SOUTHEND United chairman Ron Martin has told of the Blues’ continuing dilemma with the tax man as the club faces yet another winding up order over an unpaid bill.

Mr Martin vowed the club will rise out the latest financial hurdle and there will shortly be positive news about the deal with Sainsbury’s to move to Fossetts Farm.

However, he said a “zero tolerance” approach by HMRC, to football clubs who are late with payments by just a matter of days, has posed ongoing difficulties for the cash-strapped club.

Revenue and customs issued a winding up petition on February 4 over an undisclosed tax bill due from the club, which was just three days late, according to Mr Martin.

It has been listed for a High Court hearing next month and if it remains unpaid a judge could order the club is wound up and dissolved.

Mr Martin assured fans it would be settled before court, as the club has done numerous times over the last three years, and the petition withdrawn.

He said HMRC treated clubs more harshly to standard limited companies, because the tax man is not classed a “preferential creditor” with football clubs.

If a standard limited company was wound up the tax man would be paid out first before anyone else, but with football clubs it has to vie for a share of the assets left with any other creditors.