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The Chameleon
Jul 5, 2004
Right, let's clear a few things up straight away - Contrary to popular belief, I haven't been avoiding the subject all day - quite the opposite, I’ve been itching to get on here and finally say my piece. Truth is, I too lost out on a lot of work this morning, and the meeting was over 2 1/2 hours. So, those who know me know I lead a busy life anyway - So before anyone starts jumping to conclusions etc, and those who have verbally abused me, know who you are, and I have a long memory. And that is a fact.

So, how did this saga all start? Well, my "rants" Tuesday night may have been a catalyst, I’m pretty sure it was. I will start by saying, that yes, i probably went over the top, and personally abused Ron, and i apologised for that today. However there are certain things which i need to get off my chest -
1. Mr Scriven, not sure whether you were trying to earn brownie points with the boss or not, i don't know. However, if you may spend as much time checking what you type and write, on a website some people pay for - as you do on here, checking that no one has differing views from you, you may get somewhere. 2. I did originally object, being called personally on my mobile number, which i think Scriven had NO right given it to anyone. However, i'm now glad he did.

I received a call yesterday afternoon .I called Ron Straight back, and posed many questions, we agreed a face to face meeting, which would probably help both of us more. His secretary did a sterling job, and cancelled his appointments (pretty important ones at that) this morning, and got me in first thing - 9:30.
Several posts on here last night confirmed it was me in attendance, and some of you seemed to have a problem with that. YOU THINK, that ron shouldn't have gone out of his way blah blah blah. Well, you think i was way off the mark etc, but what the **** is the point in me laying down questions, without wanting to hear the actual answers. I have done today, which many wouldn't on here, faced the person i have criticised continually for years. Those who abused mildenhall, wouldn't meet him would you? Or those who abused gower et all. No you wouldn't. I called Ron a "4 foot, blonded ****" and i had the bollox to meet him after that.

I arrived before Ron actually, and was gonna park in his space for good measure. However, i didn't. He actually greeted me in the car park, before he even went inside. i waited in reception, until i was taken to his new(ish) office, and had a lovely cuppa and a choccy biccie. I first apologised for my verbal abuse, which i thought was the fairest thing to do. Before i could pose any questions, Ron launched into several stories, he had reports on the desk, financial budgets etc etc. He let me see this season's budget (which is based on a 8500 crowd) and it made interesting reading, the stadium plans and financing made interesting reading, i have learnt figures today, which most on here, do not know, and at Ron's request, i will not disclose everything i learnt, as i'm sure when he makes his statement (which he will) he will not disclose everything i said.

My main questions were -
1 The lack of funding now, but the preparation for funding a future with a possible league 2 outfit -
2 Was his heart for the club, or the stadium -
3 How much debt were we in -
4 What was the current state of police investigation -
5 What's the plans if all goes pete tong this season -
6 Was he a PR man, or a genuine man -

I did ask these questions, so i'm not sure why John said i didn't.

In answer to the 1st, the budget this season isn't immense, in fact, operating at a loss. The wage bill now, is significantly higher, than the first time round in league 1. Which i suppose is a fair statement. We lost, SIGNIFICANT amounts last season after relegation, yet the wage Bill stayed the same, and in many cases rose. Although a lack of funding is there, the history of funding is also there. He also assures me, a Midfielder will be En Route shortly, who i don't know, all i was told, is he is experienced. Obviously, there is a direct correlation between money and success, and that was made clear with figures today. With all going accordng to plan, we will see value of new stadium, before we even move in.

2) his heart, is there for the club, but, he is also a businessman, He assured me he has the club at Heart, maybe he does, maybe he doesn't. Only He knows. He is also a very astute businessman, and caps should be dothed for that.

3) Delancey, were the overseeing company who wrote the underlying debt, and the debt was written off by the financiers and martin. I didn't pose the question about the debt of the rent on the ground, however i will be in correspondance with Ron regarding this.

4) The state of the police investigation is - He is still on Bail, but that is as long as it is investigated. He told me the whole story on that, and i will not disclose what was said, as John will concur, i do not feel it's in the interests of the club, the board or Ron. That may sound negative, it's not, but it's not him who made the mistakes with that affair.

5) He said, if anything outside the playoffs, or even, if there is no promotion this year, he will see that as a failure, that is something we agreed on, in principal. With the players we have, he is fully confident in Tilly's capabilities of team adhesion. This is something we have all said on here, and agreed with. If we have no success this season, Ron said - "Changed would be made.." Not neccessarily management, maybe the way things are dealt with. He recognises Barrett as a fantastic captain, and possibly the best he has seen. Maher was a good player, but not the best captain. Agree? Disagree?
Team adhesion is important, but the performances are too.

I posed the question re bailey - and the answer was - NB didn't want to play for southend anymore, no more to the story. We have not got as much as you think from the deal (yet). Incidentally, there was NEVER a sell on clause with eastwood, due to grays chairman, wanting more money up front, he sacrificed the sell on clause. Leon Clarke was heard saying his feelings for the club, and the rest was history. Matt Harrold, never wanted to leave, so that's why he was here so long. Billy Paynter, Hooper and Foran never made it with us, so that's why they were not featured much more.

6) I still maintain, ron is a good PR man, maybe i was cynical of his motives, maybe i was fed up sitting in the stands - watching our best players go, losing to tosspot teams, watching us concede 9 goals, seeing us bring in money that wasn't being spent etc - And i was right, and more than justified to raise my questions, Ron is a good PR man, and more than anything now, i hope he is an honest man.

I believe my opinions may have been unjustified (NOW) but without answers to dispell concerns, questions will always be raised.

I am a life long supporter of southend, i love my club, i wear my Heart On my sleeve, i argue with people whoever they are - about the greatness of this seaside team, who once beat Man Utd in the cup - Who started career for Collymore, Eastwood, Bailey, Powell etc etc. No one, whoever they are, are better than me, because my opinions differ, doesn't make me wrong (all the time) it makes me different from the norm, with views i hold. People think i'm a racist as i love my country, people think i'm a troublemaker because i give people the chance to say what they think of me to my face - (incidentally no one has ever taken the opportunity), people think i enjoy abusing players. ASK YOURSELVES this, would i prefer to stand on a bar with smiffy and andy ansah on a may evening in 2006 singing we are the champions, or do i want to stand on a terrace shouting at our shocking performances? well?

I love this club, i love the ground, i love the fact ronaldo had to play there, i love the fact i can walk out of the pub to the ground and see everyone i know. My main concern was Ron was taking this club to a stage it wasn't ready for, and a stage that could have a trap door to relegation and nowhere. I was concerned that lack of current investment could mean eventual decline at the club, with a new stadium in the pipeline, i was concerned he was there for the PR, the money, the power and that's it. He has proved me right on some issues, dispelled my opinions on others.

Whatever you believe, the truth is i would die for this club, i hold it up there with My friends, family and my country, only football can give you that feeling that somehow, at rochdale away, you are 300 miles away from home, tuesday night in december, you've spent 100 quid on the whole day, 1 - 0 down, and you equalise, sending adrenalin and joy around you. For every one of those moments, maybe it's worh the odd glitch. The odd 5-2 drubbing. That's up to you -

Ron was offended i saw him as nothing more than a businessman, and now i do see him as a fellow fan - My questions were justified, and all of them answered, not all how i wanted them answered, but he didn't divert any of them off. No, i'm not getting soft, i'm not admitting defeat, as there was no battle, I'm agreeing, that Ron, probably has as much right to criticism, but maybe also praise as any of the players, when it goes right. When it goes wrong, then yes, sometimes, it may be something that could of been avoided by him etc. We'll see, with the new stadium, more money it may look a brighter future after all.

DO NOT discount my opinions, without opinions, life would be a book of facts, with no one to break the cycle. Who here can not say i have stirred at least some kind of emotion in you? Probably none.

Now i'm tired, im off to barcelone tomorrow, to see that other wonderful football set up england, and i will still pose questions if needs be, maybe in a more toned down manner.

Good night, god bless, and please remember, the love of a football club is second to none.


Pringello Indexinator
Jul 28, 2008
well expained and well done ron, excellent chairman and behind him 100%. he has the club in his heart and always will (even football manager says that).

Interesting what u say about a center mid and why hooper etc left.

i am also off to bed now, but well done J for meeting Ron and thanks again Ron!

Angell Delight

Life President
Oct 27, 2003
Interesting read. So Leon clarke was overheard slagging off the club? I'm not surprised we pulled the plug on the deal!!


Junior Blues Coordinator⭐
Dec 27, 2007
Well done J, especially for having the balls to come out with the apology first. At least you got answers, of some sort, to the questions you wanted answering.

Now boo away to your hearts content if you must, just try not to make things personal and if some of us on here react with disapproval, then don't be surprised, accept that there are those that see "supporting" the team during games in a different way.

No-one doubts your commitment to the club generally, it's the manner recently that has offended/upset/disturbed.


reason, honour, integrity
Apr 12, 2006
Not here
J, you gone soft!!! joking mate, seems like a good meeting, surprised though how everyone (even the irate one) seems to have a brown nose when they leave Ron's office!!


Aug 19, 2008
Really interesting stuff - Well done for raising the issues and getting answers . Ron's responses ( and the fact he met with you at a moments notice ) seems to underline the fact that he does care about the club and the fans. Hope he is aware of the 95% positive view of him in the poll . I cant think of too many other Chairmen at any club who would get that response .

Sherif H

Omar's older brother
Jan 26, 2007
Good post J......put it this way, at least our backroom sounds in far better shape than the likes of the Spammers and Newcastle!
Looking forward to the potential arrival of this midfielder.

As for the stadium costs, I haven't had the benefit of seeing funding targets etc...but based on experience, I would suggest the stadium ALONE would cost around £40-£50 million at current prices.


Blue tinted optimist⭐
Oct 28, 2003
Cloud cuckoo land

I have to say it is a measure of just how much Ron cares that he is prepared to go to such lengths to resolve an issue with just one fan.

In the past J, you (and others) have been extremely vocal on here in "anti-RM mode" but I think this just goes to show that he is prepared to answer questions. I still say the manner of the request is as important as the request itself. A politely worded email to Ron has, for me anyway, always yielded a response.

Maybe, in the short term at least, we can be a little bit united and concentrate on trying to shout our team up the league.

The only strange bit was the apparent need to have a dig at Scriv. For instance, did Ron tell you that he learnt of your opinions via Scriv only because they weren't the same as his? And did Scriv give out your mobile or did they get it from the club database?

Anyway, well done for meeting him and posting the statement.


Not a member⭐
Jun 19, 2006
i will re read later when i have a bit more time but there didn't seem too many straight answers

seany t

May 11, 2006
Skip to the end...

Well congratulations on having the balls to meet him. And to Ron for doing the same and missing his barber appointment. Oddly it feels like I pretty much knew all that already to a certain extent, but good to see it on... Paper? Even if the comment about changing things around if we're not there or thereabouts scares me a little given our new vocal fanbase
Feb 17, 2004
I think the simple analysis in all this needs to be would the Jobson/Adams regime have gone to such lengths to answer a bout of negative criticism........???

Clinton Baptiste

Life President⭐
Apr 19, 2007
Well done J and well done Ron. Think most of it we knew already but interesting about the midfielder, but then again Ron said we were going to sign a central defender not too long ago.


Jul 20, 2008
fair play to both parties.


personally i would have thought it more beneficial if RM held an question and answer session via this medium.

if the club stated ie from 6pm till 9pm for 1 evening only the club will try to answers all relevant questions as best as possible.

i reckon 99% of fans would want to know the timescale for FF and if FF has not been completed by the expiry of when the club has to leave the hall...........what happens ie can the club remain at the hall? will there need to be a groundshare?

in truth we all know the playing budget is very very tight or so it seems?and on 8000 crowds we know we can only afford certain standard players.

all i want to really know is what date will the club move to FF.


Life President
Nov 13, 2003
In the works
fair play to both parties.


personally i would have thought it more beneficial if RM held an question and answer session via this medium.

if the club stated ie from 6pm till 9pm for 1 evening only the club will try to answers all relevant questions as best as possible.

i reckon 99% of fans would want to know the timescale for FF and if FF has not been completed by the expiry of when the club has to leave the hall...........what happens ie can the club remain at the hall? will there need to be a groundshare?

in truth we all know the playing budget is very very tight or so it seems?and on 8000 crowds we know we can only afford certain standard players.

all i want to really know is what date will the club move to FF.

Are you a member of the Trust? AGM and Q&A is 14th Oct.


Nobby Snide

well done J, fascinating read. I almost had a tear in my eye and the sound of Jersalem playing in my head.

RM a good man? maybe.

Honest? only time will tell, but from what you have written, it certainly seems that way. Does he play poker?

PR? definately. He's aware of the impact that a few disaffected fans could have on the cashflow for the season, and in various parts of the report/intreview, you have clearly touched on financial shortcomings, so, two and a half hours spent today, would certainly go a long way in protecting that income.

Well done Ron, well done you for accepting where you made mistakes.
It takes a big man to make mistakes, a bigger man to admit them, but a fool to make the same ones again.