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Fisher hoping to turn Gills around
Fisher hoping to turn Gills around

CEO and Co-Chairman, Paul Fisher, is hoping to turn the fortunes of Gillingham around, both on and off the pitch.

The lifelong Gills fan was brought in by Paul Scally to take over the day to day running of the club as the current chairman takes a break from the rigours of running a League Two club.

With the club seemingly on a downward spiral, Fisher has answered a number of fans’ questions as he looks to bridge the divide that’s occured between club and supporters over the years.

Speaking via the club’s official You Tube channel, Fisher stated the club were always looking for investment to take Gillingham forward, but admitted nothing has been forthcoming so far. He said:

“Paul (Scally) and I have almost weekly meetings with people who approach us to buy the club or get involved, it is an ongoing process. We do lots of due diligence, there are lots of time-wasters and lots of people who are worth a second and third meeting and we continue to talk to people who might invest, or if Paul decides to sell his interest, that is Paul’s decision.”

“All we can do is work hard. I am not happy seeing Gillingham Football Club third from bottom in League Two. We probably have a better team than that position.”

“We have a talented squad, I know under Neil Harris’ leadership and the coaches they are working extremely hard off the pitch to turn it around.”

“As a club, there is lots to do, I don’t want to kid anyone that I can wave a magic wand over this football club, hopefully there are differences with the off field team, lots of feedback that the matchday experience is starting to improve but it is miles off where I want it to be.”

“We have got other priorities, with quite limited resources. Number one for me is to build a commercial team, we have got some events planned and I hear what fans say, ‘why are we concentrating on that sort of stuff?’ Well, my job here is to generate revenue for the club so we can reinvest that back into the team.”

“I really want to turn the club around, we have to do better than we are doing as a club and a football team, we deserve better, rest assured I am working bloody hard to make sure that is the case.”

“It is a challenging job. I think I can improve things, absolutely. We are a football club and everything is easier if the team is doing well on the pitch, so there is a certain responsibility on the players to do better for us.”

The club have come in for a lot of criticism at the strength of the squad assembled under Neil Harris and Nicky Shorey with Fisher defending the size of the budget to the management team. He said:

“It is comparing favourably with other teams in the division and it’s in the middle quarter of League Two.”

“It is a challenge for us, those clubs that have benefactors and subsidise, the business does enable them to have a higher playing budget.”

“I would like to give Neil (Harris) more money but would I do it at the expense of jeopardising the club? Absolutely not. I can’t do that. The long term future of this club is everything to me.”

With the World Cup just a few months away, Fisher is hoping fans of Premier League and Championship clubs come to the likes of Gillingham to get their football fix. He said:

“The World Cup is a big opportunity for EFL clubs. Not many people will be going to Qatar and many will have season tickets at clubs like West Ham, Chelsea and Tottenham, it is an opportunity that we can get them to come down and see what the experience is like at Gillingham.”

“Hopefully the team will be scoring a few more goals and winning and we will see them again later in the season.”

Fisher’s challenge is huge and fans are rightly critical at the lack of changes since his arrival, the speed of those changes, the lack of quality football, the poor position in the league and the lack of engagement with the fanbase in recent years.

Using the club’s You Tube platform is a way of bridging the gap, but the proof will very much be in the pudding.

Picture supplied by Gillingham Football Club.