Anna Firth, Member of Parliament for Southend West today held a crunch meeting with Sports Minister the Rt. Hon. Stuart Andrew MP.
The Southend West MP secured an urgent meeting with the Rt. Hon. Stuart Andrew MP, who is the Minister of State for Sport, to discuss the current situation at Southend United and explore what support the Government could offer to the struggling National League club.
Firth highlighted both the current issues the Club is facing and the incredible work that has been done by fans and the Shrimpers Trust. The MP also explained the vital importance of Southend United both to the community and the city.
Further, she explained that it is vital that a shadow board is formed as soon as possible to help the club.
Firth explained that she was confident that a buyer for the club would be found, but that the club faces a serious short-term funding crisis. She raised the similar case of Bury FC, which received £1 million of Government support.
After listening to Firth’s concerns, the Minister pledged his Department’s continued support for Southend United and reiterated his wish to see the Club not only survive, but thrive.
Minister Andrew assured Firth that upcoming football legislation was crucial to stop events like this being repeated.
This meeting is the latest in a number of high-profile meetings that have taken place, led by the Southend West MP in an effort to explore all available options to save the Club.
Notably, she has been in constant communication with the National League.
Anna Firth MP took part in another crucial meeting yesterday with the Shrimpers Trust and Southend City Council. Anna was joined by Tony Cox, the current Leader of the Council, as well as Cabinet Members and other senior figures.
At this meeting, Anna Firth reiterated the importance of a consistent approach being taken by the fans, the City Council and the local MPs to ensure that all efforts remain focused on achieving the same common goal of securing the future of Southend United.
The Southend West MP also asked the Council to explore what assistance they could offer to the embattled football club, following Ron Martin’s latest statement released on Monday. The Leader of the Council confirmed that he was doing everything he can in his power to support the club.
Firth is also seeking an urgent meeting with the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Michael Gove to explore the possibility of Community Ownership Funds.
Following the meeting, Anna said:
“I was pleased to have secured an urgent meeting with Minister Andrew today. Southend United is a tremendous community asset which is unfortunately in the middle of a fight for its very survival.
Southend United means so much to the local community and to the city of Southend which is why I will continue to do whatever I can to ensure the survival of the club.
Reading the comments from Kevin Maher today I think typifies the outstanding commitment that so many supporters and people involved with the club share. This is exactly why it is so important that we all work together to secure the club’s future as soon as possible.
I remain in constant contact with the National League, the Shrimpers Trust, the Government, the Council and Ron Martin and will update supporters as soon as possible.”
Leader of Southend City Council Tony Cox added:
“Southend is known for two things – its football club and its pier. Being a football supporter myself, the club is in my DNA. We are doing everything we can in our power at the Council to ensure the club’s survival and retain a place in the National League.”