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Page last updated at 10:58 GMT, Tuesday, 23 March 2010

June start for Southend United's new stadium

Southend United chairman Ron Martin
Martin took over as chairman in 2005

Southend United chairman Ron Martin has confirmed work on the club's new stadium at Fossetts Farm is due to start in June.

Martin made the announcement during a special fans' forum on Monday night.

Plans to move into a new stadium have been on the cards for some time and were given the go-ahead in 2008.

However, the build was delayed after the club got into financial difficulty and were ordered to pay an outstanding tax bill of £700,000.

Talking about the forum, Southend fan Mark Wallis told BBC Essex: "He answered a lot of the fans' queries. He did state that they hope to be on site with the new stadium in June.

"When we got planning permission for the stadium, it was met by the banking crisis. Mr Martin says that was the main problem."

Issues were raised at the meeting about the Blues financial state and questions were asked about the possibility of bankruptcy.

"He assured us that won't happen," said the lifelong Blues fan.

"It was a reasonably hostile atmosphere, but not hugely. A lot of the supporters do want to be behind him.

"I think ultimately they know he's got the club at heart. He's trying his best to put the club in the right direction."

Southend are currently 22nd in League One, four points away from safety with just 10 games left.

The club are due to appear in court on 14 April to face claims from HM Revenue and Customs that they have an outstanding debt of £183,000.

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