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Disgruntled Southend United fans becoming 'disenchanted' with the club
SOUTHEND United’s concerned supporters have hit out at the deepening crisis at their club.
The Shrimpers’ dismal 5-2 defeat to Dagenham & Redbridge in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy on Tuesday night was the first time they have conceded five goals in the same game at Roots Hall for 13 years.
And manager Phil Brown is currently unable to add to his weakened squad due to the transfer embargo Blues are under at the moment.
The Echo understands the embargo prevented the Shrimpers completing a loan deal for Wigan Athletic defender Rob Kiernan, which has left them with just 15 players who have previously sampled first team football available for Saturday’s trip to Burton Albion.
And Blues’ disgruntled fans, including the editor of the All Sea Fanzine Jamie Forysth, are now becoming increasingly disillusioned.
“The main problems are off the pitch,” said Forsyth.
“It’s so disenchanting supporting a team that, despite getting higher crowds than most and getting to Wembley last year, cannot seemingly shake off a transfer embargo or compete with other clubs in our division financially.
“It is clear the Fossetts Farm utopia is something the chairman has just strung us, Sainsbury’s, the council and anyone else who will listen along with for several years now.
“It seems to me the club is dying a slow, painful death.”
And Forsyth cannot see any improvements being made in the near future.
“For years, we have failed to be a force on the pitch because of our problems off it and I don’t see that changing for the foreseeable future,” said Forsyth.
“A lot of hardcore fans have reluctantly stopped going because of the sorry state the club is in and won’t return until the chairman is gone.”
The Shrimpers, who also have just one available centre-back for Saturday’s game at Burton Albion, are currently 14th in League Two having triumphed just once in their last eight games.
And lifelong supporter Rob Craven is also concerned by the club’s predicament.
“Phil Brown has been engaging and open with fans as manager, but he appears to be working with at least one hand tied behind his back, courtesy of the transfer embargo in place that restricts his ability to recruit much-needed signings,” said Craven.
“There are, of course, financial constraints around the world generally, and all lower-league clubs will struggle to live within their means during this period.
“That means it’s hard to see the short-term outlook brightening up on the pitch, even though the continued excellent work undertaken by Ricky Duncan and the youth department in producing talents such as Daniel Bentley and Jack Payne suggest that the Shrimpers’ self-sustainability could be improved in the medium to long-term.
“Watching the youth team and the talent coming through week-in, week-out certainly gives me a sense of optimism about the club.”