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Shrimpers Trust hit out at Southend chairman Ron Martin as club statement emerges

Shrimpers Trust have hit out at Southend United chairman Ron Martin as a club statement emerges hours before Saturday’s match.

A dark cloud looms over the Essex outfit with the Blues placed in a transfer embargo after a missed payment to HMRC while main shirt sponsors PG Site Services released a statement on Friday evening confirming they were to withdraw their support. This comes after staff members also had waited 21 days to be paid.

The Shrimpers Trust feel Martin is ‘not a fit of proper owner’, and in a statement issued on their website, they said: “Almost a year ago to the day, supporters voted overwhelmingly that they had no confidence in club chairman Ron Martin.

“Today, we reiterate the Trust’s position that Mr Martin is not a fit and proper owner of our football club.

“Supporters are tired of the constant cycle of missed payments to staff and to HMRC, and the incessant strain that puts on Southend United’s relationship with authorities and regulators.

“Furthermore, we are extremely frustrated that this threatens to undermine the progress of the most exciting playing and coaching group to represent our club for some time.”

A number of angry supporters protested against the running of the club after the final whistle of Saturday afternoon’s clash with Yeovil Town.

The Trust support the actions being taken by the fans.

“We recognise the sentiments of the statement released by Save Our Southend this morning, and the intention not to adversely affect on-field activity at the National League fixture against Yeovil Town this afternoon,” added the Trust.

“The Shrimpers Trust supports the sit-in protest at Roots Hall for 15 minutes after the final whistle and Board members will be participating.

“The Trust will also be continuing to work together with other supporter groups in the coming days and weeks to determine the best strategy to ensure supporters’ voices are effectively heard to bring about meaningful change at Southend United FC.

“We will issue further statements as this situation develops.”

PG Site Services said in their damning statement: “It is with great regrets that we have to withdraw our support and sponsorship for Southend Football Club as we learn of its financial dishonesty in obtaining our sponsorship.

“We would now ask the club to remove all of our branding as we now take the appropriate action against the owners to recover our investment.”


Chairman Ron Martin has issued the following statement.

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.

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 & 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.


It was reported that Southend supporters were to protest against chairman Ron Martin, planning to show their fury by staging a sit in following the match with Yeovil Town at Roots Hall.

However it rather underwhelmed with the majority leaving the ground and only a small number ended up talking with Stan Collymore instead or were dotted around the ground.

A statement from the Save Our Southend group said: “We struggle to see how much longer this horrendous cycle of issues can continue and how SUFC’s patient fans can continue to be walked all over.

“Kevin Maher, his backroom staff and his players are not to blame for any of this and they deserve 100 per cent support from the stand from the first minute of the game until the moment they leave the pitch afterwards.

“Once the final player has called us and left the pitch we then stay in our seats and make our displeasure at the ownership clear for 15 minutes.”

“Save Our Southend is disgusted and dismayed, yet again, at the shocking state that Southend United finds itself in and at the utter ineptitude of Ron Martin in running the club properly,” the group’s statement added.

“The issues have really piled up today and we now have a truly unenviable list.

“Months upon months of staff being treated disgustingly and continually being paid late during a cost of living crisis.

“Yet another unpaid tax bill, risking the wrath of HMRC and a winding up order.

“Yet another transfer embargo as a result.

“The increasing loss of non-matchday revenue generating facilities and the reduction of capacity/ambition at a new stadium which doesn’t look to benefit the club as much as we’d hope.

“The embarrassing and public cutting of ties with the club by the main sponsor, who appear to be making accusations of financial dishonesty.

“We continue to judge Ron Martin to be an unfit and improper owner.

“He has proven time and again over the years that he does not have the financial means to take the club forward.

“SUFC will also be unable to rebuild the reputation and bridges that he has destroyed while he is still here.

“We therefore call on him in the strongest possible terms, again, to seek a buyer for the football club as soon as possible.”

The game against Yeovil meanwhile finished in a 1-0 win for Southend, leaving them 11th in the National League table, with 15 points from 11 games.

This is what fans said as the Shrimpers Trust hit out at Southend chairman Ron Martin while a club statement emerges…

@P_Rourke: Cut and paste from the previous 5 statements 😂

@samgoody23: Incredible that’s it’s still not his fault… remind me who it was that didn’t pay the tax bill, Ron?

@steveg671: Um… we are behind the boys thanks Ron, 100% It’s quite simple, an arrangement is made on the understanding that you stick to it. Given your past disregard towards HMRC, it’s hardly surprising they’ve acted the way they have. Same old “it’s not my fault” rubbish!

@liamwag9: Make a statement Ron but failure to pay staff again. These have bills to pay, families to feed etc…

@SearchTerry: One question from me. Why don’t we pay on time? Our home gates are fairly decent so is it we don’t bring in enough revenue or we have mis management on paying money out?

@MaxwellWatson79: I now stand opposed to Fossett’s. The move will not benefit the club. I call for fit and proper ownership that can take this club forward and repair and maintain Roots Hall. A ground built for the fans by the fans. Say no to Fossett’s.

@DanDobisz: Well I, for one, can’t imagine why HMRC would be quick to act against someone who has relentlessly taken the piss out of them for the last 10+ years. How unreasonable.

@lynxy_poo: What a clown 🤡 #wewantmartinout

@DarrinKeepsakes: Ron Martin just sell the club already.. we do not want you

“Bridging finance”
More debt

@bagpuss83: I’ve been incredibly tolerant, and not gotten caught up in other fans frustration but even I have now realised that that this man is not looking after the clubs best interests. Time to go, we see through your lies #martinout

@SmiffySUFC: Not interested. Martin Out. No more.

@Shrimptank2011: Too many times I’ve read the tosh & piffle that falls out of the mouth of this ‘man’. He knows when payments are due for bills/payroll. His job is to make sure money is there. It wasn’t. Again. Dont be mugged off by false promises. It will happen again and again. It always does.

@scottycav13: The man is a disgrace… shameless

@JacckCFC: What about the staff not being payed on time ron?

@ash_eth10: Hope everything gets sorted #oafc

@LeighSimpkins: Bridging finances probably means money laundering from his other companies. How many more people is he going to use his Ponzi scheme against?!?

@sjapresley: If it wasnt the club I love I would be bored of these statements now. They say nothing. Time for action not words.

@Lord_Football: Get out Martin. You’re a fraud and a charlatan.

@hlane0117: We don’t want bridging finance we want a properly run football club #MartinOut

@shrimperlee: I’ve not got as frustrated as others on this matter, but my patience has now expired. This statement is pointless – a bridging loan brings more debt & there is no reference to the non payment of staff or PG Site Services matter. Time to go Ron before the club is completely dead.

@dan_mays86: Another time where he dodges the HMRC enough is enough

@OlliePacey: Heard it before time and time again. The squad and staff deserve better #martinout

@DeanofWestcliff: Same old 🐂💩

@sufcboy: He must have foreseen this…again. Yet he allows a huge blast radius of transfer embargo’s, sponsors walking out and staff not being paid. The lack of sincerity and arrogance is infuriating. Nothing will change until we get a genuine candidate to replace him

@ScottMoreton5: The statement stinks. I feel for you as it all sounds like delay tactics from someone who, for what ever reason, has no intention of fulfilling their duty of care to the business. You need to mobilise the fans and find out what’s going on and decide what needs to be done.

@chrisnicholls15: Continued damage being done to the club and the statement has the audacity to mention an upward trajectory.

@lincolnshrimp: I don’t believe a word that comes out of Ron Martin’s mouth. Stop dragging our club through the mud and sell up. Your time is up.

@SmiffySUFC: The fact you are relying on a housing development starting to be able to fund the club adequately on a day to day basis, says it all. Sell up now and allow people with the proper resources to come in and run the club in a professional manner.

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