TORY candidate Anna Firth has urged Southend United chairman Ron Martin to stop holding the club ransom.

The consortium headed up by Justin Rees are making progress in their immediate attempts to take control of the club.

And, in a statement issued this evening, Ms Firth urged Martin to move on.

She said: “It is clear to all that the best way forward for the future of the club, is for Ron Martin to sell to the consortium immediately.

“Southend United and its fans have suffered for too long and enough is enough.

“This current situation simply cannot continue and it is not fair or reasonable for the consortium to be expected to continually bail the club out without their deserved ownership.

“I urge Mr Martin to relinquish control immediately, and to stop holding the club to ransom.”

And Martin letting go of the club would have a big knock on affect for Blues.

“It is my understanding that this paves the way for the consortium to formally own the club, potentially as early as this weekend, thus negating the need for the punitive £1m bond, demanded by the National League,” added Ms Firth.

“Whilst we are hopeful that this sanction will not be needed, this is yet another example of sanctions being distributed that do not target the right people. “ But Ms Firth will again be doing what she can to help.

She said: “As ever, I stand ready to continue to assist all parties in any way I can. Whatever the next few days hold for Southend United, I will continue to stand side by side with supporters and act with their best interests at heart.