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An open letter to Gillingham Football Club

Longtime Gillingham fan Chris Ray has written to the club to express his dismay at the goings-on at Priestfield. Here is his letter



What follows below is an actual letter to the management of the club, written by a longtime Gillingham fan.

Chris Ray has been following the Gills for 17 years and, left disillusioned by the goings-on at the football club, has taken to his keyboard to write to the club.

Chris also sent the letter to Gills365 for publication on the site. Here’s the letter in full.

To whom it may concern,

As I write this, the question ‘How has it come to this?’ rolls around my head.

How has the club come to both physically and emotionally drive away its fans, however inadvertently that may be?

How have I come to feel so helpless in the support of my beloved club that I feel my only option is to write this letter?

How are we expected to accept platitudes game after game and have faith in a man who has patently shown himself as not up to the job of Head Coach (I am quite sure you are aware of the statistics, and the luck involved in each of the four league wins we have achieved under his tenure)?

I will not bore you with specific nit-picks. You will no doubt have heard them before and actions speak louder than words, but enough is enough.

A little about me; customer number ***** (number blanked for security reasons).

I was born and bred in Gloucestershire and have followed the fortunes of the club since February 2000 when my father, who is from the area and spoke frequently about the club in his final months, passed away.

My first game was a 2-2 draw away at Nottingham Forest in the heady days of the Championship. Paul Shaw scored twice and I threw the ball back to Jason Brown during the warm up, having arrived well over an hour before kick-off to drink in the entire day.

From there, I caught the bug. I have attended 200+ matches, each time commuting from my home in Cheltenham. The club has meant everything to me and I have forged long and binding friendships based solely on a mutual support of Gillingham FC. I have also contributed to the club’s matchday magazine on a number of occasions.

Whenever I strike up a conversation about football, I am asked who I support. The reaction and my response is always the same;

“Gillingham!? Why!?”

“My Dad was from the area. After he died I told my Mum I was going to start following their results. Here I am 17 years later, still attending game after game.”

As I said, actions speak louder than words. My action now will be to stop attending matches until Adrian Pennock is removed from his position. It is not a decision I am taking lightly, it is one I feel I have been driven to through lack of options. I implore you to do something, before it is too late for our season and too late for some of our supporters.

As our head coach seemingly invests little in the opinions of the club’s fans via social media, I would appreciate if this could be passed on to him. If he really loved the club as much as he claims to, as much as I know I do, he would know he is not the right man. He would walk away.

Yours sincerely,

Chris Ray