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Consortium provide update on their bid to buy Southend United



After the Southend-on-Sea City Council made multiple announcements about their due diligence on the Fossetts Farm housing development, COSU would like to provide an update on what that means for Southend United Football Club.

For background, we asked the Council for confirmation that they supported our plan to stay at Roots Hall, and we obtained it before COSU finalized terms to buy Southend United in October 2023.

The previous agreement between the Martins and the Council about Fossetts Farm and Roots Hall had to be modified in order to accommodate this.

It was agreed that the Club may receive funding from development revenues solely for the purpose of renovating Roots Hall and the new training facility, provided that the new stadium requirement was removed and the related land was freed for the construction of more property units.

All involved parties agreed to expedite the completion of their due diligence, with an initial goal of November 2023.

The Council’s predicted due diligence dates have been regularly amended and missed, as is well-documented; yet, we have constantly received confirmation from all parties involved that they remain committed to the deal.

It was evident last Friday that the Council was unwilling to move forward with the property transaction on the terms that had been previously arranged with the Martins.

This week has seen a round of renegotiation as a result, with both parties promising to reach a solution. Although COSU is not actively participating in these negotiations, we are nonetheless emphasizing to everyone how urgent the situation is.

Even in the unlikely event that a compromise is struck, it appears unlikely that the updated property contract would be completed before the Club’s High Court winding up hearing on June 26.

The final step in closing the Club’s sale is still signing the updated property contract, and COSU does not see how they can proceed without it.

We have informed the Council and the Martins that in order for COSU to continue supporting the Club and finish the takeover—which includes coming to payment terms with the creditors on the winding up petition—we need the following three things:

1. An updated property contract with terms t hat all parties agree to finalize.

2. A revised scope of work with a reasonable timeframe for the remaining council due diligence.

3. A deal with the Martins to guarantee the additional money COSU will need to contribute before the takeover. If everyone behaves sensibly and intently, we do not see any reason why these requirements cannot be satisfied the next week.

In the event that a deal is reached, COSU will cooperate with the league, creditors, and the lifting of the embargo to release season tickets.

Although we have no influence over the situation, COSU would want to reassure Southend supporters that we are making every effort to get ready for the upcoming season in the meantime, so that should the deal close, we will be ready to go right away.

Custodians of Southend United, or COSU

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