SOUTHEND United have moved another step nearer to being sold after tonight’s Extraordinary General Meeting.

As expected, the meeting – which lasted just 13 minutes – saw a special resolution passed to enable South Eastern Leisure (UK) Limited to increase their shareholding of the Shrimpers to 95 per cent.

Blues chairman Ron Martin told those gathered at the Council Chamber that the rise in shares was a ‘pre-condition of the purchase of the club’ by the consortium headed up by Justin Rees.

And Martin still expects the deal to be completed soon.

“This should hopefully see a conclusion of the transaction I’d say in the coming days,” said Martin.

“It puts us in a place to advance the club to everyone’s advantage but I don’t know how long it will take.

Echo: Providing an update - Southend United chairman Ron MartinProviding an update - Southend United chairman Ron Martin (Image: Chris Phillips)

“We still have one or two issues with their due diligence not ours to get through.

“We completed heads of terms on September 26 and we will not move away from those heads of terms.

“For me they’re cast in stone and providing everyone complies with that we will get to a conclusion.”

And Martin feels the deal is a ‘win win’ for everyone involved.

“We’re assured that if the consortium go through with the purchase they will be investing a great deal of money in the football club over a period as we will be to them,” said Martin.

“We’re putting £20 million into the refurbishment of Roots Hall and it should give the club a sustainable environment.

“In terms of that the club should survive and thrive.

“It’s win win for everybody, in fact I think the whole transaction is.

“It’s a win for the council and a win for the club too.”

Blues have survived a number of severe off-field issues in recent seasons and have been in a transfer embargo since September 2022 due to money owed to HMRC.

And Martin praised the work done by boss Kevin Maher and those around him in ensuring the Shrimpers have progressed on the pitch.

“I think Kevin and his staff have done a fantastic job as has Tom (Lawrence) which shouldn’t be overlooked,” said Martin.

“As soon as possible we’ll lift the embargo and get players in, probably three or four.

“I hope the consortium invest as we have over an extended period.