Southend United Football Club was the subject of another impassioned appeal today, this time on the floor of the House of Commons.
Anna Firth, Member of Parliament for Southend West, stood up at DCMS Questions to make the case for saving the local football club. The campaigning MP secured a commitment from the Minister for Sport to meet with her, Sir James Duddridge and the Shrimpers Trust to see what support can be given.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Anna said:
“My Right Honourable Friend is aware of the ongoing crisis at Southend United, so please will he meet with the Shrimper’s Trust, the Member for Rochford and Southend East, and me, urgently, to see what can be done to save this vital community asset for the new City of Southend?”
In reply, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Stuart Andrew MP, said:
“Can I praise my honourable friend for the tremendous amount of work that she’s been doing on behalf of constituents and the families at Southend. I know how hard she’s working. Of course, I’d be more than happy to meet with the fans group, as I have done with other clubs, but I think this highlights the need for the independent football regulator.”
Anna’s urgent plea to the Minister comes after months of hard work on behalf of Southend United Fans. She has held meetings herself with Ron Martin, the current owner of the club, the Shrimpers Trust and the National League but her latest question takes the issue to the top of Government.
Anna has previously pushed for a simpler deal to be offered which would attract more potential buyers. She has also pressed for Mr Martin to provide a complete list of football creditors, pay all players and staff and provide a full safety certificate for Root's Hall before the new season begins.
Commenting, Anna added:
"I have been working day after day to save our local club, which I believe is a vital community asset. I am a fan myself and I know just how much the club means to thousands of people across Southend, which is why I chose to raise it in Parliament this morning.
“I will be following up on the Minister’s offer to hold a meeting which I hope will provide another pathway for the clubs survival. Saving the club remains my absolute top priority and I will keep constituents updated as much as I can.”