AMID THE satisfaction that has spread round Priestfield Stadium following Gillingham's splendid start to the season, chairman Paul Scally has been wrestling with a dilemma. Wins produce win bonuses and that generates additional pressures at a club experiencing the icy blast of financial reality following the collapse of ITV Digital.
On the face of things it seemed an obtuse time for the club to reveal they were seeking savings on the contractual agreements with players who have arguably punched above their weight to hoist the modest Kent club to the top of the First Division table, with nine points from three games and no goals conceded. Scally will present the first-team squad with a set of proposals next week aimed at saving pounds 700,000 and, should they make it four wins out of four this afternoon at second-placed Norwich, player- manager Andy Hessenthaler will be assured that money is not the prime motivating force for his players.
They have already given Wimbledon, Derby and Millwall the taste of defeat and perhaps other clubs need to look closely at the training methods Hessenthaler employs in pre-season. Twelve months ago it all started in a similar fashion.
"Being top of the table is a nice position to be in but it does not mean we will be taking our opponents lightly," he said, fully aware that it quickly went pear-shaped last year. …