THE Shrimpers Trust have hit out at Southend United chairman Ron Martin after it was revealed the club are again under a transfer embargo.

The Shrimpers, who sit 19th in the National League, are unable to add new signings to their squad due to money owed to HMRC.

And the Trust believe another transfer ban shows Martin is not a ‘fit and proper owner’ of the club who have again been left in an ‘embarrassing position.’

A Trust statement said: “We are angry and upset that our beloved football club has been left in this embarrassing position once again.

“We are not naive enough to fail to understand the current financial impact on the footballing world of the Covid-19 pandemic, especially with the lack of matchday income over recent weeks, but we have been here before and the club has seemingly not learnt any previous lessons. “

But the Trust’s criticism did not stop there.

The statement added:  “Where is Ron Martin? For someone who claims to love the football club he has not been seen on matchdays since supporters protested against his ownership.

“Ron is clearly unwilling, or unable, to attend football matches at the current time.

“We do not believe he is a fit and proper owner of Southend United Football Club and he continues to run the club with a flagrant disregard for league rules, whether that be within the EFL or the National League.

“This is completely unacceptable and we will seek clarity from the National League regarding the current position and the possibility of further sanctions.”

The Trust are now keen to unite the fanbase but remain fully behind Blues boss Kevin Maher.

The statement said: “The Shrimpers Trust believe that we need a United fan base during this troubling period.

“We acknowledge that not every fan supports the Trust's wider objectives.

“We do all support Southend United, though, and we are seeking to engage with ALL viewpoints within our fan-base with ALL cards on the table regarding potential actions.

“We shall continue to offer our full support to Kevin Maher, the backroom staff and the team on the pitch, however, we do not support the continued actions (or lack of actions) from the owner of the football club.

“ Ron Martin is ultimately responsible for our continued demise, by seemingly not supporting the club he protests to love.”

The full statement, which also criticises the decision to sell Charlie Sayers to Tottenham, can be read here