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Trust Statement - 20th March 2021

A key principle in the Shrimpers Trust doing what we do has always simply been to support Southend United. Like all fans, we love our Club, and we want to do everything we can to help it not only survive but also to thrive.

We are more than aware of the growing concern amongst fans over the direction the club is heading, not only in terms of performances on the pitch but also in terms of how it is run. We have always sought regular positive dialogue with the Club Chairman, Ron Martin. We fully recognise that he is the Club's major shareholder and that, whilst we might disagree with his approach, the decision process lies with him. To that end we have sought to be co-operative, believing that this will then at least allow us to have a voice that is listened to.

It is fair to say that, although his responses to us have sometimes been erratic, until relatively recently he has generally been communicative. Trust Board members were amongst a group of fans that held a Zoom call with Ron Martin on 15 February, and in that call he made certain undertakings, not least being (and this was his suggestion) to hold weekly zoom calls with fans to help address the communication issue. Despite repeated attempts to get an update on this since, our prompts have gone unanswered.

On 14th March Chris Phillips wrote an article in the Echo addressing the reasons behind why our Club now seems to be on the brink of relegation to the National League. There were a lot of home truths in that article. Our 100 years of Football League history is now in peril, and whilst we will continue to give our full support to the Club in its fight to retain league status and will not give up until the last, like Chris, we have serious concerns. It is so frustrating not being able to be at Roots Hall to help urge Mark Molesley and his team on to victory - we saw back in December what a difference some vocal support can make.

It is the way that the Club at the top level is treating the fans that for us is a HUGE CONCERN, as if ever there was a need to communicate regularly with the fans it is now. It is the fans who have lived and breathed the Club's past ups and downs, and it is the fans who will be there long after any future change in Club ownership. We need to be included, not cast aside as if our views do not matter.

To this end we publicly appeal to Ron Martin to involve the fans and not to treat us as an irrelevance that can be ignored. We are all in this together, and irrespective of how we got where we are today, we all need to pull as one to give ourselves the best chance of a bright future.

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