A Southend News Network investigation has uncovered controversial plans to fund a new stadium for Southend United at Fossetts Farm by increasing council tax bills by £20 per year, per household. According to a source within local government, the deal will include The Shrimpers reverting to public ownership over the five-year funding period. 

Our source said: ‘It has become clear in recent months that Southend’s new stadium has become what experts in the industry would refer to as ‘rocking horse excrement’ – in simple terms that means that it has become as likely as seeing Southend Pier reconstructed out of Twiglets and Mini Babybel.’

‘Senior town executives have now decided that enough is enough, and a number of regular Waitrose shoppers have also expressed their disgust at having to continually look at a ‘barren wasteland’ while doing their daily shop.’

‘Plans have now been submitted to increase council tax bills within Southend by £20 per year, per household over a five-year period – this will ensure that the funding is in place to build a stadium with four sides. A deal has already been signed with a housebuilder for 500 affordable homes on the same site  – well affordable if your name is Giles and you’re a city broker anyway.’

‘As part of the deal, the club would become effectively ‘publically-owned,’ and the stadium will also be used to host concerts, conferences and other major events.’

We asked our source how existing club executives would be persuaded to agree to the terms of the deal, and he confirmed that council executives are prepared to play ‘hard ball.’

He added: ‘This new stadium has been in the ‘final ultimate about to happen final hurdle has been cleared hooray here it is front page of The Echo in a yellow hardhat’ stage since the dawning of human civilisation – local politicians have now reached the end of their tether.’

‘When the council tax proposals are officially delivered to the club for their consideration, there will also be enclosed a copy of a draft compulsory purchase order (CPO) for Roots Hall, with the purpose noted officially as the decision to convert the existing football ground into what has been branded as ‘Europe’s largest BP garage.’

‘In the event that the plans are rejected by the club, the council will proceed with what could well be the most extensive Wild Bean Café development in the history of retail – this would also leave The Shrimpers homeless and in a position where they are forced to go ahead and build a new stadium anyway.’

‘There is a risk of a winding-up order being presented in all of this, but to tell the truth we’re all pretty f*cking wound-up anyway at the moment. 3-0 away to Rochdale? Come on.’

We spoke to Professor Michael Litoris, a Football Economics lecturer from the Canewdon School of Business. He confirmed that this would effectively be a form of ‘legalised crowdfunding.’

He said: ‘There could be some interesting times ahead for Southend United. If this all happens without a hitch, every December could even see a similar one-off council tax levy to ensure that the club can bring in a big name during the January transfer window.’

‘Who would have thought that the private and public sectors could come together and actually get something done for the good of the local area without there being some sort of ‘chain of events’ that make the average Agatha Christie novel look like ‘Spot Goes To School.’

‘As an added bonus, additional retail units would be kept to a minimum to ensure that existing trade units across the town are not royally shafted as per the current proposals.’