FORMER Southend United star Stan Collymore has today sent this email to Blues chairman Ron Martin. 


Firstly, I hope you are well, healthy, happy and looking forward to getting out of this extraordinary year we've all been in.

Secondly, as when we spoke back in 2001 in person, Southend United means a lot to me as it does to you and to many thousands of supporters, indeed a guy who is an exiled Shrimper still drops me a line from Perth, Australia to this day, happy as Larry when there's a promotion or great result comes, gets up at goodness knows what time to listen to commentaries.

This is the kind of passion, excitement, goodwill and enterprise that in any form, in any way, I would like to help you achieve.

I'll be straight with you, if you want to sell and are sitting on the club to make back what you've put in over many years, say it, and I'll work double quickly to facilitate some vehicle to make you an offer and move the club forward.

Ideally that would be with a majority stake owned by fans.

If you want to continue and to see the club back at the first attempt, then to consolidate and then move forward to where the club can be stable, solvent and progressive is an absolute must.

In this aim I suggest that industry professionals, yourself included now need other voices, opinions, contacts to help you achieve that.

That's not condescension, that is obvious fact as the club, run by long term industry professionals will exit the football league for the first time.

Ignore me at your leisure, it is very easy to see me as a loud mouth with a chequered past, but there is a small handful of people in this country as connected to the modern football matrix, whether that be finance, players, agents, owners, so anyone receiving an offer of assistance at a Conference club from someone who in 30 years hasn't left one organisation that he's worked for anything other than financially better than when he walked in, including Southend United, should at least be given the courtesy of a phone call or meeting.

Southend United could, with a huge population within 50 miles, including a large part of the capital with large numbers of a historic football fan base moving east over generations who now populate Basildon, Chelmsford and other Essex towns, be as forward thinking, progressive and successful as Bournemouth, Brentford, the relative success of which would have been unthinkable even in my playing days, so there is hard evidence that all it takes is a plan, will and open minds.

From gauging many Southend fans, Ron, there seems to be much respect to you for sticking your head above the parapet and taking on the job for such a long time, whether for altruism or pounds, shillings and pence.

But the club look as though it is going to be playing in Non League next season and as I left Nottingham Forest in the Premier League, I also look at their last 20 years of "football men" who came and went, and have left a huge club no further along the line.

And they have a wealthy owner!

So I'm offering help.

You'll get ideas, agreement, opposition, progress and engagement with supporters that will be the envy of English football, many of whom aren't simply Saturday "customers" but themselves have great ideas, enthusiasm and their own network of people and businesses who could help this wonderful club.

Who wouldn't want that, Ron?

I've not long gone 50, have been working in football for 30 years and I understand this sport and the business of sport as well as anyone, so I'm offering my support initially to help you get where you want to be.

But make no mistake, should you ignore this offer, then I will look at every avenue to pursue to make you an offer acceptable to you to sell the club and to give it back to its supporters.

Wishing you and your family the very best in these trying times.


Stan Collymore