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Ron Martin's reaction to relegation


Jan 3, 2008
Southend on Sea

SOUTHEND United chairman Ron Martin insists the future is still bright for Blues, despite their relegation.

Steve Tilson’s side will be back in League Two next season for the first time in five years.

But Martin remains convinced that the club will soon be on the way back up.

“It’s very depressing that this has happened but the future of the football club remains almost unchanged,” said Martin.

“People can dramatise these things but that’s a knee-jerk reaction. We have come such a long way off the field in the last four years that it’s unfair to say we’re back to square one.

“This is just a blip and in a few years time people won’t even remember it happened.”

Martin also confirmed that the plans for a new stadium at Fossetts Farm would also not be affected by the club suffering relegation, which was confirmed at Oldham Athletic on Saturday.

“It makes no difference to the stadium at all and we expect to start work in the summer,” said Martin.

And, when asked if the ground was necessary for games against the likes of Morecambe and Accrington Stanley, the Blues chairman replied: “We won’t be in same league as Morecambe by the time the stadium is finished.”

Martin added that he felt a lack of continuity in the team was to blame for the relegation although he also accepted his part in the criticism.

“I am not immune and at football clubs the buck stops with the chairman and manager,” said Martin.

“I fully understand how the late payment of wages affected people but the players did always know the money was in the pipeline and there have been a combination of factors in our struggles this season.”

Despite that, Martin again reiterated that he would hold talks with manager Steve Tilson about his future at the end of the season but he did hint at possible player departures.

“Steve is already in talks with the players about their futures,” said Martin.

“We won’t keep anyone who doesn’t want to stay because that’s a very hard thing to do.”

Martin also confirmed that the club would cut the wage bill for next season.