SOUTHEND United chairman Ron Martin has called on supporters to stop protesting against his running of the club.

Fans halted play during the second half of Saturday’s 4-0 defeat to Chesterfield at Roots Hall.

But Martin now wants fans to unite.

Speaking on talkSPORT, he said: “I understand their frustration, disappointment and anger.

“But protesting against me, right now we need a moratorium and a period of peace to allow new management to come in and we need to win some football games.

“I’ll think we’ll do it.

“I’ll continue to support the football club financially but just bear with us and let’s work as a club.

“Let’s stay as a club and work together, not against each other.”

The Shrimpers, who have suffered back to back relegations, are currently 20th in the National League standings after a woeful start to the season.

But Martin also feels lockdown may have played a part in fans being upset.

“I understand the fans protests and they have a right to do that,” said Martin.

“Maybe it’s lockdown, there’s a lot of anger and tension right now.

“I understand it being aimed at me but all I’m doing is providing the funds for the team to succeed.

“I don’t think it helps the players on the pitch when there are protests like that.”

However, Martin does not feel all of the Shrimpers supporters are against him.

“For all the people that are making a lot of noise in the stadium, I get an equal number of people saying the opposite,” said Martin.

“‘Don’t let us down, keep at it, don’t listen to those idiots’. I’m not saying they’re idiots and they’ve got a right to protest but it won’t change anything.

“What we need is positivity around the place and we haven’t had that for a long time.

“We’re trying to change that. “

And for Martin that continues to include attempting to build a new stadium at Fossetts Farm.

“The club is not sustainable and it has never been at Roots Hall,” said Martin.

“It can’t compete.

“We have very advanced plans for its relocation and the plans will be considered this month by the council.

“We have the funding in place and I want to deliver its future.

“I know I can deliver its future infrastructure.

“I can’t guarantee its future on the pitch but I can provide the infrastructure for it to succeed.

“We’re tangibly close and I will do that, I’m not a quitter.”

But, when asked if it would not help Blues if he left, Martin added: “Some might think so but then who would fund the club.

“I own the ground its on and there needs to be a future built for the club so it can succeed without me.

“I can deliver that.

“I’m a fan of the club and there’s never been anything but support for it from me.

“If I stepped out today then they wouldn’t be able to meet the obligations within weeks.

“Not everyone wants me to go and If I walked away it would probably go bust.”