SOUTHEND United are facing a crunch week amid ongoing concerns for the club's future.

Southend on Sea City Council leader Daniel Cowan expects updated financial analysis over the property side of the Fossetts Farm project to be returned in the next few days.

And the initial summary of the third part of due diligence is also due to arrive by midweek.

The consortium, headed up by Australian Justin Rees, are monitoring the situation extremely closely as expected.

The group, who need the Fossetts Farm deal to be completed before being able to take control of the Shrimpers, will not make a public statement until updates are received from the latest round of talks between the council and Citizen Housing.

But the Echo understands the consortium are very concerned by the slow progress being made along with the statements from the council and what they have seen themselves from due diligence negotiations.

The Shrimpers are also due back in the High Court on Wednesday June 26th to face a winding up petition from Stewarts Law and an ex club sponsor which is believed to total around £500,000.

The hearing has been adjourned twice already but it now seems increasingly unlikely that due diligence will be completed before the court hearing.

The consortium exchanged contracts for the sale of the club with chairman Ron Martin back in December and, since then, have invested £3.5million into the Shrimpers.

The group paid May's wages to all the club's staff on Friday but the off-field issues are again affecting Kevin Maher's plans for next season.

The Blues boss is still unable to add to his squad due to a transfer embargo put in place due to the winding up petition.

The consortium confirmed to the Echo that the council completing due diligence is also the final remaining step for the takeover to be completed.