SOUTHEND United have reduced their wage bill by £1.7million since the start of last season.

The Shrimpers started the previous campaign paying £2.8million to their squad.

But Blues chairman Ron Martin has been able to cut costs since relegation from League One.

The minutes from Martin's meeting with supporters revealed:"Ron Martin spoke about how the drop from League One to League Two had impacted the wages available to players, with most having a 50 per cent pay cut.

"He has also streamlined the wage bill by releasing some of the higher paid players (such as Cox, Kiernan, Ridgewell, Kightly) and the total wage bill has been reduced from £2.8million at the beginning of last season and reduced to £2.2m at the end of last season and currently stands at £1.1million this season, which will greatly assist cash flow.

"This will increase as a result of current negotiations and further signings, and of course we have to stay within a cap of £ 1.5m which includes related fees and costs."