Blues chairman Ron Martin issues statement

Having his say - Southend United chairman Ron Martin
Having his say - Southend United chairman Ron Martin

SOUTHEND United chairman Ron Martin insists he is close to resolving the club's financial situation.

The Blues owner is under fire from fans who have seen the Shrimpers placed into a transfer embargo due to a missed payment from HMRC.

The club's main sponsors PG Site Services also revealed on Friday evening they would be withdrawing their support of the club before deleting their statement the following morning.

But, with supporters set to protest after the final whistle against Yeovil Town this afternoon, Martin has released a club statement.

He said: "I want to take this opportunity to address our committed fans on the recent financial developments this week.

"I share and understand your frustrations and hope the below gives some insight into our position.

"The latest problem has arisen due to a delay in the programme.

"As result of this issue, we missed a payment under our Time To Pay Agreement with HMRC.

"This is the agreement we entered into (like many other clubs) following the pandemic, instead of taking a loan from the Premier League.

"Up to August, the Club, with the support of the group met the debt payments under the agreement.

"HMRC have now cancelled the Time to Pay Agreement, which, given the current economic climate I believe to be premature, particularly given the agreement was due to finish in December 2022.

"Bridging finance has been agreed, but has not yet been completed. Once it has (weeks not months) we will discharge the HMRC debt in full."

Martin also added he had been encouraged by the side's performances.

He said: "On the pitch the performances have been encouraging, behind the scenes the staff continue to work hard and the supporters have been great both home and away this season.

"The finances will be resolved soon, at which point we can continue on our upward trajectory.

"Let’s get behind the boys today."

Martin has also been criticised by the Shrimpers who have said he is not a fit and proper owner'.