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Page last updated at 15:46 GMT, Friday, 2 July 2010 16:46 UK

Southend chairman Ron Martin coy on Steve Tilson

Steve Tilson
Tilson made 243 appearances for Southend as a player

Southend boss Steve Tilson has received no guarantees over a new contract by chairman Ron Martin.

Tilson failed to keep the Shrimpers in League One last season but has had to deal with crippling financial issues.

Martin told the club's website: "I didn't see the fight at the end of last season. Something's not quite right.

"I did meet him last week. He's been pushing for a new contract along with his agent and that is something still under discussion."

He added: "Steve's a genuine person with a lot of integrity. I'm sure he's disappointed as well [about last season]."

Tilson, who took over at Roots Hall seven years ago, currently has a deal until 2011.

I struggle to think who will be competing with us financially

Southend chairman Ron Martin

The club are still under a transfer embargo because of delays paying players wages and are facing a winding-up order at the High Court over unpaid tax debts.

Martin has assured fans that the debts will be settled before a hearing on 8 July and is also confident of having the transfer embargo lifted by 14 July.

"We've had to arrange some further funds this week which I've achieved," he said.

"We'll be reducing our budget by over £1m, but our budget will be in the top three in League Two, in fact I struggle to think who will be competing with us financially."

Southend currently have only 10 first-team players on their books after the recent departures of Damian Scannell, Adam Barrett and Alan McCormack.


They may also struggle to keep hold of want-away goalkeeper Steve Mildenhall and defender Simon Francis.

"I'd like to retain the services of Simon, I don't think he wants to play in League Two," Martin added.

"I don't think we'll be able to encourage him to stay and we have already accepted a bid of £150,000 from Brentford but he doesn't want to go there.

"So it's on my agenda to speak to Simon and his agent, but if he's not enthusiastic about staying here then we've got a problem on our hands."

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