Southend chairman Ron Martin has made a shocking admission to the Echo News, essentially confirming he gave up on survival during the winter break.
The Blues are enduring a miserable season which has seen them firmly rooted in the relegation spots, only kept off the bottom by Bolton’s 12-point deduction at the beginning of the season.
Sol Campbell took over at the end of 2019 and it seems he expected to be allowed to do some business in the transfer window, business which didn’t go ahead.
His chairman has now admitted than failure to beat four other sides embroiled in the battle essentially stopped him from sanctioning transfers.
“I fully intended to support Sol in January and I told him I would do that in his interview but with an expectation of staying in League One,” said Martin.
“We did look at several players on Sol’s radar, two of which were the Macclesfield boys and one was a striker from Carlisle who went to Swindon.
“I guess we were disappointed not to get him but then we had the four games against the teams around us – Bolton, MK Dons, AFC Wimbledon and Tranmere – and we didn’t come through them as successfully as I might have anticipated.
“I started to think if we can’t beat those what are our prospects of staying up?”
That admission will not come as a surprise to their long-suffering supporters, who have seen years of decline under Martin despite having the eighth highest budget in League One.
We’re not so sure about these claims, but Southend certainly spent money they might now regret under Phil Brown. However, that doesn’t entirely justify Maritn’s comments, which seem to be at odds with what fans want to hear.
They were struggling at Christmas, no doubt, but could a couple of new faces shave helped? almost certainly, instead, they sold Tom Hopper and didn’t replace him.
Martin isn’t taking the club forward and comments like these will only further fans anger.