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Tory Candidate issues statement amid Southend United future fears 



The Tory candidate for Southend West and Leigh has published a statement amid concerns about the future of Southend United.

Blues fans remain concerned about the club’s future as talks between the Martin family and Southend Council continue over the Fossetts Farm project.

Daniel Cowan, the leader of Southend Council, updated supporters on the project’s development last week, stating that the developer is working on a fresh concept.

A deal must be reached for the partnership led by billionaire Justin Rees to begin operating the Shrimpers.

Conservative candidate Anna Firth says she has been regularly asked about the current state of play with the Blues campaigning in her seat.

Ms Firth is limited in what she can do and say due to the General Election campaign, but she assures that she is “in regular contact with all of the major stakeholders and stands ready to help”.

Ms Firth stated, “Our football club is one of our city’s most valuable assets, and I am as determined as ever to see it not only survive, but thrive.”

“My last official meeting as your MP was with Daniel Cowan, the head of Southend Council. The large amount of the conversation was spent discussing the current state of Southend United, and I’d want to thank him for his time.

“As you will all know from recent Echo articles, Justin and the consortium have reinforced their commitment to the club by promising to pay off the latest petition debt, but they cannot simply continue to pay millions of pounds to sustain the club without more clarity.

“This process is clearly taking much longer than expected, and I am confident that you will all agree that Justin and the entire consortium have been exemplary in their interactions with both the outgoing chairman and the council.

“While the term ‘due diligence’ has become synonymous with delays for Southend United fans, it is critical that this component of the deal not be rushed since the council has a duty to all Southend taxpayers to ensure that the Fossetts Farm deal is fiscally viable.

“The fact that the Euros are arguably more important to the nation than the General Election demonstrates how much our football club transcends the political divide in Southend.

“So, regardless of how frustrated we are, I believe we must demonstrate that we are united around a same purpose. This has been a difficult procedure for everyone involved.

“I am grateful to the consortium for their understanding and urge all parties to see the compromise necessary to bring this to a successful conclusion for the club and, most importantly, the fans.”

The candidates for the General Election in Southend West and Leigh are:

  • Anna Firth – Conservative. 
  • David Burton-Sampson – Labour.
  • Tom Darwood – Independent. 
  • Robert Francis – Independent. 
  • Tilly Hogrebe – Greens. 
  • Lara Hurley – Heritage Party. 
  • Peter Little – Reform UK. 
  • James Miller – Confelicity. 
  • Jason Pilley – Psychedelic Movement. 
  • Stephen Cummins – Lib Dems.
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