May 19, 2024

The Southend United deal will not be completed before the hearing ends

Current Shrimpers chairman Ron Martin was confident that the consortium headed by Justin Rees would officially take control of the National League club by mid-May.

But the deal will not be completed within this time frame due to two outstanding conditions.

Southend on Sea City Council is continuing its due diligence on housing plans at Fossetts Farm, while CBRE, the Martins’ financier on behalf of the pension fund, has not agreed the payment structure for the refurbishment of Roots Hall required under the deal.

However, even when that happens, it is understood that another two weeks of council processes will have to take place before the deal can be officially concluded.

The consortium continues to fund the club and pay April wages and VAT, bringing its expenses to £3.5m since agreeing terms with Martin to sell Shrimpers in October.

The latest delay will worry Blues supporters as the club is set to return to the High Court on Wednesday, May 15 to face another liquidation petition.

The Stewart Act petition was delayed for four weeks after a court hearing last month.

The Echo has been told that the consortium and Martin will work together to obtain another postponement.

“We remain frustrated by the ongoing delays surrounding the closing of the sale, and will encourage the council and CBRE to complete the remaining processes with greater urgency,” the consortium said.