At this point in the footballing calendar, football fans across the country are at fever pitch.
They have seen the pictures of their new signings; contract in one hand, pen in another. They have seen their heroes, both current and new in action during the pre-season friendlies and the new shirts have been purchased, washed and ironed ready for Saturday.
Season tickets are proudly brandished like badges of honour and fans are literally salivating at the thought of getting back into the old match day routine, and being back on the terraces with their mates.
There is one exception however, that being the fans of Southend United.
Don't get me wrong, things have started looking up at Roots Hall; only as recently as Monday did HMRC confirm they were satisfied that with Sainsbury's as a guarantor, Southend United FC were solvent and dropped their winding up petition.
In the same week, Southend picked up a credible draw in their final pre-season fixture with Premier League neighbours West Ham, in front of an even more credible pre-season crowd of 8,008 fans; 1-1 being the final score line.
Fans have seen an influx of players like nothing in recent memory, albeit on pre-contracts and herein lies the problem - the pre-contracts are a direct result of the transfer embargo that is still in place.
In a recent television interview, chairman Ron Martin urged fans to ‘relax’. Martin also confirms he has written to the Football League on the back of HMRC's ruling requesting that the embargo be lifted.
Until confirmation is received that this has been sanctioned, Southend fans will be forgiven for looking to the opening fixture against Stockport with trepidation as opposed to the usual pre-season euphoria.
In fact only when they are sitting in their beloved Roots Hall, watching manager Paul Sturrock's new signing's being led out the players’ tunnel by newly appointed club captain Craig Easton will they finally be able to take Ron Martin's advice and relax...well until the referee blows his whistle anyway.
*Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.
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