Southend United facing possible extinction – how did it come to this? | OneFootball

Southend United facing possible extinction – how did it come to this? | OneFootball

Icon: Hayters TV

Hayters TV

·12 July 2023

Southend United facing possible extinction – how did it come to this?

Article image:Southend United facing possible extinction – how did it come to this?

Crisis club Southend United are back in the high court this morning and face a winding up petition as uncertainty over their long-term future continues to grow.

Chairman Ron Martin has been heavily criticised for his inept running of the club and faced further protests outside his home last night, with fans begging for the 70-year-old to force through a sale.

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However, when pressed for answers on why the transaction between the under-fire chairman and the Kimura group had not been completed, Martin revealed any sale would not be concluded before today’s return to court.

It leaves the National League club in a desperate situation with the high court judge to decide whether to grant Martin more time to pay off the staggering tax debt which reportedly totals £275,000.

This is not the only immediate concern, though. The National League will be paying close attention to what happens next and should an adjournment be granted, Southend’s troubles could yet get a whole lot worse.

An extra week’s extension should provide no issues but the league will be faced with a very difficult decision if a longer period of time is granted and relegation will therefore be a real possibility.

The league have made it clear that accounts had to be filed (this was done recently), that the winding up petition had to be dismissed and all football creditors paid for the club to remain in the National League.

A measure of how appallingly Southend have been run in recent years, there is a long list of people waiting for their money. Staff at the club have not received their salaries in four months.

Barring a takeover, those staff will remain unpaid with the situation continuing to spiral out of control.

Yesterday felt like a rock bottom moment for the Shrimpers as water was turned off at the club’s Boots & Laces training ground over unpaid bills.

Pre-season plans have been through into chaos as players continue to train alone due to a lack of medical cover at the training ground – the staff haven’t been paid.

An embargo in place means the club have been unable to add any new players to an extremely thin squad since September.

The existing players cannot be offered new contracts due to the restrictions. Local reporter Chris Phillips revealed that there are just 14 players on the club’s books for next season as things stand.

Pre-season disruption will be put to one side for today at least as there are genuine fears Southend could be forced out of business.

The club are currently in no fit state to compete in the National League but supporters will be wondering whether they will be able to watch their side at all next season.

The picture will be come a lot clearer today. Another day of upset and worry for the long-suffering supporters who may not even have a club to support should a takeover not be completed in the very near future.

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