Southend have dismissed reports that they have failed to pay their players this month as "rumour and speculation."

The League One club avoided a winding-up order in London's High Court on Wednesday when the case brought by HM Revenue and Customs over an unpaid £200,000 was adjourned for 28 days.

It has since been reported that the Shrimpers are yet to pay their players this month, with the squad due to receive their wages a fortnight ago.

But a club spokesman said: "It's all just rumour and speculation."

He added: "It's all getting a little tiresome but that's what seems to happen in football."

Southend chairman Ron Martin claimed last month the club did not owe money to HMRC because they over-paid when they settled an outstanding £2.15million debt in November.

The club's lawyers wrote to HMRC last month to say they were "astounded" it had decided to proceed with the latest winding-up petition over a disputed debt.

The Essex club are 17th in the League One table, just two points above the relegation zone.

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