FANS have “overwhelmingly” backed plans for the new 21,000 seat stadium for Southend United.

The club, which is still waiting for Southend Council to bring the Fossetts Farm application before the planning committee, asked its fans to sign letters of support at the first home match of the year.

And they responded in their hundreds determined to help ensure a bright future for the club.

The letters will be sent to Southend Council, who have been reviewing the planning application for almost two years.


Support - manager Chris Powell adds his name to the list

Commercial director Rhys Ellingham said: “The club has been overwhelmed by the support.

“Fans recognise Roots Hall is past its sell by date and quite rightly needs better, improved facilities and the club wants to provide the best facilities for its supporters.

“We also need to provide the best facilities for the players and management in order to attract the best.

“Our fans recognise the need to move and it is right they let their views be known to the council.  Every day we are asked what is happening with the stadium and we would like to be able to report progress and a date for moving.”

The council had been expected to decide whether to grant planning permission before the end of 2018 but have now said it is “impossible” to say when it will happen.


Signing - fans stopped to sign letters of support

Club chairman Ron Martin said: “We are working with the council to bring the club’s planning application in front of members for a decision as soon as possible.

“One of the points outstanding, and probably the most significant, is the need to address matchday traffic to reduce, as best any club can, impact on the highway network.

“We are prepared to contribute substantially to the cost of improvements to mitigate the impact and congestion, however there is a limit to what works the club can pay for.

“The club, in fact the town, needs a new stadium and the council of course know this. “The council officers are very helpful and their proactive engagement is appreciated.


On the same page - fans were happy to lend their support

“Hopefully through continued collaboration the club and council will find a way forward, and very soon.” As well as creating a new home for the club, the stadium development will create 848 new homes shops, restaurant, cinema, four full sized grass football pitches and a 107 room hotel.