THE deal to build more than 1,300 homes at Fossetts Farm - triggering the sale of Southend United - involves multiple companies linked to Ron Martin and a family of multi-billionaire property magnates.

The driving force behind the project’s finances is understood to be Citizen Housing, set up in 2018 as momentum around plans for a new stadium and homes gained pace. The company is fronted by Jack Martin - son of Blues’ chairman Ron Martin.

Citizen Housing is a joint venture, 50 per cent owned by Allied Commercial Exporters, a company founded by real estate tycoon Jack Dellal, and 50 per cent being owned by Jack Martin.

Allied Commercial investment activities are made possible through the significant, discretionary cash resources from the multi-billionaire Dellal family.

Council documents ahead of a meeting on Wednesday show Thames Plaza PLC – a company set up by Jack Martin to enable Southend Council to take part in the housing development – is at the heart of the deal.

Both Citizen Housing and Thames Plaza PLC are linked to Ron Martin’s sons Jack and Thomas – but are said to have no direct involvement by Ron Martin.

Global commercial retail company CBRE is managing funds on behalf of the Merseyside Pension Fund and will preside over the release of funds from the Roots Hall site.

Elounda LLP, owned by Ron Martin’s sons Jack and Thomas, as well as his wife Julie, are also involved but it is unclear what role they play.

Bringing each company to the point where it is happy enough to go ahead with such a huge deal has been nail-biting for the council.

Tony Cox, leader of the council said: “Citizen Housing own Thames Plaza, the company created for Southend Council to deal with. CBRE are the pension fund. They are the ones who have the land charge over Roots Hall. They’re the ones who are going to be providing the finance to facilitate the development.”

While the Roots Hall and Fossetts Farm developments have altered with the loss of the new stadium, Mr Cox said most elements remain unchanged.

He said: “It has changed in terms of company structure of the deal that’s already there. All that’s changed is that the stadium isn’t going to be built but money is going to be given, not by the council but through Thames Plaza into the club.”