Ron Martin remortgaged his mansion to bail out Southend United

Ron Martin

Ron Martin

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SOUTHEND United chairman Ron Martin remortgaged his home to stop the football club going bust, the Echo can reveal.

Mr Martin, a property developer, borrowed £750,000 against his £1.6million fivebedroom home, in Benfleet Road, Benfleet, to help clear a £338,000 tax debt owed by the Blues and stop it being forced into administration.

The bailout, in summer 2010, is part of a total of about £13.5million of his own or borrowed money Mr Martin has ploughed into the football club to keep it afloat since he took over in 1999.

Southend Standard: Ron Martin will now be working alongside Gary Lockett at Roots Hall

All or nothing? Ron Martin

He revealed the sheer scale of his investment as he reiterated his desire to get a new stadium built at Fossetts Farm, which would help the club be more self-sufficient.

Mr Martin said: “I have done that (supported the club) for a number of years.

“It is still the case because I can see what the future holds.”

His investment keeps the club going as, according to the latest published accounts up to July 2012, the club is effectively insolvent, but it continues as a “going concern” due to the support of Mr Martin’s main property company, Martin Dawn Plc, and Southend United’s parent company, South Eastern Leisure.

Southend Standard:

Remortgage: Ron's home in Benfleet Road

Mr Martin said through a network of 30 companies he has paid around £11million into the Blues over the past 15 years. He also helped pay off about £5million of the club’s debt when he took over in 1999.

He does not expect to ever recoup the cash.

He said: “It’s gone. It is a lot of money. No, I don’t suppose the fans know.

“I don’t blame them because the primary aim of fans is to see their team win, but the majority don’t look at the accounts or appreciate the degree of investment that has gone into this club to keep it afloat.

“May be they will understand when we have delivered a new stadium.”

Before the 2008 economic downturn, the Bank of Scotland was funding the new 22,000-seat stadium. When the bank pulled out, Mr Martin had to rely on support from development partner Sainsbury’s, which wants to build a supermarket at Roots Hall, and money from his own property development ventures.

Southend Standard:

Stadium dream: Plans for the Fossets Farm stadium

However, in 2010, Sainsbury’s capped its lending at £5.5million after HMRC tried to put the club into administration over an unpaid tax bill.

Mr Martin then had to take drastic action and on August 11, 2010, took out a loan with the Bank of Scotland against his detached family home to help clear the debt. Mr Martin told earlier this week how he hoped to start work on the new stadium in May.

Despite his investment in the Blues, Mr Martin has faced criticism over his personal finances.

However, the club boss has brushed off a series of county court judgments against him on being pre-occupied with getting the club to Fossetts Farm and for running 30 companies.

Solicitors, a neuro specialist, individuals and Anglian Water have all had to takeMrMartin to court to get him to pay bills.

He has been in and out of civil court with the sewage firm and still owes it around £600, according to the public register.

Southend Standard:

Back in the day: Roots Hall stadium 

He has also dodged two attempts to bankrupt him since the 1990s, including a high-profile case last year when former club chief executive Tara Brady secured a repayment plan over a £150,000 debt.

But Mr Martin, who banks with specialist private wealth management company Coutts, said the judgments were not evidence he was no longer in a position to prop up the football club.

He said clearing invoices often had to take second place to negotiating over Fossetts Farm or company business and ignoring final reminders was an oversight that ended up being dealt with by PAs and secretaries.

After previously being quizzed about a number of outstanding judgments, Mr Martin got five of them paid. Two are outstanding.

He revealed he often has the same issue with unpaid parking or congestion charge fines.

Comments (17)

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4:11pm Mon 3 Mar 14

southend loser says...

Would it not have been better to admit defeat and sell the club on .
Surely there is a line everyone has to cross.
I have no real opinion on Martin,but what I will say is sell up now
Would it not have been better to admit defeat and sell the club on . Surely there is a line everyone has to cross. I have no real opinion on Martin,but what I will say is sell up now southend loser
  • Score: 0

4:18pm Mon 3 Mar 14

pembury53 says...

not many would stump up personal cash like that.......... all southend fans should applaud "big" ron, shame about recent results though, typical slump when automatic promotion looked on.....
not many would stump up personal cash like that.......... all southend fans should applaud "big" ron, shame about recent results though, typical slump when automatic promotion looked on..... pembury53
  • Score: 13

4:47pm Mon 3 Mar 14

DogsMessInLeigh says...

Echo love the term 'Mansion'.
Echo love the term 'Mansion'. DogsMessInLeigh
  • Score: -3

4:57pm Mon 3 Mar 14

supermadmax says...

Lol I bet he wont thankyou for showing his 'mansion' and address! The next time there is a protest people will no where to go.

It amazes me why people live in this country sometimes, for that money you could buy a genuine 'mansion' in many parts of the world popular with expats.
Lol I bet he wont thankyou for showing his 'mansion' and address! The next time there is a protest people will no where to go. It amazes me why people live in this country sometimes, for that money you could buy a genuine 'mansion' in many parts of the world popular with expats. supermadmax
  • Score: 2

5:53pm Mon 3 Mar 14

Danshrimp says...

supermadmax wrote:
Lol I bet he wont thankyou for showing his 'mansion' and address! The next time there is a protest people will no where to go.

It amazes me why people live in this country sometimes, for that money you could buy a genuine 'mansion' in many parts of the world popular with expats.
Most Southend fans know where he lives anyway though tbh
[quote][p][bold]supermadmax[/bold] wrote: Lol I bet he wont thankyou for showing his 'mansion' and address! The next time there is a protest people will no where to go. It amazes me why people live in this country sometimes, for that money you could buy a genuine 'mansion' in many parts of the world popular with expats.[/p][/quote]Most Southend fans know where he lives anyway though tbh Danshrimp
  • Score: 8

6:09pm Mon 3 Mar 14

mcnasty says...

Danshrimp wrote:
supermadmax wrote:
Lol I bet he wont thankyou for showing his 'mansion' and address! The next time there is a protest people will no where to go.

It amazes me why people live in this country sometimes, for that money you could buy a genuine 'mansion' in many parts of the world popular with expats.
Most Southend fans know where he lives anyway though tbh
and some people have protested outside his house in the past.
[quote][p][bold]Danshrimp[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]supermadmax[/bold] wrote: Lol I bet he wont thankyou for showing his 'mansion' and address! The next time there is a protest people will no where to go. It amazes me why people live in this country sometimes, for that money you could buy a genuine 'mansion' in many parts of the world popular with expats.[/p][/quote]Most Southend fans know where he lives anyway though tbh[/p][/quote]and some people have protested outside his house in the past. mcnasty
  • Score: 7

4:07am Tue 4 Mar 14

tophat27dt says...

If Mr.Martin has genuinely lost all that money over 14 years, then I am very glad I didn't join a group of fans who wanted to run SUFC. We would not have survived three months. Let's wait until the end of this season and see if the new stadium is going to happen or not, and indeed if The Blues made it into the Play-offs. The team really must start shooting the ball between the posts now. There are teams just below us. Watch out!
If Mr.Martin has genuinely lost all that money over 14 years, then I am very glad I didn't join a group of fans who wanted to run SUFC. We would not have survived three months. Let's wait until the end of this season and see if the new stadium is going to happen or not, and indeed if The Blues made it into the Play-offs. The team really must start shooting the ball between the posts now. There are teams just below us. Watch out! tophat27dt
  • Score: 7

9:18am Tue 4 Mar 14

downtime at work says...

pembury53 wrote:
not many would stump up personal cash like that.......... all southend fans should applaud "big" ron, shame about recent results though, typical slump when automatic promotion looked on.....
In terms of Ron Martin stumping up the cash to continuously bail out the club, he is not doing this out of the goodness of his heart, but rather he is desperate to hold onto the club at virtually any cost, as the new stadium allows him to build a huge retail and residential development (worth 10's of millions in profit to him) on green belt land. Without the club he would have no development vehicle and would have no chance in hell to built a huge development on the green belt, this is what people forget. All of his personal money he puts into the club is for a much bigger pay off when the development finally gets built, it's pure self interest. Let's not forget he is building the stadium without a fourth stand, if he really cared about the club he would do it properly, but no, you get the feeling anything will do in terms of the stadium design, so long as the retail park can get built.

There is of course a further argument that his self interest is of benefit to the club, as the Blues get a new stadium out of it and (hopefully) greater financial security, which as an argument does have some merit. But Ron is no saint and does not have the best interests of the club at his heart.
[quote][p][bold]pembury53[/bold] wrote: not many would stump up personal cash like that.......... all southend fans should applaud "big" ron, shame about recent results though, typical slump when automatic promotion looked on.....[/p][/quote]In terms of Ron Martin stumping up the cash to continuously bail out the club, he is not doing this out of the goodness of his heart, but rather he is desperate to hold onto the club at virtually any cost, as the new stadium allows him to build a huge retail and residential development (worth 10's of millions in profit to him) on green belt land. Without the club he would have no development vehicle and would have no chance in hell to built a huge development on the green belt, this is what people forget. All of his personal money he puts into the club is for a much bigger pay off when the development finally gets built, it's pure self interest. Let's not forget he is building the stadium without a fourth stand, if he really cared about the club he would do it properly, but no, you get the feeling anything will do in terms of the stadium design, so long as the retail park can get built. There is of course a further argument that his self interest is of benefit to the club, as the Blues get a new stadium out of it and (hopefully) greater financial security, which as an argument does have some merit. But Ron is no saint and does not have the best interests of the club at his heart. downtime at work
  • Score: 1

1:19pm Tue 4 Mar 14

pembury53 says...

downtime at work wrote:
pembury53 wrote: not many would stump up personal cash like that.......... all southend fans should applaud "big" ron, shame about recent results though, typical slump when automatic promotion looked on.....
In terms of Ron Martin stumping up the cash to continuously bail out the club, he is not doing this out of the goodness of his heart, but rather he is desperate to hold onto the club at virtually any cost, as the new stadium allows him to build a huge retail and residential development (worth 10's of millions in profit to him) on green belt land. Without the club he would have no development vehicle and would have no chance in hell to built a huge development on the green belt, this is what people forget. All of his personal money he puts into the club is for a much bigger pay off when the development finally gets built, it's pure self interest. Let's not forget he is building the stadium without a fourth stand, if he really cared about the club he would do it properly, but no, you get the feeling anything will do in terms of the stadium design, so long as the retail park can get built. There is of course a further argument that his self interest is of benefit to the club, as the Blues get a new stadium out of it and (hopefully) greater financial security, which as an argument does have some merit. But Ron is no saint and does not have the best interests of the club at his heart.
I'd still rather have "big" ron than vincent tan.....
[quote][p][bold]downtime at work[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]pembury53[/bold] wrote: not many would stump up personal cash like that.......... all southend fans should applaud "big" ron, shame about recent results though, typical slump when automatic promotion looked on.....[/p][/quote]In terms of Ron Martin stumping up the cash to continuously bail out the club, he is not doing this out of the goodness of his heart, but rather he is desperate to hold onto the club at virtually any cost, as the new stadium allows him to build a huge retail and residential development (worth 10's of millions in profit to him) on green belt land. Without the club he would have no development vehicle and would have no chance in hell to built a huge development on the green belt, this is what people forget. All of his personal money he puts into the club is for a much bigger pay off when the development finally gets built, it's pure self interest. Let's not forget he is building the stadium without a fourth stand, if he really cared about the club he would do it properly, but no, you get the feeling anything will do in terms of the stadium design, so long as the retail park can get built. There is of course a further argument that his self interest is of benefit to the club, as the Blues get a new stadium out of it and (hopefully) greater financial security, which as an argument does have some merit. But Ron is no saint and does not have the best interests of the club at his heart.[/p][/quote]I'd still rather have "big" ron than vincent tan..... pembury53
  • Score: 2

1:25pm Tue 4 Mar 14

downtime at work says...

pembury53 wrote:
downtime at work wrote:
pembury53 wrote: not many would stump up personal cash like that.......... all southend fans should applaud "big" ron, shame about recent results though, typical slump when automatic promotion looked on.....
In terms of Ron Martin stumping up the cash to continuously bail out the club, he is not doing this out of the goodness of his heart, but rather he is desperate to hold onto the club at virtually any cost, as the new stadium allows him to build a huge retail and residential development (worth 10's of millions in profit to him) on green belt land. Without the club he would have no development vehicle and would have no chance in hell to built a huge development on the green belt, this is what people forget. All of his personal money he puts into the club is for a much bigger pay off when the development finally gets built, it's pure self interest. Let's not forget he is building the stadium without a fourth stand, if he really cared about the club he would do it properly, but no, you get the feeling anything will do in terms of the stadium design, so long as the retail park can get built. There is of course a further argument that his self interest is of benefit to the club, as the Blues get a new stadium out of it and (hopefully) greater financial security, which as an argument does have some merit. But Ron is no saint and does not have the best interests of the club at his heart.
I'd still rather have "big" ron than vincent tan.....
Ha, now that I agree 100% with. Better the devil you know...
[quote][p][bold]pembury53[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]downtime at work[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]pembury53[/bold] wrote: not many would stump up personal cash like that.......... all southend fans should applaud "big" ron, shame about recent results though, typical slump when automatic promotion looked on.....[/p][/quote]In terms of Ron Martin stumping up the cash to continuously bail out the club, he is not doing this out of the goodness of his heart, but rather he is desperate to hold onto the club at virtually any cost, as the new stadium allows him to build a huge retail and residential development (worth 10's of millions in profit to him) on green belt land. Without the club he would have no development vehicle and would have no chance in hell to built a huge development on the green belt, this is what people forget. All of his personal money he puts into the club is for a much bigger pay off when the development finally gets built, it's pure self interest. Let's not forget he is building the stadium without a fourth stand, if he really cared about the club he would do it properly, but no, you get the feeling anything will do in terms of the stadium design, so long as the retail park can get built. There is of course a further argument that his self interest is of benefit to the club, as the Blues get a new stadium out of it and (hopefully) greater financial security, which as an argument does have some merit. But Ron is no saint and does not have the best interests of the club at his heart.[/p][/quote]I'd still rather have "big" ron than vincent tan.....[/p][/quote]Ha, now that I agree 100% with. Better the devil you know... downtime at work
  • Score: -2

6:16pm Tue 4 Mar 14

Dan-Hockley says...

Hang on a minute - the money was for unpaid tax?

So the finance bods at the football club were trying to screw the country out of paying the tax that we all have to pay?

If so, this makes them thieves .... so where's the criminal prosecution?

None of us want to pay our taxes, but we have to - why should the football club think that they are above the law?
Hang on a minute - the money was for unpaid tax? So the finance bods at the football club were trying to screw the country out of paying the tax that we all have to pay? If so, this makes them thieves .... so where's the criminal prosecution? None of us want to pay our taxes, but we have to - why should the football club think that they are above the law? Dan-Hockley
  • Score: 2

6:30pm Tue 4 Mar 14

gary 51 says...

People say sell the club, who too? there are not many investors banging on the door to take over Southend United!
People say sell the club, who too? there are not many investors banging on the door to take over Southend United! gary 51
  • Score: -1

6:52pm Tue 4 Mar 14

bongking says...

What a load of toot, I read on here, you got sell the club, pay your taxes, do this do that, he is a business man, making money is his game, he always pays his taxes, late or not, if he was to sell, who would by the club, for the price he would want, he is a clever person, that's why Sainsburys still back him! Me being a S.U.F.C supporter, I am behind r Martin , I want a new stadium, I want to see good times in the future, for the club, we all have been hit by the hard times, when the stadium built, and he starts making load of money, don't you think that will be good for him and for us to go forward, as a club, oh no people will find something to moan about!!!
What a load of toot, I read on here, you got sell the club, pay your taxes, do this do that, he is a business man, making money is his game, he always pays his taxes, late or not, if he was to sell, who would by the club, for the price he would want, he is a clever person, that's why Sainsburys still back him! Me being a S.U.F.C supporter, I am behind r Martin , I want a new stadium, I want to see good times in the future, for the club, we all have been hit by the hard times, when the stadium built, and he starts making load of money, don't you think that will be good for him and for us to go forward, as a club, oh no people will find something to moan about!!! bongking
  • Score: 5

2:18pm Wed 5 Mar 14

southend loser says...

bongking wrote:
What a load of toot, I read on here, you got sell the club, pay your taxes, do this do that, he is a business man, making money is his game, he always pays his taxes, late or not, if he was to sell, who would by the club, for the price he would want, he is a clever person, that's why Sainsburys still back him! Me being a S.U.F.C supporter, I am behind r Martin , I want a new stadium, I want to see good times in the future, for the club, we all have been hit by the hard times, when the stadium built, and he starts making load of money, don't you think that will be good for him and for us to go forward, as a club, oh no people will find something to moan about!!!
We all want to see good times,and my comment was to state that if you have to hock your gaff to pay tax bills then obviously you are in some sort of trouble.
I think to say no investor would be interested in buying the club is an admission of the severe problems at. Southend.
I have supported Southend for fifty years plus and seen a lot of good and bad.
My concern is that Martin is going to run out of funding and the club WILL tip over.
By the way how is the new ground coming on???.
You should be able to tell as a loyal supporter that with the financial constraints the mickey mouse team Brown has to field because of a transfer embargo.
Why the transfer embargo?? Because of unpaid debts.
Look at Luton in and out of administration now in new hands and will be playing Southend next season barring any more points deductions.
I love Southend and the club and take great offence of being sniped at by barroom preachers.
[quote][p][bold]bongking[/bold] wrote: What a load of toot, I read on here, you got sell the club, pay your taxes, do this do that, he is a business man, making money is his game, he always pays his taxes, late or not, if he was to sell, who would by the club, for the price he would want, he is a clever person, that's why Sainsburys still back him! Me being a S.U.F.C supporter, I am behind r Martin , I want a new stadium, I want to see good times in the future, for the club, we all have been hit by the hard times, when the stadium built, and he starts making load of money, don't you think that will be good for him and for us to go forward, as a club, oh no people will find something to moan about!!![/p][/quote]We all want to see good times,and my comment was to state that if you have to hock your gaff to pay tax bills then obviously you are in some sort of trouble. I think to say no investor would be interested in buying the club is an admission of the severe problems at. Southend. I have supported Southend for fifty years plus and seen a lot of good and bad. My concern is that Martin is going to run out of funding and the club WILL tip over. By the way how is the new ground coming on???. You should be able to tell as a loyal supporter that with the financial constraints the mickey mouse team Brown has to field because of a transfer embargo. Why the transfer embargo?? Because of unpaid debts. Look at Luton in and out of administration now in new hands and will be playing Southend next season barring any more points deductions. I love Southend and the club and take great offence of being sniped at by barroom preachers. southend loser
  • Score: 0

7:29pm Wed 5 Mar 14

orsettblue says...

I may be in the minority but we should all hope Ron is true to his word and pulls this off. Doesn't appear to have the best financial record but I say so what if he makes money out of an eventual sale - what investor doesn't.

IF I am sitting in a new ground in 2016, I'll say 'thanks Ron' (do want 4 sides though !).

If he walks away after that with a few quid, so what? we will THEN be more attractive to a new potential buyer.
I may be in the minority but we should all hope Ron is true to his word and pulls this off. Doesn't appear to have the best financial record but I say so what if he makes money out of an eventual sale - what investor doesn't. IF I am sitting in a new ground in 2016, I'll say 'thanks Ron' (do want 4 sides though !). If he walks away after that with a few quid, so what? we will THEN be more attractive to a new potential buyer. orsettblue
  • Score: 3

7:49pm Wed 5 Mar 14

Teetime says...

The more I read of this, the more things don't seem to add up. Surely with all the court appearances, judgements and additional cost of unpaid parking fines and interest, all due to Fossett Farm pre occupying him. Maybe employing someone part time to deal with this would have helped, he may well have saved himself money, and avoided all the negative publicity. That is if he had the cash available to pay the Bills.
Spend a little money and get the accounts information on Uncle Rons companies, from Companies House, it will make for very interesting reading.
Why if it has got to the stage that you have to mortgage his house, does he still carry on? Is there a Golden egg waiting further down the line. £11 million that he doesn't think he will recoup. Really?
The more I read of this, the more things don't seem to add up. Surely with all the court appearances, judgements and additional cost of unpaid parking fines and interest, all due to Fossett Farm pre occupying him. Maybe employing someone part time to deal with this would have helped, he may well have saved himself money, and avoided all the negative publicity. That is if he had the cash available to pay the Bills. Spend a little money and get the accounts information on Uncle Rons companies, from Companies House, it will make for very interesting reading. Why if it has got to the stage that you have to mortgage his house, does he still carry on? Is there a Golden egg waiting further down the line. £11 million that he doesn't think he will recoup. Really? Teetime
  • Score: 1

9:27pm Wed 5 Mar 14

bongking says...

There you go more if this ,if that, from what I know the new stadium should start being built in May this year, now I hear I've heard that before, well like most SUFC supporters, I hope it's soon, if this is just r Martin stalling for time, this could not go on much longer, Sainsburys want to build there new store, they will eventually have enough, so it is in there interest for the stadium t.o be built, so then they can get on with the store, it does not matter what we say or do, at this time r Martin will stay, and he will do what needed, then there may be a time when he might sell up, but who ever takes over, I hope he has a lot of money, as look what happened to roots hall, the chairman went through hard times, and sold a lot of the land at roots hall, to pay his debts, oh well let's see what the future holds, I hope we start winning some games thou!!!
There you go more if this ,if that, from what I know the new stadium should start being built in May this year, now I hear I've heard that before, well like most SUFC supporters, I hope it's soon, if this is just r Martin stalling for time, this could not go on much longer, Sainsburys want to build there new store, they will eventually have enough, so it is in there interest for the stadium t.o be built, so then they can get on with the store, it does not matter what we say or do, at this time r Martin will stay, and he will do what needed, then there may be a time when he might sell up, but who ever takes over, I hope he has a lot of money, as look what happened to roots hall, the chairman went through hard times, and sold a lot of the land at roots hall, to pay his debts, oh well let's see what the future holds, I hope we start winning some games thou!!! bongking
  • Score: 2

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