FANS have spoken of their shock and surprise after it emerged Southend United are losing £100,000 a month.

The League Two club’s chief executive, Tara Brady, revealed the loss was partly down to the club being among the top seven wage payers in the division, despite being 15th in the league.

Fans have told the Echo they cannot understand the loss as the wage bill was trimmed when the club was relegated last season.

Rob Craven, spokesman for supporters’ group the Shrimpers Trust, said: “It is a big figure – a concern, definitely.

“The biggest surprise was that we are still paying more in wages than other clubs as last season we had players still on Championship wages, but most of those have left the club.”

Mr Craven, 28, from Prittlewell, said it was refreshing that Mr Brady shed light on the club’s financial situation.

He said: “Hopefully, it heralds a new era of openness.”

The Shrimpers Trust is due to meet Mr Brady on Monday to ask questions about the club’s future.

Ken Jarvis, 57, spokesman for fans’ site www.shrimper, said: “Mr Brady was saying he is feeling positive, but whether the fans feel the same way is another matter.

“Those in the know probably had an idea of the figures, but it will be a shock for some fans.

“In a nutshell, what the fans want is a run of form on the pitch and for development to start at Fossetts Farm, then things will fall into place.”

Jamie Forsyth, 29, co-editor of All At Sea fanzine, said: “It’s a worrying figure and hard to understand because most of the playing staff left in the summer, and were replaced with supposedly cheaper players.

“I do hope Brady will continue to keep in touch with fans as a lot of bridges need to be rebuilt. The club has alienated so many of its supporters.”

In a statement, the club said: “Following relegation, attendances and consequently revenue are currently down.

“Everything possible has been done to support the manager and our playing budget is at a level we believe gives us the best possible chance of promotion.”