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Stadium delayed "by 10 to 12 months" or possibly 10-12 years !!!


Straight from the crazy-haired horses mouth


Credit crunch hitting new Southend United stadium

Southend United’s new stadium will be delayed for a year because of the economic slump, Ron Martin has admitted.

Mr Martin said the team would not be playing in the new stadium for the 2010/11 season and there was likely to be a delay of between 10 and 12 months.

The Blues’ chairman claimed no bank in the UK was currently prepared to lend the money needed for the ambitious project.

He still hoped to be on site by the spring to start the preparation of the new training ground and also start digging the foundations of the stadium itself.

Mr Martin was critical of the Government for calling in the application for a public inquiry as this had led to a long delay.

He said: “If we had not been delayed, then we could have been on site 18 months ago and a major part of the work would have been carried out.

“Overall, the plans will move back something like 10 to 12 months from what we first hoped and that’s a direct result of the banks not being open for business.”

He praised both Southend Council and Sainsbury’s, which is planning to build a new store on the football club’s existing Roots Hall site, for their support.

The £80million stadium scheme, also includes, shops, flats and a hotel as well.

Last summer, as the credit crunch began to bite, Mr Martin visited America to look at possible ways of financing the stadium and held talks with US investment back Morgan Stanley.

Reaction in Southend to the delay was one of disappointment, but also the acceptance of the problems the football club was facing.

Lib Dem group leader on the council, Graham Longley, is a lifelong fan of Southend United.

He said: “Of course I’m disappointed, but it is better to say now there will be a delay rather than getting the thing half finished and then admitting there is no money to do any more.”

John Lamb, councillor responsible for regeneration, added: “I’m sorry, but I’m not at all surprised given the current economic situation.

“Whatever the Government tries to do does not seem to be achieving anything and it seems to be mortgaging the country’s future without tackling the issues.”

Blues fan, Mike Devenish, 55, from Hockley, said: “No one is going to be surprised the club can’t get any money to build the stadium. I shall be very surprised if any work is done at all on the site, even in a year.”