The first ‘Blues Bulletin’ focuses on our current situation whilst at Roots Hall Stadium, one of the few wooden stadiums in the Football League and the home of Southend United since 1955.
When Roots Hall is rocking it can certainly create a good environment and atmosphere on match days and we love it, however it is no longer fit for the modern game. Not just the poor facilities for supporters but also the very considerable cost year on year to maintain Roots Hall being “fit for purpose” .i.e. to ensure the provision of a Safety Certificate.
The stadium is tired and restricts the club’s growth as we look to progress on and off the pitch.
Over the past year alone we have carried out works in excess of £300,000 just to meet requirements of the Council in the issue of the Safety Certificate. Some of these requirements may have been as a consequence of the Grenfell disaster, either way it is critical we maintain the safety of our stadium at all times and of course the club will always pay the utmost attention to safety issues. Few will know that the club’s Chairman is the person ultimately responsible… Ron took on that role/responsibility to ensure the protection of others. Another personal hidden cost to Ron on behalf of the club.
This is a huge amount of money just to allow us to open the gates of Roots Hall to our loyal fan base on a match day and emphasises our need for a new stadium.
We would much rather be spending the ongoing maintenance costs for the benefit of the first-team squad, imagine what another £300,000 could’ve done to our playing budget this season.
The above is one of the many things supporters do not see, and the reasoning behind wanting to move to the new development is not just for the increased capacity, attracting new players or improving facilities; there is a real need to move.
There are several stadiums in the Football League that do not operate with every stand open on a league match day and we would never want Roots Hall to be like that, we would want to go at a time where everyone enjoys the atmosphere and remembers it fondly.
Many Blues fans of a certain age won’t know any different to Roots Hall other than snapshots of visiting different grounds when following Southend United away from home. The season that stood out for me personally was during 2006/07 in the Championship, visiting the likes of West Brom, Norwich City, Southampton, Leicester City to name a few.
We’ve assembled 60 acres of land at the Fossetts Farm site, it’s taken the club and Council a long time, but we are making fantastic progress towards our final goal and we hope to have the facilities and stadium to match the first-class fan base.
With over 660,000 residents within a 30-minute drive of Southend it’s a great opportunity for us to take Southend United to the next level where it belongs.
Head of Commercial
The next edition of ‘Blues Bulletin’ focuses on the planning application, as we look to provide background and detail on the scale of the development, the cost implications and the amount of work that has gone in since the application was submitted on 28th April 2017, plus much more.