SOUTHEND United chairman Ron Martin has spoken with Shrimpers supporters protesting outside his house.

Blues fans continue to fear for the future of the club as talks continue between the Martin family and Southend City Council over the Fossetts Farm project.

That must be agreed if the consortium headed up by Justin Rees are to officially start running the Shrimpers.

When pressed on the matter, Martin told fans he expected the deal to be completed in four to five weeks.

But he also admitted to being unsure how a winding up petition, issued against the club by Stewarts Law and PG Site Services would be settled.

When asked who would pay the petition, Martin said: “We don’t know yet but someone will have to pay it.

“It will be the last hearing, it’s been marked final.

“I think we will find a solution.

“We’ve found many solutions.

“I don’t think it will be the end of the club.”

Making a point - Southend United fans brought banners to the protestMaking a point - Southend United fans brought banners to the protest (Image: CHRIS PHILLIPS)

Martin confirmed he would not pay the winding up petition, which is believed to be around £500,000 and added the consortium had agreed to pay it once they were in charge.

“The deal is they pay for the operational costs on a day to day basis,” said Marttin.

“Historic costs like Stewarts Law and PG Site Services will be paid when they complete.”

Blues are therefore still facing an incredibly uncertain future but Martin does feel talks are progressing with the council over the property plans for Fossetts Farm.

“It’s entirely between the council and us,” said Martin.

“The conservative administration were happy and then labour took over.

“They wanted more houses and we don’t object to that.

“Yesterday we put to them a new proposal for them to consider and I think we’ll hear back next week. “

Making their point - Southend United fansMaking their point - Southend United fans (Image: CHRIS PHILLIPS)

And Martin, who spoke to fans for close to 10 minutes, also stressed he had no ill feeling towards the council.

“I’m not blaming the council,” said Martin.

“They’ve got to go through their processes.

“It’s only fair Labour review it and I get that.

“It’s reasonable and they’ve now come back with what they want to see.

“Actually, it’s a complete flip from where we were and we’ve agreed it very quickly.

“We wrote to them yesterday agreeing to flip to houses from flats.

“That’s the main issue between us and everything in between we actually agree with.

“It’s now for them to do a financial analysis which I think we’ve done for them in yesterday’s email.

“They will come to a decision quite quickly.

“I’ve agreed in principle to everything they want.

“I spoke to Daniel Cowan yesterday and the council officers.

“They will come back to us but we have to give them time.

“We will come to terms I’m sure. “

And Martin also said he is keeping calm.

“I’m not stressed,” said the club chairman.

“I think the deal will be done and it will take four to five weeks.

“Daniel Cowan is a good guy and he’s trying to do the right thing, we all are.

“I want to see the club succeed but if we don’t get the council to approve it then the consortium will not want to buy Southend United.”

The consortium, headed up by Justin Rees, exchanged contracts with Martin for the sale of the club just before Christmas but are still waiting to take charge.

The consortium issued a statement to the Echo on Friday outlining the three things needed to stop them walking away from the deal.

Included in their demands was sorting an agreement with the Martins to provide security for the further funds the consortium would need to inject prior to the takeover.

But Martin seemed to suggest that would not be forthcoming.

“I’m not going to give them security,” said Martin.

“They are contracted to pay the debt, that’s their purchase price.

“They’ve paid £1.2million of it and they’ve got £1.3million to go.

“It’s a balanced agreement and Justin and I get on quite well.

“It’s gone on longer than he wanted and he feels exposed because he’s got less security for his debt other than the contract so I said look trust me.”

Martin received heckles for the response before adding: “I feel that’s pretty unfair.

“Have it your way but you’ll look back one day and you’ll see.”