Gillingham FC fan hires plane to protest Web site ban

Truth is stranger than fiction

A fan of Gillingham Football Club, Alan Liptrott, resorted to hiring a plane with the banner "Lift the Ban on Alan" dragged behind it on Saturday after he was refused entry from the team's ground due to his supporters' Web site.

Mr Liptrott had been banned by chairman of Gillingham FC and original thinker Paul Scally, after an argument over whether the site was purporting to be an official site. The site - which was at www.gillinghamfc.co.uk but has since been removed - changed its name from The Gills Supporters Club to Gillingham Independent Supporters Club in September but Mr Scally remained unswayed and banned Mr Liptrott from the Priestfield site.

Mr Scally even dedicated most of a chairman's foreword for a recent game programme to the issue. His main concern appears to be the belief that Mr Liptrott's site is costing the club thousands of pounds in potential revenue.

Mr Liptrott hired the plane to argue his point, having moved the site to http://gillingham.rivals.net instead. Pics of the plane and a report can be found on the site here.

However Alan Liptrott is not the only person to lose Mr Scally's favour. The football reporter of local newspaper Medway Today Tony Hudd has a long-running feud with Mr Scally. In fact, the paper has been banned from entering the club for the last three years.

Instead, it is forced to resort to smuggling reporters into the ground to cover home games. Pics are taken from the roof of an overlooking house at the cost of £60 a week.

That dispute started from some misunderstanding and accusations of misquotes. The paper apologised on its front page but Mr Scally introduced the ban anyway which still holds. ®

Related Links

Mr Scally makes his views known
The official site
The unofficial site
Mr Liptrott hires a plane

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