Southend United: Winding-up petition adjourned until 29 April

Southend United stand
Southend United have won just four of their 35 League One matches this season

A winding-up petition brought by HM Revenue & Customs against League One club Southend United has been adjourned until 29 April.

The club appeared at the Insolvency and Companies Court in London on Wednesday over an unpaid tax bill.

It was not revealed at the hearing how much the third-tier club owes.

The Shrimpers, managed by former England defender Sol Campbell, are second from bottom and 16 points from safety with nine games left to play.

Had they been put into administration, it would have triggered a 12-point deduction from the English Football League, a sanction which would have resulted in Southend's relegation to League Two being confirmed.

If any club should suffer an insolvency event after the EFL's deadline on Thursday, 26 March, any points deduction would be applied next season.

On Monday, Southend were charged with misconduct by the EFL for failing to play their players on time and also face another charge for fielding an ineligible player in their win over Lincoln on 1 February - something Campbell said was "just a error".

Asked if he was being kept fully informed about the off-field issues, Campbell told BBC Essex: "I don't know what's happening in the background because from the beginning I didn't know what was happening in the background. Why would it change?

"I just get on with trying to prepare the team in the best possible way, and whatever happens is totally out of my control.

"I don't think anybody knows what's happening. I'm sure he (chairman Ron Martin) will come out and explain what's going on.

"We're all human beings. We know how difficult the situation is. Some of the under-23s have been paid but the senior staff playing-wise and staff-wise, and I think the under-23 staff, haven't been paid.

"I'm trying to work out how to get the best out of the scenario. It's a delicate situation."

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