SOUTHEND United went from one extreme to the other end on Saturday as an incredibly eventful week ended with a drab goalless draw against Tranmere Rovers.

The build up to the game had been overshadowed by the late payment of wages to both players and staff.

But chairman Ron Martin sorted the situation on Friday to end lingering doubts that the clash may not even go ahead.

However, there was no such drama once the game got underway as the Shrimpers played out their first 0-0 stalemate since being held by Oxford United back in October 2018.

The draw leaves Sol Campbell still searching for his first League victory with the Shrimpers after failing to win in 11 attempts since being appointed as manager back in October.

But, with relegation already all but confirmed after months of poor performances, expectation levels are perhaps at an all-time low at Roots Hall and Campbell will ultimately not be truly judged until next season.

Under his guidance, Blues are at least now becoming harder to beat.

Five of their last seven matches have ended all square and the Shrimpers have now drawn their last three outings.

Saturday also saw them keep just their second clean sheet of the season and their first at home since keeping out Gillingham on New Year’s Day 2019.

That, along with the commitment of the players, is to be commended, especially after such a disruptive and concerning build up to the clash.

Fans could well have been forgiven for having flashbacks to the start of the previous decade when Blues suffered severe financial problems and constantly hit the headlines for late payment of wages.

However, chairman Martin has assured both the club’s players and fans that the wages would not become an ongoing concern.

And that certainly needs to be the case as the Shrimpers already have enough problems to deal with on the pitch without having to face perilous ones off it as well.

Blues have still triumphed just once in the League all season, after 25 games, and are 14 points from safety with an inferior goal difference to those around them.

League Two is now looming large but the Shrimpers need to start restoring pride and begin to build a squad capable of stopping the rot to avoid even more problems next term.

A large exodus is expected at the end of the season but Blues must look to strengthen during January in a bid to lift the ever increasing doom around Roots Hall.

Following the club is no longer fun right now and just as things can seemingly not get any worse, they do.

A humiliating 7-1 defeat to Doncaster Rovers was followed by a shock FA Cup exit at the hands of non-league Dover before more financial problems began to emerge.

The Shrimpers need to be on a stable footing to start moving in the right direction and the powers that be will now be under more scrutiny than ever before.

There is no quick fix to cure a club seemingly in crisis and Blues will find it incredibly hard to attract players at this stage.

Splashing cash the club clearly do not have will not help anyone and the Shrimpers need to be sensible in their spending.

But it is glaringly obvious the team lacks quality in key areas and, in truth, the supporters – who continue to back the team in big numbers – deserve far better.

Those fans again showed their class on Saturday as the club paid tribute to their former skipper Chris Barker, who died aged just 39 on New Year’s Day.

A pin drop could have been heard during a minute’s silence before kick-off and the entire Roots Hall crowd rose to its feet in a moving minute’s applause in the 39th minute.

That put football into perspective and Barker’s passing is extremely difficult to digest. And it is heartbreaking to think he may never know how much he meant to everyone at Blues.

The former centre-back was a no-nonsense defender who played a key role in helping to rebuild the club during a difficult period.

But, off the pitch, he was a down to earth, likeable man who always had time to help those around them.

He will forever be remembered with fondness at Roots Hall and just how the club could do with players of his quality, commitment and character right now as they again bid to rebuild after another testing period.