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Southend survive

https://www.echo-news.co.uk/news/18827722.southend-united-pay-off-hmrc-debt-full/

Unexpected, but good news. They still look in danger of the drop, but at least they continue to exist!

Comments

  • Far more to it, I'm afraid (for another time). Nowhere near out of the woods and as I've said before, relegation is still the least of the clubs' worries.

  • I'd love to hear more if ever you get the time, @BrianJeeves68. Hopefully the club does pull through!

  • I work with a Southend supporter I think he is resigned to the club being relegated and lurching from tax bill to tax bill until they get a Couhig!

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  • Interesting. I had not really followed Southend's fortunes till recently, and it was not until the other day I was reading a "what went wrong" article, which said they finished 1 point outside the League One playoff places a few years back, and looked set fair.

  • I had thought Fosset's Farm was finally approved too, but now I see that even if it is built, the attendance will be barely more than Roots Hall.

  • I think a bizarre owner, an inexplicable contract with Nile Porridge Ranger and some underwhelming manager choices after Phil Brown have played a part. (It did look like Sol was working well but not being paid and having to play the Under-12s put him off staying I think.)

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  • It's difficult to know where to start. Firstly, the club is 114-years-old and has only been in the black at the conclusion of ONE of those seasons!

    The current debt is in the region of £20m. It isn't a bank debt. As I understand it, the club and the ground are different companies, both run by the Chairman. A 'paper debt' has built up renting the ground from one to another (I did hear at three times the rent Colchester pay the council for their stadium - although can't fully confirm that).

    As I, and may fans see it, he holds all the cards.

    1). The new ground is built - he has something to sell (Making a profit and running into the sunset). But as you know, if you get planning permission to extend your house, you need proof of funds to start the project - This is the major stumbling block.

    2) The Stadium saga finally collapses along with the club. The chairman sells the land (which he owns - separately to the football club) occupying Roots Hall, the training ground and Fossets for housing (Making a profit and running into the sunset).

    Believe me, I've heard so many things - some, from within the club - which would be unbelievable under normal circumstances. I've learnt, particularly since working in the media, that Southend United, sadly, isn't normal circumstances.

    On the football side, things are desperate. We currently have a group which are Conference South level (at best). People talk about the Phil Brown days, under his management players were handed contracts which were simply ridiculous. Yes, we got promotion that night at Wembley, but I'm not kidding myself, even as a fan. We got lucky. From a Southend perspective, it was dramatic, but not pretty. That was football under Phil Brown.

    Following Brown, Chris Powell was working with one arm tied behind his back - the subsequent appointments of Bond, Campbell and Molesley have been disastrous, although the position the club finds itself in was predictable prior to the last three arriving.

    In truth, I don't see it changing anytime soon. Yes, the club has been here before, but eventually, the luck (if that's what you call it) runs out. Sadly, I think we are reaching that point.

  • Thank you for the in-depth look, @BrianJeeves68. It is really sad to see a club on the verge of the precipice, and it sounds utterly desperate for your lot right now. Hopefully there is a road out of it, one way or another.

  • Thanks @BrianJeeves68 its always interesting to get a fans view of other clubs and the madness that is the casino of league football. I wouldn't want to see Southend go bust so hope the fans can find a way to save their club.

  • @BrianJeeves68

    It is interesting and a bit sad to watch another clubs struggles from afar. In other circumstances that could have been us. Lets hope Southend find a way to survive.

    Reading your post it looks like Ron Martin is being blamed for the financial crisis with the suspicion that he is enriching himself by asset stripping the club. I believe he has owned the club for over twenty years and if your figures about financial losses every year are correct, must have put large amounts of cash into the club (albeit possibly in the form of loans).

    That feels an odd way to go about things if personal profit is the aim. From afar what you describe feels more like poor financial management chasing the dream and then a sudden (perhaps forced, perhaps voluntary) reluctance to continue injecting cash to fund ongoing losses. Obviously you are far closer and more knowledgeable about the situation than I am. Could you explain more about why (assuming I have understood you correctly) you suspect asset stripping as a motive?

    Is there any local interest in taking over the club (obviously with debts substantially written down presumably)?

    Thanks.

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  • Oh dear.

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  • Great summary @BrianJeeves68 although @DevC will demand you substantiate your claims of possible poor behaviour by a fine upstanding wealth creator. Don't get drawn in.

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  • A Southend regular at work tells similar tales @BrianJeeves68 , the football over the last couple of years has obviously been pretty embarrassing and as you said you struggle to see how you can build a stadium when you have minus amounts in the bank. Some of the court cases seem to be just a case of stringing things out to pay everything at the last minute but that hardly inspires confidence. Has he got enough Money to see it through, regardless of how positive it could be or what he wants to do with it afterwards?

  • Sorry for the late response, it's been a hectic few weeks. I'm back alongside Phil this evening, so I've been brushing up on goings-on with the Chairboys.

    As for Southend, the truth is that nobody really knows the truth? Personally, I'm not confident we will have a football club in Southend this time next year (obviously, happy to be proved wrong). We have floundered financially for years, but now seem to have run aground.

    Mismanagement goes back way beyond the 22-years of the current owner although I believe the accounts haven't been filed since 2018, suggesting a big problem?

    I think the Southend support has been quite lenient towards the owner. We cover Leyton Orient and witnessed first-hand how their fans fought for the clubs' very existence. I think in our case, the horse might have bolted and it's all too late.

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