Fans stage protest as Southend on brink of relegation from football league

Fans gather outside Roots Hall in Southend

Angry football fans have gathered in Southend as their team faces relegation from the EFL for the first time in their history.

A demonstration was held at Roots Hall as fans showed their disappointment and demanded the resignation of Chairman Ron Martin.

Around a hundred fans had gathered in a protest organised by fan group Simply Shrimpers. They say the club is in the wrong hands.

Southend United chairman Ron Martin. Credit: PA

But Phil Brown and his players sprang a surprise by beating Leyton Orient 2-1 this afternoon, giving fans a faint glimmer of hope.

The Shrimpers, who were playing in the Championship and beating the likes of Manchester United in the cup not that long ago, seem doomed to lose their league status which they've held for a century.

They rekindled bold plans last year for a new stadium to replace Roots Hall. But now they are in a battle for survival.

Southend manager Phil Brown has an almost impossible task on his hands Credit: PA

The club have released a statement saying they are distraught at the outcome of the season.

Ron Martin said he remains convinced the club has a great future.

For over 20 years I have willingly and steadfastly engaged with supporters, both individually and in Supporter Groups and together we have a great club. This has been a year of despair on the pitch but the future will be great again. I know people want someone to blame, that is human nature. My financial support is being maintained to get us back on track. A "club" is a group of people with a common aim and mine, like the fans, is success on the pitch.

Ron Martin, Chairman, Southend United