THE consortium looking to take control of Southend United have revealed the club are facing another winding up petition.

The group of businessmen have already invested £3million into saving the Shrimpers but are not willing to pay off historic creditors until the deal is officially done.

The takeover is still being held up by Southend Council’s due diligence along with the consent of the finance partner of current chairman Ron Martin.

And the ongoing delay has now resulted in one creditor issuing a winding up petition.

A statement from the consortium confirmed: “A sales contract for the club was signed in December 2023, which governs all aspects of the transaction, but was subject to various conditions being met.

“Two main conditions remain outstanding -the completion of the council’s diligence process and the consent of the Martins’ finance partner.

“While the council has kept us updated on their process, which is expected to complete in late April, we have not received a formal response from the finance partner.

“This process has of course taken longer than any party expected, and as a consequence we have had to rely on patience from the club’s numerous creditors.

“Unfortunately, one creditor is unwilling to wait until the sale closes to receive repayment and is now petitioning for the club to be wound up.

“While the consortium continues to pay all wages and other operating expenses, we are not willing to fund pay-outs to historic creditors until we are confident that the closing conditions, over which we have no control, will be met.

“A winding up hearing will now likely occur prior to the sale completing, causing unnecessary distraction and legal costs which will be detrimental to the club.”

However, the consortium will not be walking away.

The statement added: “The consortium has already invested more than £3 million in Southend United and is committed to closing the deal that was agreed in December.

“We continue to urge for patience from all stakeholders and will provide a further update once we have more information on the closing conditions.”