SOUTHEND United chairman Ron Martin has promised he will pay the club’s outstanding tax bill.

The Shrimpers have until October 28 to settle a debt of close to £500,000 to HMRC.

But Martin has allayed fears for the future of the club by insisting it will be paid.

“The club won’t be able to discharge the debt but everyone will know I’ve supported the club for 22 years and I will support it through this too,” Martin told BBC Essex.

“We will discharge the debt by the time the next hearing comes around.

“I have to say HMRC have not been at all aggressive.”

The debt means Blues remain under a transfer embargo.

But Martin does not feel that is too much of an issue.

“It’s not as much of an impediment of our ability to sign players as people think,” said Martin.

“We’re got 23 players and that would be absolutely fine for the first team squad supported by some under 23s.

“But at the moment we’ve got 29 players and the trouble is because we utilised so many of the under 23s under Sol (Campbell), which we understand because he was looking for a formula to get a win, some of those young players now count as part of our 23 squad.

“We’ve got lots of players but not necessarily the right players.”

However, Martin is keen for that to change.

“We will remedy that and we think we can overcome that while we remain embargoed,” said Martin.

“But the embargo won’t be there for much longer and we expect to deal with that by the 28 October too.