SOUTHEND United legend Adam Barrett insists it is vital the Shrimpers are saved.

Barrett grew up watching Blues before making 354 appearances for his hometown club.

And the 44-year-old is desperate to see the consortium complete their takeover as soon as possible.

“It’s really important for a place like Southend that the club is thriving and successful,” said Barrett.

“It’s a big, big part of the community with so many fans and it’s always been hugely important to our area.

“To see such a great club with such history and tradition going through the issues it has done isn’t nice at all.

“It’s difficult to see and I just hope the ownership can be sorted and then the club can push to get back into the league because it’s too big to be where it is right now.”

Lawyers acting on behalf of the consortium are still in talks to tie up the deal which will see the group of businessmen officially take control of the club.

And Barrett has praised the consortium for keeping Blues going - despite not owning them.

“They’re clearly very passionate guys that want to do well and want to see the club do well too,” said Barrett.

“With the commitment and patience they’ve shown so far they’re in it because they care.

“That’s a real positive and a big plus.

“I just hope that with the work they’ve put into it all that this all comes through for them.

“I hope the deal is done, all this can be put behind us and that the club can start to move forward because I’m sure if they get full control then the club will do.”

Barrett is now assistant head coach at Millwall.

But the former centre-back still remains incredibly fond of Blues. 

"Some of the best times of my career were at the club and some of the best memories of football are too," said Barrett.

"I watched from the terraces in the North Bank as a kid and was so proud to represent the club as a player too.

"We had so many highs and we really put the club back on the map but it's really important for a place like Southend that the club is doing well.

"It's too  big to be where it is and it's the first result I look for every week.

"The fanbase are unbelievable and the backing they give the team up and down the country is incredible.

"It's been a long, long saga and it's been painful for so many people.

"It's people's livelihoods and lives.

"It's their club and they pay their hard warned money to go and support so I really hope this can be sorted out for everyone."