing down the football club.
“I’ve fallen out of love with Gillingham and I’ve fallen out of love with football and that’s why I’ve decided that I need to take this break and step away to try and get my life back a bit and try to get some normality back in my life for me and my family.”
Former Crystal Palace owner Simon Jordan is a man who knows exactly what it’s like to be on the receiving end of criticism from supporters.
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Addressing Scally’s story, he told White and Jordan: “I had people who had lots to say for themselves, and I was quite adroit at confronting them and getting them to say it specifically to me rather than hiding behind the veneer of a social media opportunity or in a group of fans in a stadium on a matchday.
“I know Paul and he can be a character at times, but I don’t think he’s entitled to receive the level of abuse that he’s indicating that he’s received. These people are obviously getting carried away with themselves and they need to get their collar felt because there’s a line between telling someone they’re not very good at their job and taking that to a situation where you’re going to someone’s house, damaging their car and intimidating their family.
“We all know that football is fueled by emotion and we have to take some of the bad with the good because without the emotion you don’t have the engagement, the interest and people won’t be as invested.
“I would make it my life’s mission to make their life a misery in return. I wouldn’t allow them to dictate the terms of my departure. I wouldn’t allow them to be in a position where they affect my life, I would affect theirs. I would take the fight, metaphorically, to them. I’d want them to understand the consequences of their behaviour.
“There’s one thing giving me a bit of stick at the game and if it’s justified you have to accept it. If it’s not, you either find a way to exclude them from the environment or you bring them into a situation where you invite them to say it to you face to face.
“I don’t run away from confrontation. Tragically for me, I run towards it. They are cowards and that’s what cowards do.
“They’re cowards and bullies and Paul needs to take a sabbatical, take a break and a breath. He’s got ball, Paul Scally. Whether we agree on things or not, he’s got backbone and he needs to have a little break and get back into the groove of thinking ‘do I get pushed around by little runts’ and do I find a solution to my problem, but only Paul can answer that.
“Paul is a strong character, he’s having a moment and I get it. You have the right as a football fan to have your view, but if this is what it looks like, I don’t know who the hell these people think they are and how they’re able to conduct themselves, it needs to be put to bed.
“It’s unacceptable, totally and utterly unacceptable. They’re not men, they’re cowards.”
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