Southend look to be on the up, despite beginning the season with doubt that they'd even remain a football club... After two wins from two, against Oldham and Dagenham and Redbridge, conceding no goals in the process, Southend were off to the perfect start. Harry Cardwell has had an electric start to the season, scoring 3 goals in 4 games thus far, and has been one of Southend's standout players.
In the clash against Hartlepool last Saturday, Cardwell had an opportunity to achieve a remarkable feat of scoring in four consecutive games, a feat not seen in the club for years. Unfortunately, the visitors managed to thwart his efforts, displaying a fantastic defensive display to prevent his goal-scoring spree.
Winning 50% of their opening 4 games, Southend do still appear to be on the up. Losing some of their great players due to financial doldrums has undoubtedly hurt their chances of promotion, with Kacper Lopata to Barnsley, Chris Wreh to Hartlepool, Henry Sandat to Hull City and "Super" Steve Arnold to Sutton United...
This, combined with 0 arrivals, has meant that players otherwise seen as reserve / impact players have had to step up, alongside youth talents. One youth talent in particular that has caught attention is Oli Coker, who has spent the last two seasons in lower leagues with clubs like East Thurrock and more notably Aveley FC, helping them in their promotion to National League South. Coker has scored two goals in three matches under Kevin Maher this season, though didn't feature in the 3-2 loss to Hartlepool.
While Southend's progress has seemed almost unstoppable, they did experience a setback with a narrow 3-2 defeat against Hartlepool and 2-1 loss to Dorking Wanderers. However, this loss should not overshadow the remarkable strides the team has made, especially considering the challenges they've faced both on and off the field.
The challenges however, could only get worse, as Southend could potentially receive a 10 point deduction, subject to National League decision making, following Southend's appointment today with the High Court.
What you need to know:
Owner, Ron Martin, informed the court about an impending sale to an undisclosed Australian purchaser, anticipated to conclude by the end of September.
The club has JUST received a 42-day extension in order to settle debts and secure a new proprietor.
The completion of the takeover is now mandatory before their next court appearance, currently scheduled for October 4th.
The judge cautioned Ron Martin that failing to meet this deadline could lead to the wind-up of the club...
Judge Prentis mentioned that were it not for the emotional connection with the club's fans, he would have ordered its immediate closure.
The Shrimpers, unfortunately burdened with £2.5 million in debts, owe an outstanding £275,000 in unpaid taxes to HMRC;
The National League have warned that not clearing this debt by today's date would result in a 10-point deduction...
Although respite has been given to Southend United by the High Court to find a buyer and settle debts, and although their on-pitch efforts will go a long way this season in offering the fans a coping mechanism - the situation is still concerning and a 10 point deduction could be the spanner in the works that throws off their entire season. Fingers crossed that a prospective buyer takes a swoop and that the National League make the correct decision going forward with Southend United...