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Ron Martin issues fresh statement on Southend’s future as club faces another winding petition

Ron Martin issues a fresh statement on Southend’s future as the club faces being given another winding petition according to reports.

The consortium, who are seeking to acquire the Shrimpers, has warmed that the National League club may find itself in another court battle.

The potential buyers revealed that a creditor had filed a petition for the winding up of the club, indicating that a subsequent court hearing is probable.

The group of investors further stated that the acquisition process has been more protracted than anticipated by all parties involved.

Southend United has faced financial challenges, with debts that had once soared to £2.5 million. The proposed sale to Australian entrepreneur Justin Rees and other investors was made public in October.

The current owner, Ron Martin, has been a frequent presence at the Insolvency and Companies Court in London due to previous winding-up petitions, including those from HM Revenue and Customs for unpaid taxes.

The sales agreement for the takeover was finalised in December.

“Two main conditions remain outstanding; the completion of the council’s diligence process and the consent of the Martin’s finance partner,” said the consortium statement, per BBC Sport.

“While the council has kept us updated on their process, which is expected to complete in late April, we have not received a formal response from the finance partner.

“This process has of course taken longer than any party expected and as a consequence we have had to rely on patience from the club’s numerous creditors.

“Unfortunately, one creditor is unwilling to wait until the sale closes to receive repayment and is now petitioning for the club to be wound up.

“While the consortium continues to pay all wages and other operating expenses, we are not willing to fund payouts to historic creditors until we are confident that the closing conditions, over which we have no control, will be met.

“A winding up hearing will now likely occur prior to the sale completing, causing unnecessary distraction and legal costs which will be detrimental to the club.”

The consortium add that they’ve already put more than £3million of investment in.

Back in November, a report to Southend-on-Sea City Council’s cabinet, external said implications of the takeover were subject to all due diligence, including appraisal by the council’s property, legal, financial advisors and the external auditors.

Liam Ager of Southend United Fanzine All At Sea, said to BBC Essex: “We just keep getting trapped in this endless cycle of existential threat, and dread, and conversations about what we shouldn’t be talking about… it’s tiring as much as anything.”

Hours after the news broke, Ron Martin said, per Southend Echo: “There is nothing to add, other than our interests are aligned and I think the creditor, knowing we are awaiting council processes to conclude, should exercise a little patience. “If matters escalate they will be vigorously defended in protection of the club, as has been our position”


The Shrimpers Trust was disappointed to learn of complications concerning the ongoing sale process for Southend United Football Club announced by the consortium seeking to acquire the Club.

The consortium’s statement, issued on the evening of Tuesday 2nd April, cites the completion of Southend-on-Sea City Council’s due diligence process and outstanding consent from the Martins’ finance partner as hurdles to be cleared prior to completion of the transaction.

It should be recognised that the Council is undertaking important and responsible work to ensure the appropriate use of public finance, and that this is subject to a rigorous and robust process; we call strongly for the cessation of personal attacks on Councillors whilst the process continues.

The statement also disclosed that a creditor is petitioning for the football club to be wound-up. We call on Stewarts Law to reconsider their position, given their previous defence of Southend United FC as a significant asset within the local community, and will be attempting to reach out to them to speak directly on this matter.

We share the concern of supporters that the never-ending cycle of financial anxiety, potential court appearances and an associated existential threat to Southend United FC has yet to be broken, and the dark clouds hanging over Roots Hall as a consequence of Ron Martin’s tenure as owner have not completely lifted.

We thank the consortium for providing clarity and detail on the current situation. We urge all relevant parties to work proactively and efficiently to bring matters to satisfactory close as quickly as possible to ensure the football club’s future is secured without detriment to the outstanding work undertaken by so many employees to this point.

The Shrimpers Trust will continue to seek the appropriate advice to help guide and inform our position as this situation develops, and we will endeavour to communicate with our members and the club’s supporters throughout this period.

The Shrimpers Trust Board.


“Back in October when the takeover deal was announced, we were told that it would be completed in 4 weeks.

“We as a fanbase looked forward to the promised completion date of 1st November full of optimism about what our new stewardship would bring, rid finally of the Martin family and able to once again get back to simply supporting the club we love.

“Tomorrow marks 6 months since that announcement. With false dawn after empty promises, the council now enter purdah, as the never ending 8 weeks seems to extend for, well, 8 weeks.

“But despite this, it is abundantly clear that any Lease Agreement struck between the Martin’s and the Council will be subject to CBRE approval.

“As the narcissist Ron Martin and his son Jack refuse to instruct their financiers to sign off on the deal much to the ongoing frustration of the new consortium, the club remains in limbo.

“Today has seen the issue of yet another winding up petition.

“This time a law firm, pursuing another legacy Ron Martin debt, which was ironically incurred defending the club against previous petitions.

“Some say you couldn’t make it up, but Jack and Ron don’t care at whose feet they leave the latest pile of steaming excrement, as long as they don’t have to pay it The Martins would have you believe that the only delay is with the council. This is false.

“Until they instruct their financiers to sign off on the deal, it cannot be completed. With CBRE holding charges at companies house over all the land involved in this takeover, it is critical for everyone to have confidence in their consent. Conclusion of the Lease Agreement with the council should mean the club sale completes.

“If there is any delay subject to charges, we will be resolute in our intent to return to protest. The new consortium’s good will can only be stretched so far.

“If we need to get back on the pavements, dust down our banners and return to action in order to ensure the Martins do the right thing for the club, we will gladly oblige.

“We will be monitoring the situation with great interest over the coming days. We rule nothing out, and urge all Shrimpers fans to keep an eye on our socials in case of any call to action.”

Twitter users reacted as Ron Martin issues a fresh statement on Southend’s future as the club faces another winding petition…


@DonsEssex: Said for weeks that the delay should be causing concern. Initial concern was that it would impact preparations for next season. This, another curveball. A betting man would suggest Martin is being difficult with altered FF plans causing the council to complete “due diligence”.

@AshmalJames: Everything lifted made signings and could possibly make playoffs sure other clubs be questioning this as well especially if they do end up with another order as surely thats what the points deduction for

@Rockgigterry: Frustrating for all concerned. Can’t say I’m too surprised it was never going to be straightforward getting rid of the rat.

@AllAtSeaFanzine: What’s genuinely refreshing is the openness of COSU in getting ahead of this publicly and seeking to reassure fans & creditors.

@ScottWallace_: Back to Benfleet Road

@ConorSammon100: Any recent booers might wish to head to Benfleet Road instead of aiming it at the playing staff.

@shrimperjon: When will this end. Seriously so depressing. Need this sorted before the summer otherwise it will be another preseason of disruption and uncertainty

@KetchleyShane: No game Saturday so maybe Benfleet should be our destination

@CalSufc_1111: All down to Ron Martin again

@299Peter: Protests again…. Begs the question, did Martin actually ever have a finance ‘partner’ or has it all been made up!!! How much are we talking about? Fans club together to avoid the matter going to court?

@TimHobden1: The council is a frustrating aspect of this whole process, but this is the really worrying part… “and the consent of the Martins’ finance partner” …waiting for the go-ahead from City Hall, or having second thoughts?

@JB_Allen: Shock it’s Ron Martin causing issues again, council haven’t exactly covered themselves in glory either 😂😂

@dan_mays86: So the council and a bill not being paid. Protests at Martin house won’t speed that up, maybe outside his son house might

@sjapresley: What a surprise 😬 Martin and gang up to their usual tricks. Sounds like Benfleet Road could be busy at the weekend!!!

@YeattsMatthew: Martin… get it done !!!…. Southend Council… get it done !!!….

@JacckCFC: Honestly just so frustrating, round and round in circles! Just hope the council get on with it and Ron might actually do something for once

@ShaunMalone1997: Name and shame Ron Martin’s ‘finance partner’ because I will simply refuse to believe such a person exists until they are named. Absolutely convinced that they are simply an alias through which Scumbag frauds and cons.

@Tracey_SUFC: I can’t go through another summer like last year, my mental health suffered. I always said the rat never wanted to sell, if the club is wound up, would it benefit rat face? We can’t expect the consortium to keep putting money in, what does this mean for them?

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