SOUTHEND United chairman Ron Martin has confirmed the club's players have been paid late for November.

Speaking at the club's annual meeting, Martin told shareholders the squad had not received their wages on time – as was revealed in Monday's Echosport.

But the chairman insisted he was disappointed about the situation.

“Nobody is more upset than me about the players not being paid on time,” said Martin.

“It isn't always easy to get the £100,000 we need every month to pay them and sometimes things that you're expecting to happen fall through.

“On November 29th a deal fell through that would have secured the wages would have been paid on time up until February.

“I know people say I should plan things better but that isn't always possible.

“I could cut the budget, which is about the sixth highest in League Two, and make it easier but we're an ambitious club who want to move forward.

“We want to get back in to League One and if we do that then our finances will improve.”

The Echo understands that some of the Blues squad were paid yesterday, 11 days later than expected, while the rest of them were due to receive their salaries courtesy of the gate receipts from last night's FA Cup replay against Bury at Roots Hall.

However, when quizzed by a shareholder, Martin failed to rule out late payment happening again.

“I can't promise that it won't happen again,” said Martin.

“I won't be able to do that until we get in to the new stadium.”