The leader of Southend Council has issued a surprise update on the status of the deal to save Southend United - revealing the Fossetts Farm plan has failed the 'due diligence' stage.

Labour leader Daniel Cowan has issued the update today before an expected Monday announcement - revealing the due diligence on the controversial plans for 1,300 new homes "did not pass".

Instead an alternative proposal has been made to Citizen Housing.

The new plan would seek a return to the 2021 deal minus the stadium - with the 2021 deal seeing homes split between Fossetts Farm and Roots Hall. 

The latest proposal involved allowing the construction of up to 1,300 homes at Fossetts Farm to allow the sale of Southend United to the consortium spearheaded by Justin Rees. 

In an update letter issued today, Mr Cowan said: "Due diligence on the proposed Fossetts Farm deal that was negotiated by the former leader of the council and presented to the policy and resources scrutiny committee on April 24 has now completed.

"It is with regret that I inform you that the proposal did not pass our due diligence."

Failed - The blues deal did not pass the due diligence stage (Image: Citizen Housing)Failed - The blues deal did not pass the due diligence stage (Image: Citizen Housing) (Image: Citizen Housing)

Mr Cowan said that on June 7, he said he would revise plans and put a financially viable proposal forth that "does not put public money at undue risk".

He said: "Today we wrote to Citizen Housing setting out a proposal that meets all of those aims and we believe can be made to work.

"The summary of those aims is that we are largely seeking to return to the model that was agreed in 2021 minus the stadium.

"We have given them to Friday, June 21, to respond."

Mr Cowan has also called on restraint from fans to "minimise distractions".

He said: "I want those involved in responding to our letter to be completely focused on making this work, so I would urge restraint at this point to minimise distractions and maximise our chances of getting an agreement.

"This may feel like a negative update but I believe this is the most positive to date.

"No more time will be spent on unworkable schemes and a scheme that can work is now on the table."

Southend United are due in the High Court on June 26 as they face a potential winding up petition from Stewarts Law and an ex club sponsor which is believed to total around £500,000.

The hearing has been adjourned twice already.

It is understood the consortium will not be issuing their own update at this stage.