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onceknownasrab

President
Joined
Dec 31, 2008
Messages
4,037
Firstly I would ask the mods not to move this to the FF forum as I believe it is more encompassing than that. I say Roots Hall chicken or Fossetts farm egg as i believe it is important to know which came first. I firmly believe and have stated many times that the move to FF is our only hope of salvation but it has also got me thinking. If FF was about building a new stadium and the retail park was extra to earn the developer a bob or two and to ensure finances for the club then that is well and good. But is it? The town council have made it abundantly clear that no retail application would be considered at FF unless a stadium is built. So the project there needs the football club. Roots Hall on the other hand has a covenant which stipulates the ground is for the playing of football in perpetuity. This clearly being interpreted as acceptable in terms of a swap to a new ground. We know that the development corp have purchased Roots Hall and the club 'per se' own nothing but are charged a high rent, a mounting debt, for the privilege of playing the football on the ground that is the right of the club to play on. I wonder truly if the club were prevented from playing by the owners whether that would constitute a breach of the covenant. Indeed, as the development corp are totally dependent on the football to achieve their bigger plans and bigger payday at FF should not the club have a bigger role to play in its own future. The club is for the fans and those of the borough that this land was promised to and yet manipulated by businessmen and councils alike. I feel the 'club' belongs to the said fans and borough residents and has the right to continue to play, at the ground, RH or FF, unimpeded and unpenalised. furthermore I think the 'club' should be put into the hands of a 'supporters trust' and assured of a reasonable percentage of income from any development that results from the allowed/agreed change of home ground. The development corp, who I have no axe to grind with, can make their bucks seeing through the plans they care most about and Southend United, its fans and the borough residents can have what surely is rightfully theirs. Do we have any legal beagles that can shed light upon how when a property is bought it can include the purchase of a covenant to dispose of or manipulate as seen fit? The land, the stadium are the property of the people of Southend in my view and its time we did something constructive to ensure its return to the people of Southend.
 

Neil 15GB

Schoolboy
Joined
Apr 6, 2010
Messages
51
When the land was sold to RHL there would have to have been a title search. The title deeds are held by land registry and it should contain details of any covenants over the land.
 

onceknownasrab

President
Joined
Dec 31, 2008
Messages
4,037
When the land was sold to RHL there would have to have been a title search. The title deeds are held by land registry and it should contain details of any covenants over the land.

I am sure the searches were done accordingly. My point is and I feel it may have some credence, that the club should not be charged to play football, i.e. rent, when it has a long standing right to do so. Charging rent merely massages the figures of another company. How can the club be charged on a site that is/was provided solely for the purpose of playing and how can A N OTHER business profit from from that situation? It is complex but I feel there is a conflict here that is papered over by jargon. Apparently the stadium can be sold but can the right to play there be sold/dismissed? If there is a right how can a figure of rent be put on it? When a cost is involved it implies that if the cost is not met then the right is removable and under a covenant no company should be in a position to make that happen. That to me negates the point of a rent apart from on paper to show debt to another company. Whatever the situation I do not believe that legacy RH was intentioned to be a cash cow for any business. It was put in place after the hard work and endeavour of genuine clubmen that wanted to ensure the future of football in this borough. The blood, sweat and tears of many of the people that established Roots Hall is being p*ssed on from a very great height.
 

Jam_Man

Life President
Joined
Apr 7, 2005
Messages
25,545
Location
Southend
I am sure the searches were done accordingly. My point is and I feel it may have some credence, that the club should not be charged to play football, i.e. rent, when it has a long standing right to do so. Charging rent merely massages the figures of another company. How can the club be charged on a site that is/was provided solely for the purpose of playing and how can A N OTHER business profit from from that situation? It is complex but I feel there is a conflict here that is papered over by jargon. Apparently the stadium can be sold but can the right to play there be sold/dismissed? If there is a right how can a figure of rent be put on it? When a cost is involved it implies that if the cost is not met then the right is removable and under a covenant no company should be in a position to make that happen. That to me negates the point of a rent apart from on paper to show debt to another company. Whatever the situation I do not believe that legacy RH was intentioned to be a cash cow for any business. It was put in place after the hard work and endeavour of genuine clubmen that wanted to ensure the future of football in this borough. The blood, sweat and tears of many of the people that established Roots Hall is being p*ssed on from a very great height.

Use paragraphs, it will make it easier to get your point across!

As for the point above, why does the club have a divine right to play football without rent ?

It was unable to sustain itself and ran up debts that led to us having no choice but to let developers in.
 

onceknownasrab

President
Joined
Dec 31, 2008
Messages
4,037
Use paragraphs, it will make it easier to get your point across!

As for the point above, why does the club have a divine right to play football without rent ?

It was unable to sustain itself and ran up debts that led to us having no choice but to let developers in.

The site, under the covenant is for the playing of football. The business may make money from the game, gate receipts, burgers, marketing etc but has to ensure football is played.

A supermarket breaches the covenant but of course the men in suits have made it acceptable that a ground swap upholds the spirit of the covenant. Who says? I think the people of the borough should have a bit more input as to what is acceptable.

In fact, I would like to know a lot more about the legitimacy of the whole deal and although many lawyers have no doubt rubber stamped the proceedings would it stand up to a legal challenge? Unfortunately many exponents of the law interpret it as seen fit and if unchallenged there is no redress.

Jam Man, you ask about divine right. I have come to believe that any right has been buried by a succession of murky dealings over decades and the entire ethos of RH has been stolen.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Jam_Man

Life President
Joined
Apr 7, 2005
Messages
25,545
Location
Southend
Use paragraphs, it will make it easier to get your point across!

As for the point above, why does the club have a divine right to play football without rent ?

It was unable to sustain itself and ran up debts that led to us having no choice but to let developers in.

The site, under the covenant is for the playing of football. The business may make money from the game, gate receipts, burgers, marketing etc but has to ensure football is played.

A supermarket breaches the covenant but of course the men in suits have made it acceptable that a ground swap upholds the spirit of the covenant. Who says? I think the people of the borough should have a bit more input as to what is acceptable.

In fact, I would like to know a lot more about the legitimacy of the whole deal and although many lawyers have no doubt rubber stamped the proceedings would it stand up to a legal challenge? Unfortunately many exponents of the law interpret it as seen fit and if unchallenged there is no redress.

Jam Man, you ask about divine right. I have come to believe that any right has been buried by a succession of murky dealings over decades and the entire ethos of RH has been stolen.

Stolen or forfeited due to lack of financial ability to support itself ? We effectively sold the ground so surely any covenant to be allowed to play at Roots Hall went with ownership of the property ?

The football club over many years has lived beyond its means and run up debts that it then had to sell assetts to meet.

If someone gave me a car in a will and I then had to sell it to pay off my barclaycard I wouldnt expect to then be able to drive it from free afterwards, which seems to be what you are suggesting.
 

Smiffy

SZ Drinking Champion
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
16,332
Location
Vanarama National League (Loan)
Schedule of restrictive covenants

1 The following are details of the covenants contained in the
Conveyance dated 14 February 1898 referred to in the Charges
Register:-

COVENANT by the Purchaser that he would thenceforth duly perform
observe and keep all and singular the stipulations set forth in
the said First schedule thereto.

PROVISO that the last mentioned covenant should only be binding on
the Purchaser during the actual period of ownership but should run
with land.

THE FIRST SCHEDULE above referred to
Spirituous malt or intoxicating liquor should not be sold on any
lot except upon the hotel site No shop should be erected or house
used as a shop except on plots marked for shops on the sale plan

No hut or caravan should be put upon any lot No house or shop
should be built of less value than Two hundred pounds

No noisome or offensive trade or manufacture should be carried on upon any
lot or any operative machinery fixed or used thereon.

No soil should be removed from any lot except for erection of buildings
thereon nor should any right of way be granted or permitted across
any lot

Each Purchaser should properly repair the pathway and a
moiety of the road to the extent of its abuttal upon his lot to
the satisfaction of the Vendor In case of non-compliance with
this condition within twenty one days after notice had been sent
or left on the defaulter's plot the Vendor might repair such
pathway and road or any part thereof respectively and recover from
the person making default in so repairing the costs thereof and
incident thereto in such proportion as the Vendor might determine

Each Purchaser should forthwith make and afterwards maintain
boundary fences where marked T within the boundary and fronting
the road No building was to project beyond the building line
shewn on the plan and each purchaser must undertake the care of
his boundary marks.

NOTE 1: The T mark referred to affects the North Eastern boundary
of the land tinted mauve and hatched mauve
NOTE 2: The building line is set back an unknown distance from
Shakespeare Drive.

2 The following are details of the covenants contained in the
Conveyance dated 7 September 1910 referred to in the Charges
Register:-

The Purchaser hereby covenants for himself his heirs executors and
assigns with the Vendor or other the person for time being
entitled to the rents and profits of the adjoining land and to the
intent that such covenant shall bind and run with the land that he
the Purchaser his heirs executors and assigns or other the owner
or Occupier for the time being of the premises hereby conveyed
will within One calendar month from the date hereof erect to the
satisfaction of the Vendors Surveyors and forever thereafter to
the like satisfaction maintain a proper and sufficient fence along
the north western boundary not to be less than four feet or more
than six feet high and also will not get out or work any of the
earth gravel or other mines or minerals lying within an angle of
Forty five degrees taken from a line Three feet within the north
west boundary of the said premises to the intent that the said
earth gravel mines and minerals lying within the distance
aforesaid shall be left as barriers and wholly undisturbed from
any part of the said premises or otherwise permit or suffer any
subsidence or damage to the surface of the adjoining premises
belonging to the Vendor or his Trustees and in the event of any
subsidence or damage will keep the Vendor or other the person
entitled to the rent and profits of the said adjoining land fully
indemnified against any damage or loss which may be occasioned
thereby.

3 The following are details of the covenants contained in the
Conveyance dated 1 February 1911 referred to in the Charges
Register:-

COVENANT by Purchasers with intent to bind all persons in whom the
said hereditaments thereby conveyed or any part thereof should for
the time being be vested but so that every owner should be
personally liable under abstracting covenant only during the
period of actual ownership with the Vendor that they the
Purchasers his heirs and assigns would observe and perform the
said stipulations set out in the first schedule to abstracting
Indenture.

THE FIRST SCHEDULE

1. That no manufactory workshop laundry or any noxious noisy or
offensive trade shall be carried on on any part of the said
premises

2. That is the shops are erected they shall be ordinary shops and
used only for inoffensive trades and not for the purposes of a
fried fish shop or for any other undesirable trade.

3. That the land shall not be used for a dust shoot or deposit of
offensive or unsightly refuse and that no hoarding advertisement
board or the unsightly erection shall be permitted on any part of
the said premises.

4 The following are details of the covenants contained in the
Conveyance dated 11 April 1921 referred to in the Charges
Register:-

"AND the Purchasers for themselves their successors and assigns
hereby covenant with the Vendor his successors and assigns and
also as a separate covenant with the Commissions and their
successors (and so that this covenant shall so far as practicable
be enforceable by the Vicar for the time being of the said Parish
of Prittlewell or other the owner for the time being of the
remaining glebe land now retained by the Vendor or any part
thereof) that the Purchasers and the persons deriving title under
them will at all times hereafter duly observe the stipulations set
out in the Schedule hereto but so nevertheless that this covenant
shall be binding upon the Purchasers and the persons deriving
title under them only during the period of their respective
ownership of any interest in the land hereby conveyed.

THE SCHEDULE

1. No excavation to be made within twenty feet of the wall
forming the boundary between the hereditaments hereby conveyed and
the hereditaments coloured blue upon the said plan. Compensation
to be paid by the Owners or Owner for the time being of the
hereditaments hereby conveyed for all damage done to the said
hereditaments coloured blue or to any buildings hereafter erected
thereon by reason or in consequence of any excavation made by such
owners or owner.

2. The Purchasers within six calendar months from the date of
these presents to remove the gates now existing in the said
boundary walls and to build block up and continue such wall in
place of them to the height of the existing wall and to the
satisfaction in all things of the Vendor or his surveyor for the
time being.

3. No noisy noisome or offensive trade or business or the sale of
wine beer or spirits to be carried on upon the hereditaments
hereby conveyed or any part thereof"

NOTE 1: The boundary referred to is the southern boundary of the
land tinted yellow on the filed plan
NOTE 2: The blue land referred to is the vicarage shown on the
filed plan.

5 The following are details of the covenants contained in the
Conveyance dated 31 July 1953 referred to in the Charges Register:
-
"THE Purchasers hereby jointly and severally covenant with the
Corporation as follows:-

(a) That when laying out and from time to time developing the
premises hereby conveyed as a football ground the Purchasers will
take such precautions and execute such works as may be reasonably
required by the Borough Engineer for the time being of the said
County Borough of Southend-on-Sea for the protection of the Nine
inch diameter soil sewer shown by a green line on the plan
hereinafter referred to.

(b) To develop the premises hereby conveyed for use as a football
ground for the Southend United Football Club Limited and for no
other purpose and that in the event of such development not being
substantially proceeded with within a period of Ten years from the
date hereof in the event of the Purchasers at some earlier date
deciding not to proceed with such development the property and the
fee simple thereof shall be offered forthwith to the Corporation
for re-purchase by them at the price of Ten thousand nine hundred
pounds before it is offered for sale or on lease or otherwise
disposed of to any other person Such offer to the Corporation to
be open for acceptance by the Corporation for a period of Eight
weeks from the date of its receipt by the Corporation In the
event of the Corporation not accepting the said offer or declining
the same before the expiration of the said period of Eight weeks
then and in any such event this covenant shall cease to be valid
or of any effect Provided that the avoidance of the said covenant
shall not be deemed to abrogate modify or in any way affect the
powers and duties of the Vendors as local planning authority for
the County Borough aforesaid in relation to any development in
upon under or over the property hereby conveyed which from time to
time may be proposed to be carried out or carried on as the case
may be.

(c) That the Purchasers will within a reasonable time from the
date of commencement of work for the laying out of a football
pitch on any part of the said land (due regard being given to
difficulties in obtaining any necessary licence and materials)
enclose the property on all boundaries with fences and gates of a
height of not less than six feet.

(d) For the benefit of the adjoining land of the Vendor coloured
grey and grey cross-hatched black on the said plan and any and
every part thereof to observe and perform the restrictive or other
covenants or stipulations mentioned in the Second Schedule hereto
and to indemnify the Vendors in respect of all actions claims and
demands in respect of any future breach of the same."

NOTE: The green line referred to is shown by a broken brown line
on the filed plan. The land coloured grey and grey cross hatched
black is edged yellow and hatched blue on the filed plan
respectively


Quote Ron circa 2009: "The immediate parent company of Southend United Football Club Ltd is South Eastern Leisure (UK) Ltd, of which I, via my corporate ownership, am a 100% share holder. There are no “consortia members”. It took Delancey and myself a while to come to terms for me to acquire their 50% interest in the parent company and I am in no hurry to re-enter into a joint venture! The beneficial owners of the Fossetts Farm development are me and my immediate family."
 

onceknownasrab

President
Joined
Dec 31, 2008
Messages
4,037
Stolen or forfeited due to lack of financial ability to support itself ? We effectively sold the ground so surely any covenant to be allowed to play at Roots Hall went with ownership of the property ?

The football club over many years has lived beyond its means and run up debts that it then had to sell assetts to meet.

If someone gave me a car in a will and I then had to sell it to pay off my barclaycard I wouldnt expect to then be able to drive it from free afterwards, which seems to be what you are suggesting.

The following are details of the covenants contained in the
Conveyance dated 31 July 1953 referred to in the Charges Register:

"THE Purchasers hereby jointly and severally covenant with the
Corporation as follows:-

(b) To develop the premises hereby conveyed for use as a football
ground for the Southend United Football Club Limited and for no
other purpose...
 

onceknownasrab

President
Joined
Dec 31, 2008
Messages
4,037
Thanks Smiffy for the covenant details, I was having trouble finding them. I still feel the original spirit has been stolen.
 

Smiffy

SZ Drinking Champion
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
16,332
Location
Vanarama National League (Loan)
Thanks Smiffy for the covenant details, I was having trouble finding them. I still feel the original spirit has been stolen.

Oh it has most certainly. I think there are a lot of things on the covenant that have not been entirely adhered to shall we say.

But not being a legal man myself, I'll be honest and say most of it is jargon to me!

Perhaps a legal bod can run their eye over it....
 

onceknownasrab

President
Joined
Dec 31, 2008
Messages
4,037
I would love to think that proceedings can be challenged. I am all for FF but Southend United Football Club should own more and be safeguarded as in the spirit of the original covenant.
 

fbm

Blue tinted optimist⭐
Joined
Oct 28, 2003
Messages
8,814
Location
Cloud cuckoo land
The following are details of the covenants contained in the
Conveyance dated 31 July 1953 referred to in the Charges Register:

"THE Purchasers hereby jointly and severally covenant with the
Corporation as follows:-

(b) To develop the premises hereby conveyed for use as a football
ground for the Southend United Football Club Limited and for no
other purpose...

But up to now this is what has happened.

This type of law isn't my area but I would guess that the lawyers have been able to effectively break the terms of the covenant by guaranteeing an alternative ground where we can play, which I guess is the reason that FF must happen before we vacate RH. As to whether the covenant is transferrable to FF I have no idea, but would doubt it.

Forget the development for a second... what would happen if, say, RH was destroyed by fire, earthquake (unlikely but they do happen in this country occasionally) or some other event that rendered the stadium/ground unusable as a stadium meaning that we HAD to find a new home? What good would the covenant be then?
 

onceknownasrab

President
Joined
Dec 31, 2008
Messages
4,037
But up to now this is what has happened.

This type of law isn't my area but I would guess that the lawyers have been able to effectively break the terms of the covenant by guaranteeing an alternative ground where we can play, which I guess is the reason that FF must happen before we vacate RH. As to whether the covenant is transferrable to FF I have no idea, but would doubt it.

Forget the development for a second... what would happen if, say, RH was destroyed by fire, earthquake (unlikely but they do happen in this country occasionally) or some other event that rendered the stadium/ground unusable as a stadium meaning that we HAD to find a new home? What good would the covenant be then?

I take your point but the whole point is that the developers cannot benefit from a fire or earthquake at Roots Hall because of the covenant. If they could of, someone would of.
As for the transfer of the covenant, the council et al should have made it compulsory otherwise it is the supporters and residents of the borough that lose again.
Giving us a new ground is not compensation. If they do not build a stadium at FF they are not allowed to build the retail park and that is what they want the most.
 

Jam_Man

Life President
Joined
Apr 7, 2005
Messages
25,545
Location
Southend
I take your point but the whole point is that the developers cannot benefit from a fire or earthquake at Roots Hall because of the covenant. If they could of, someone would of.
As for the transfer of the covenant, the council et al should have made it compulsory otherwise it is the supporters and residents of the borough that lose again.
Giving us a new ground is not compensation. If they do not build a stadium at FF they are not allowed to build the retail park and that is what they want the most.

Why isnt it ?

Id certainly question whether providing a 3 sided stadium is enough, but I think it would be hard to contest that a fully built Fossettss Farm wouldnt beadequate replacement for Roots Hall.

Im not sure where you are coming from on this, do you think that we should just stay at Roots Hall ? If so what if that ends up in the club going out of business ?
 

onceknownasrab

President
Joined
Dec 31, 2008
Messages
4,037
Why isnt it ?

Id certainly question whether providing a 3 sided stadium is enough, but I think it would be hard to contest that a fully built Fossettss Farm wouldnt beadequate replacement for Roots Hall.

Im not sure where you are coming from on this, do you think that we should just stay at Roots Hall ? If so what if that ends up in the club going out of business ?

No I do not think a new stadium is enough. For one, I feel the new stadium needs to covered by a like for like covenant in the interests of the supporters and as the new retail park project hinges solely on the new stadium and the new stadium is dependent on the interpretation of the original covenant I expect southend united football club to be masters of its own destiny and owner of its own ground.
 

Yorkshire Blue

Super Moderator⭐
Staff member
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
36,154
Location
London
If you want a legal analysis of the covenants, have a search on here for Tulk v Moxhay.
 

Jam_Man

Life President
Joined
Apr 7, 2005
Messages
25,545
Location
Southend
No I do not think a new stadium is enough. For one, I feel the new stadium needs to covered by a like for like covenant in the interests of the supporters and as the new retail park project hinges solely on the new stadium and the new stadium is dependent on the interpretation of the original covenant I expect southend united football club to be masters of its own destiny and owner of its own ground.

We sold our ground though, I dont see how any covenant could guarantee ownership.

I wish we did own the ground though but we dont.
 

onceknownasrab

President
Joined
Dec 31, 2008
Messages
4,037
If you want a legal analysis of the covenants, have a search on here for Tulk v Moxhay.
Well cited Yorkshire Blue. I may be clutching at straws but my rotund gut tells me all is not right. I am absolutely pro the move to FF but am sure there are too many people being trampled on in the pursuit of avarice. The ethos of the club and the well meaning of all those that created RH must not be lost.
 

onceknownasrab

President
Joined
Dec 31, 2008
Messages
4,037
We sold our ground though, I dont see how any covenant could guarantee ownership.

I wish we did own the ground though but we dont.

I accept we don't own it anymore. But the ownership can be a bargaining chip/reward for the waver of the covenant. Do you not feel the lifeblood of the club is worth haggling for?
 
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