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Trust Statement - 3rd October 2021

When is Enough, Enough?

The Shrimpers Trust was formed with the purpose 'To help, not hinder' and subsequently 'Supporting Southend United'. This means acting in the best interests of the club, not supporting Ron Martin (or any future chairman) at all costs.

Like all fans of OUR club, we are upset, angry and fed up with the decline of the football club both on and off the field.

Who is to blame? The performances on the pitch have been nothing short of embarrassing recently, but this is not unique to this season, this group of players or this management team. There is clearly a deep rooted issue at OUR club which cannot be ignored. Perhaps the council should also shoulder some blame for allowing the stadium fiasco to continue for so long. Is the stadium and Ron's pot of gold ever going to materialise or are we being led down the garden path? It seems Ron Martin is at the helm of OUR club whether we like it or not, but it is also apparent that he is incapable of leading us out of this situation with the current structure at the football club. We do not believe that Ron Martin has led us to where we are now intentionally, but we are here and action is urgently needed.

We strongly condemn Ron Martin's actions at Solihull Moors yesterday, they were ill advised and dangerous in a very hostile environment, and we are thankful that our amazing support were restrained from escalating the situation to one of violence. The actions taken by Mr Martin continued to diminish our image as a football club and we were quite frankly embarrassed.

When is enough, enough? For some people this was many years ago, for some groups this was our elimination from the Football League, for some it is now! We are not going to allow OUR club to be destroyed and sit and watch its seemingly inevitable relegation to the Conference South or even worse, our complete extinction.

We provided the means for the monthly Zoom calls, for all supporters groups, to improve the communication and transparency between the supporter groups, the fans and the football club. These are not Trust meetings, they are supporters group meetings that we are pleased to attend, represent our members and ask questions submitted to us. We acknowledge that there are times where the questions are avoided or deflected, but continue with the view that despite the obvious faults, they are a much needed communication channel between all parties and have led to some positive change including the implementation of a CEO (who clearly has his work cut out despite his desire to make an impact at the club). The next Supporters group meeting is due to take place this Thursday 7th October. Please let us know if you have any questions you would like us to ask.

The Save Our Southend group recently called for an emergency supporters group meeting which took place on Monday 27th September without the football club in attendance. The discussions were very productive with many suggestions and ideas on the table. The group agreed to publicise a poll calling for a vote of no confidence in the club chairman which we would encourage all Southend United fans to contribute to, to show the level of support for the Chairman of our football club. Coming very soon! We will act accordingly with the appropriate mandate from the fans.

It is clear that there is no magic solution. If there was, then we, or someone else, would have enacted it by now. We can all demand change, but for change to happen there has to be a viable way forward to put in place. In the absence of any plan for change of ownership it is clear however that the current owner must listen to our voices and put in place solutions and procedures to address a) the immediate fortunes of the club on the pitch, b) the proper running of the club on a day-to-day basis, and c) the secure long-term future of the club with or without the new ground. Whilst all of these aims are not independent, we firmly believe that they are ordered correctly in terms of priority. It seems to us that Ron Martin has focused on the new stadium at the expense of everything else and that must change otherwise there will not be a club to be in a new ground. He also needs to follow up on his promises – in the last zoom call he undertook to respond quickly regarding ideas for giving the club tangible security in the new ground but to date we have not received any response despite chasing him.

We will be having our monthly board meeting tomorrow evening where we will have our own continued discussion on contingency planning and suggested way forward. We are not a closed shop and would be very interested in the views or questions you have. We will answer every question that is put to us. We are a group of unpaid volunteers but most importantly supporters who have the best intentions of OUR club at heart and will continue to dedicate our time to help the future of the football club. We are accountable to YOU and value your thoughts and contributions, they are wanted and needed.

In our time of desperation and need, we must have an absolutely united fan base and will be working closely with other supporters groups to ensure this is achieved.

The Shrimpers Trust Board

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