IT might be my job but I have found putting things down on paper unexpectedly therapeutic during these tough times at Southend United.

As a result, I have written far more stories about the Shrimpers’ struggles than pages or website targets would ever dictate.

But I had hoped I would have had to stop doing them by now.

In March 2023, chairman Ron Martin announced he would be putting the club up for sale.

However, it was never going to be a straight-forward transaction.

Financially, the Shrimpers could not have been in worse shape, the club had no assets and there was also the incredibly complex situation concerning land ownership and plans for Fossetts Farm.

Put simply, Blues were as far from being an attractive business proposition as humanly possible.

And it resulted in months of misery and agonising anxiety around Roots Hall.

The problems mounting up could have filled these pages alone but to keep it brief, staff went three months without being paid, an embargo remained in place for 15 months, players stopped pre-season while waiting for wages and the club were also docked 10 points for not paying off their HMRC debt.

Water was cut off at the training ground and it is certainly not exaggerating to suggest it was as bleak as bleak could be.

Looking back now, I genuinely have no idea how the club kept going.

And I certainly do not know how it survived the winding up petition in August where the judge visibly mulled over his next move before giving Blues another adjournment due to the attachment of its fans.

That day and that quote has lived with me ever since.

The fans continued to back the side in big numbers and kept the heartbeat of a club so close to dying still beating.

Chief executive Tom Lawrence and head coach Kevin Maher deserve credit where that is concerned too.

And their ongoing presence alongside the performances of the team and the size of the support kept us all going.

It may be too strong to suggest a siege mentality was formed but there was a genuine togetherness, the like of which had not been seen at the Shrimpers for quite some time.

That’s not to say there were no more struggles or hardship.

York City away still sticks out as red cards shown to Harry Taylor and Gus Scott-Morriss genuinely left me wondering if Blues would be able to fulfil their next fixture.

The rousing reception given to Blues’ players at the final whistle brought tears to my eyes and it again showed just what Southend United could and should be.

From the outside looking in from another part of the country, you might see the Shrimpers as a small National League club.

But think again.

The club is a huge part of our city and our community and that was shown time and time again during the most chaotic chapter in the club’s long history.

Virtually everywhere I went last summer, people were asking me for the latest developments.

And it definitely displayed the strength of feeling there is towards Southend.

The doom and gloom was lifted when a consortium, headed up by Australian Justin Rees, expressed an interest in becoming involved.

Fast forward a few weeks and, in October, it was announced the sale of the club had been agreed with the completion date expected to be November 1.

But that did not happen.

Just before Christmas came a further update as it was confirmed the consortium and Ron Martin had exchanged contracts for the sale of the Shrimpers.

At that point, it was announced the consortium would be in charge by early 2024.

But here we are still waiting for that to happen.

The reasons why are again attributed towards the complexity of the situation.

The council, as an entity, have been slow on their side of things and the excitement I briefly had for Blues’ future has long since evaporated.

In fact, so negative has the situation been for so long I have almost found myself being numb to the next piece of bad news emerging from the club.

But these past few days have really got me worried again.

The club are back in an embargo and back at the High Court in late June due to a winding up petition issued by Stewarts Laws and, it is believed, an ex sponsor.

Back at square one might not be quite accurate but right now I am equally as frightened as I have ever been for Blues.

The consortium have already gone above and beyond in keeping the Shrimpers going this far.

But it simply makes no sense for them to keep on pumping endless amounts of money into a club with an uncertain future that they do not own.

The consortium have already paid £3.5million but where does it stop?

It is pay day again tomorrow at Blues so that will increase their outlay as will court fees and tax bills.

I have found the consortium to be incredibly welcoming and they fully understand the club too.

But they have succeeded in business by being sensible and they simply have to be questioning their next move.

There appears to be no end in sight to the ongoing due diligence and there are now genuine fears as to what happens at the next court hearing.

I, for one, would completely understand if the consortium opt not to pay off the debt which is for something long before their arrival.

And if they do pay it off then how long would it be before several other creditors come out of the woodwork wanting money they are owed.

It is simply heartbreaking and I am not ashamed to admit I have had tears in my eyes writing this.

Just like most of you reading, Southend United means everything to me.

I was instantly hooked at just seven years of age, banging my feet on the floor whenever Blues got a corner.

Outside of my family, the club is the most important thing in my life and I consider myself so fortunate that my job has become writing about them.

I have made lifelong friends from going to games and we have all faced the uncertainty together.

Right now excitement should be gathering for the season ahead, new signings should be being made, new kits released and season tickets too.

But I genuinely do not know what happens next.

And what scares me more than most is that my therapeutic writing may soon have no reason to continue for all the wrong reasons.