SOUTHEND United fans fear the Shrimpers are losing ground on their rivals for next season.

Blues boss Kevin Maher is currently unable to add to his squad due to a transfer embargo.

And supporters are concerned off-field issues could again hit the club hard in the months ahead.

Lifelong fan Dave Gash said: “The main worry is if we are going to exist and be able to start the season but even if we do what’s happening right now is going to harm the chances of doing well next season.

“Plans should be in place again by now and signings should be being made too but it can’t happen.

“The best transfer targets will be moving elsewhere now and you have to think others will have strong doubts about coming to Southend due to what’s been happening.”

The council remain in talks about the property plans for the Fossetts Farm project which must be granted for the consortium to officially take control.

A further update is expected before the end of the week but Jill Chapman is also worried that too much damage has been done.

“I think we all ended last season feeling quite positive about things but that’s long gone now,” said Chapman.

“We do have good players here already and we shouldn’t forget that but they can’t keep on producing miracles like they did last season.

“This has all been going on so long now, they must be sick of it and Kevin Maher must be pulling his hair out.

“It’s just never ending.”