Stan Collymore to assist 'wonderful' ex-club Southend United in new manager search

Former Southend United striker Stan Collymore has revealed he will play a key role in helping to appoint the club's next manager.

The Shrimpers sacked boss Phil Brown on Saturday, just half an hour after their 4-0 defeat to Chesterfield in the National League.

That game was yet again marred by protests by sections of the club's fans against owner Ron Martin, with the game having to be stopped for several minutes in the second-half after supporters stormed onto the pitch.

The defeat leaves Southend only outside the dropzone on goal difference, leaving many fans worried a third successive relegation could be on the cards.

After much persistence, Collymore has now been given the all clear from Martin to assist the club in their hunt for a new manager and he says that process will begin this week.

  • Watch an extended interview with Stan Collymore

"I have a list of a number of very, very good candidates, so do two or three of the other guys (owner Ron Martin and chief executive Tom Lawrence) and we will start to look through them sometime this week," Collymore told ITV News Anglia.

"It's baby steps. First, it's steadying the ship, bringing people together and making sure that the right person comes in and moves this wonderful club forward. And then dare to dream after that."

Many fans are more concerned with a change in ownership though, with protests now becoming a regular occurrence at Southend games.

A recent poll conducted by some of the club's supporters' groups found that 95% of fans want chairman Ron Martin to go.

Southend United owner Ron Martin. Credit: PA

However, Martin has made it clear that he has no intention of putting the club up for sale and remains committed to delivering a new 22,000 seater stadium at Fossetts Farm.

"Ron likes to call himself a fan. He's said many times, I'm just as much a fan as you," Scott Peters from the 'Save Our Southend' group said.

"If that's the case, then stop hurting the club, realise that you don't have the resources required to move us to a new stadium, to bring us back to where we should be as a football club, and step aside."