Gills future remains on hold
Gills future remains on hold

Gillingham fans will be forgiven for wondering what the future holds now the club secured their League One status for next season.

The last day 0-0 draw at Northampton Town guaranteed third tier football at Priestfield for at least another twelve months, but the underlying current is one of uncertainty in the weeks that have since followed.

Adrian Pennock admitted to Kent Sports News following the Northampton Town game that he’s unsure as to whether his future remains with The Gills as club chairman, Paul Scally, was going to be away for the next few weeks.

With the pair set to sit down and discuss the future in the coming days, Pennock staying or going is critical to what happens next at the club.

Pennock has already outlined which players he would like to keep at the club, but as yet the deafening silence from who will be at Priestfield for next season is harsh on fans’ ears.

A number of key players are out of contract and will undoubtedly be keen on tying up their futures before jetting away on holiday, whilst former loan striker Jay Emmanuel-Thomas has been critical of Pennock on Twitter in recent days.

Emmanuel-Thomas was clearly surplus to requirements at Gillingham under Pennock and the Head Coach has spoken of a poison in the dressing room when he took over from Justin Edinburgh.

There’s certain to be a number of players that will leave the club this summer with whoever is in charge set to outline their plans for the future.

As the weeks already tick by and no news filtering out of the Gillingham camp regards pre-season friendlies, retained lists, who the manager will be etc. it’s not surprising that fans will put two and two together and come up with five.

Behind the scenes, this could be one of the most crucial summers in the club’s history as a repeat of last season will see those attending games dwindle even further.

Initiatives to get fans to buy two year season tickets along with offers for certain games are bound to appeal to some as the club should be applauded for trying new ways of creating the fans for the next 20-30 years.

With the likes of Ebbsfleet United, Maidstone United, Dover Athletic and Bromley all having ambitions to make it into the Football League in the not so distant future, Gillingham will have some competition on their hands as to who young boys and girls go to support within Kent.

A move to Mill Hill is clearly the exit strategy and long term vision for a Gillingham hierarchy that sees the Premier League as the ultimate goal, but before that, they must stave off the likes of Ebbsfleet United from taking some of their fanbase.

Gillingham has a very rich history when it comes to football within Kent and they’ve been the club many others have aspired to follow in the area, but a few false moves now and they could easily slip down the football pyramid and find themselves the second largest club in the county.