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Plans For New Southend Stadium at Fossetts Farm Scrapped

The Southend United stadium plans at the Fossetts Farm developement have been scrapped in a bid to save the club itself.

National League Southend are now set to stay at their crumbling Roots Hall Ground after making a U-turn over ambitious long-term plans to build a new ground.

Why Have Southend Scrapped Their New Stadium Plans?

The saga has been ongoing since 2017, as the club had previously agreed with Southend-on-Sea Borough Council to build 500 residential homes on the Roots Hall in addition to extra housing on the site of the proposed new stadium. Income from these developments were planned to provide the necessary finance to build the new stadium which was initially planned to hold 21,000 fans.

How The New Stadium May Have Looked

New Southend United Stadium

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The artist's impression above is courtesy of the Southend United website dating from 2020.

Southend United's Financial Problems Linked With Stadium U-turn

Those ambitious ideas were then downgraded to a 16,226 seater stadium with plans for a hotel also dropped, but the new report recently approved by the Council will instead see 1,300 homes built on the Fossetts Farm site instead.

This emergency ruling is thought to have saved the club from financial ruin, as Southend United's new stadium plans were standing in the way of a proposed takeover of the club by Australian IT millionaire Justin Rees.

Whilst full details have not yet been agreed, it's thought that the Council decision allows room for Roots Hall to be redeveloped instead.

“I think we were all in danger of not just seeing the demise of the club, but also much-needed housing that had been promised over a period of time as well,” Southend-On-Sea Council Leader Tony Cox told the BBC.

“I am hopeful the next phase of this will go well and we will come back with something which we can all agree on, move forward and allow the club to have a successful and sustainable future.”

Southend United Have Already Faced Sanctions

Southend United have been facing extreme financial pressure in recent months and were docked 10 points by the National League in August 2023 after failing to clear an HMRC debt. The club was then issued with a winding up order in October with current owner Ron Martin pointing to the Covid pandemic as the reason for Southend's financial struggles.

Existing Owner Highly Unpopular With Southend Fans

Southend supporters were enraged to see Mr. Martin attend his first game in over a year on Boxing Day in 2023, with one fans group asking for the owner to be issued with a ban from attending further matches.

“A football club that has been run as a failed vehicle to a residential property fortune, can hopefully once again be run as just that, a football club, read a statement issued by the Southend Fan Protest Group.

“It is now time the consortium and CEO put in place plans to serve Ron Martin with a banning order from Roots Hall on match days.”

What Will Happen To Roots Hall Now?

The takeover still has not been rubber stamped and Southend United fans are left with their existing ground at Roots Hall in desperate need of renovation with reports of crumbling concrete, closed toilets and other structural issues.

The 12,392-seater stadium has been home to Southend United since it opened in 1955.

The New Stadium Plans at Fossetts Farm Before They Were Scrapped

The above video was produced by Southend United Football Club
And made publicly available via YouTube


Chloe Digby

An experienced freelance football writer, editor and podcaster, Chloe has worked for Forbes, the Guardian, the BBC, Mundial Magazine, FourFourTwo Magazine the iPaper, OneFootball, Tortoise Media and many more. Chloe has been a regular at Stockport County since 1995 and also follows Fiorentina. She is an expert on fan culture, having traveled all over England and Italy watching football.

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