SOUTHEND United chairman Ron Martin has played down the Shrimpers’ increased debt after the club published their accounts for the year ending July 2019.

The statement showed Blues added another £2.4 million to their overall debt of £17.4million

However, chairman Ron Martin confirmed to Echosport the majority of the debt was owed to his own companies and had already written off £6.8million from the previous year’s accounts.

Martin said: “It is owed to me and my group companies, so there has been no material change in that regard over the past 20 years.”