Paul Scally

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Paul Scally
Paul Scally with Playoff trophy.JPG
Born 1955 (1955) /1956
London
Nationality English
Occupation Chairman of Gillingham F.C., former owner of a photocopier company
Spouse(s) 1. Ellen
2. Lisa Marie
3. Sarah
Children Adam, Max, Jay, Sam (deceased), Elliot (deceased), Eady-Beau, one other daughter

Paul Damien Phillip Scally (born 1955/1956)[1] is a London-born businessman who has been the chairman of association football club Gillingham since 1995.

Career[edit]

Scally had become wealthy through the sale of a photocopier business before he bought the "Gills" for the sum of £1 in 1995, taking the club out of administration shortly before they would have been placed in liquidation. Prior to buying the club he had been a fan of Millwall, a club regarded by fans of the "Gills" as among their fiercest rivals. His tenure has witnessed the most successful period in the club's history, with three promotions, three Wembley play-off finals and four FA Cup victories over top division opponents, and their highest league finish of 11th in the Championship. The last few seasons have seen less success on the field with two relegations returning them to League Two.

He has also overseen the radical redevelopment of the club's once crumbling Priestfield Stadium, with three new permanent stands and one temporary one transforming it into an all-seater arena, together with other non-footballing facilities such as a banqueting suite. The club's fortunes both on and off the pitch took a downhill turn from about 2004, arising mainly from an overspend on the new stands and facilities and the loss of anticipated income following the collapse of ITV Digital.

Scally is the sole owner of Priestfield Developments Ltd., a company formed in 2007 with the sole purpose of purchasing Gillingham's Priestfield Stadium for £9.8m as part of the restructuring of the club's debts.

Controversy[edit]

Scally has often shown himself to be unafraid of taking controversial positions. For example, he has made no secret of his desire to relocate the club, possibly to a location away from the Medway Towns (though still within Kent), saying "The future of this football club is not at this stadium and everyone accepts that is a fundamental point."[2] He dismissed manager Tony Pulis immediately after he led the team to a Wembley play-off final in 1999, which brought about a protracted court dispute. He has also become involved in a number of disputes, most notably with several other Football League clubs over player-transfer disputes, the Kent Messenger Group of newspapers (whose reporters he banned from the ground for several years, but who now sponsor the 'Medway Stand'); and Alan Liptrott, ex-chairman of the Gills Independent Supporters Club, with whom he had several very public disagreements, the largest over the ownership of an internet domain name, which led to Scally imposing a lifetime ban from Priestfield on Liptrott.[3][4][5] However, on 8 February 2007, Scally unexpectedly lifted the ban after approximately six years.[6]

Personal life[edit]

As of 2009, Scally resides in Dubai.[7] He has been married four times and has had seven children. One of his sons died after a fall at the age of one, and another of a heart defect in 2003 at the age of 16 weeks.[8][9] His surviving children comprise two daughters and three sons. His son Max (born 29 January 1991) was jailed for two years for causing grievous bodily harm in January 2009, however, this was later shortened by London's Court of Appeal as it was seen as "too severe".[citation needed] His other sons are Jay and Adam, who has worked as editor of Gillingham's matchday programme.[1][9][10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Howard, Steven (25 January 2003). "Sven chatted up my girl". The Sun (London). Retrieved 26 January 2009. 
  2. ^ Cawdell, Luke (15 May 2006). "Scally: My future rests on stadium plans". Retrieved 8 February 2009. [dead link]
  3. ^ "Footymad" (30 June 2001). "Scally Bans GSC". Retrieved 22 December 2006. 
  4. ^ Football Fans Census (unknown date). "Fans Comments on Banning from Grounds". Retrieved 22 December 2006. 
  5. ^ Kelso, Paul (15 February 2002). "Scally's rocky road to Highbury". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 22 December 2006. 
  6. ^ "Liptrott 'stunned' as Priestfield ban is lifted". kentonline.co.uk. 8 February 2007. Retrieved 8 February 2009. [dead link]
  7. ^ "Scally: I'm still in charge". kentnews.co.uk. 10 August 2008. Retrieved 8 February 2009. [dead link]
  8. ^ "Gills chairman ties the knot". kentnews.co.uk. 7 August 2006. Retrieved 26 January 2009. [dead link]
  9. ^ a b Malley, Frank (2000). "Scally optimistic of cup success against Chelsea". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 26 January 2009. [dead link]
  10. ^ "Son of Gillingham FC chairman Paul Scally is jailed for GBH". mirror.co.uk. 27 January 2009. Retrieved 8 February 2009.