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Statement emerges on behalf of consortium bidding to buy Southend from Ron Martin

A much needed statement emerges on behalf of a consortium bidding to buy Southend United from controversial owner Ron Martin.

Australian Justin Rees is the man leading a consortium, with Ron Martin backing this up by revealing in the High Court in August how he expected the club to be sold to ‘an Australian chap’ by the end of September.

As of yet, this hasn’t happened, but Rees still remains frontrunner and interested in buying the National League outfit, explaining in this fresh update that two offers have been turned down.

The club’s fans continue to protest at matches and outside his house, demanding Ron Martin to sell up with Southend’s future at serious risk and a High Court appearance looming.

Justin Rees said, via Southend Echo:

“Given the recent speculation surrounding a consortium bid for Southend United FC (SUFC), combined with the Club’s scheduled court appearance date on 4th October 2023, we would like to make a brief statement.

“We confirm that a consortium has been formed to purchase Ron Martin’s SUFC shareholding.

“Most of the consortium members have a long association with the Southend area, and all are football fans.

“Our first objective is to save the Club and then work hard to transform it into a sustainable operating model that is not vulnerable to the various ownership issues that have impacted the Club in recent years.

“We are confident we have the skills, energy, and finances to help Southend United’s fortunes improve both on and off the pitch.

“Discussions with Mr. Martin have been in progress for more than 10 weeks.

“Any deal is particularly complicated due to the state of the Club’s finances, the condition of Roots Hall, the non-viability of a new stadium at Fossetts Farm, as well as the ownership of the training ground and Roots Hall properties remaining outside of the Club.

“Despite this, the consortium has submitted two bids over the past week, neither of which has been accepted.

“We remain open to continued negotiations with Mr. Martin however it now seems unlikely that any deal can be agreed prior to the 4th of October court appearance date.

“It is our understanding that Mr. Martin will ensure the Club avoids liquidation on the 4th of October, however, the threat of administration remains.

“Administration impacts the Club significantly, on and off the pitch, as well as its numerous creditors who have supported the Club financially for many years.

“As such, it has been our strong preference to avoid Administration, however this is of course not within our control.

“We do not intend to make the full details of our bid public at this time except to note that it is centred around retaining and upgrading Roots Hall as the Club’s stadium, while taking ownership of that property plus the training ground back into the Club.

“We believe this would release Mr. Martin to develop Fossetts Farm without a new stadium requirement, and as a result, are looking to him to contribute funds back towards the redevelopment of Roots Hall.

“The structure of our bid and the decision to stay at Roots Hall have been discussed with Anna Firth MP, Sir James Duddridge, Cllr Tony Cox (leader of Southend City Council) and members of the Shrimpers Trust, each of whom have given their full support.

“We appreciate updates such as this can answer some questions but raise new ones.

“We also recognise this is a period of great concern and anxiety for fans so will keep in regular contact with the Shrimpers Trust to answer questions that may arise although there are some details we will not be able to share until the process has formally completed.”

SEE MORE: Southend match stopped with balls and rats thrown onto pitch | Ron Martin ‘drives car into fans’

Here’s how social media users reacted as a statement emerges on behalf of a consortium bidding to buy Southend from Ron Martin…

@ConorSammon100: “The consortium has submitted two bids over the past week, neither of which has been accepted.” The clock is ticking RM 🤦🏻‍♂️

@dansufc17: 50/50 statement. 50% still shitting it. But other 50% believing this takeover will happen eventually.

@TheWonkyGamers: This would commit us to staying at Roots Hall and for Ron Martin to have Fossetts Farm as a purely commercial venture without a stadium. I would presume that this is his sticking point as he wants the stadium and the potential extra long term revenue it could present.

@Moorhouse79: Feels a step forward and allows some hope. This is a serious bid and he is still clearly committed to it. Sentence referring to 2 failed bids will help intensify protests to make RM’s life very uncomfortable. Reference to ‘non viability of Fossets Farm very damning.

@peaky2234: Is there any way RM can be forced out? It’s clear that he’s the stumbling block but unless he’s forced to relinquish power, I doubt he’ll go anywhere. He’s lasted this long, another week or so isn’t going to make much difference

@charles_colin: Plain as day statement. Ron Martin obviously continues to hold out for an unrealistic payout for a crumbling stadium and a few contracted players. Wonder if the Council can put the pressure on so no gold at the end of his Fossetts rainbow if the Judge folds the Club.

@JacckCFC: Does Martin not get the point already pack up and sell up! You had the time to get the money you want, now it’s time to accept whatever the offer is and be gone! It’s too late to care about how much you want to get

@robertkilcoyne3: This statement in effect removes any chance of Ron Martin being granted an adjournment on 4 October as the judge (or the barrister for HMRC) would surely ask why the two bids had been rejected.
Unless the club is sold before 4 October, Southend United FC will be no more.

@gsw0383: Martin not accepting the bid. Let’s all go ask him why tonight

@sufcnum1: It’s better than I was hoping. I think we all know that the deals offered are probably more than fair. Ron I feel so sorry for that tree working hard to provide you with oxygen, that you quite clearly don’t deserve.

@NormalNeco: No surprise there, Martin ignoring rather than rejecting he ignores and would rather the club dies than give up us leasing Fossetts so he can continue to leech us

@djmikejolly: Two bids rejected – if he was the “effing fan” that he claims to be he would have accepted the bid graciously and allowed the club to be saved. Instead he continues to drive it into the ground whilst driving his Bentley into supporters. Scumbag.

@Strutty27: More positive than I was expecting! At least it sounds like we will still have a club after October 4th. Just got to hope Ron the rat sees sense and accepts whatever offer and gets out

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