Stan Collymore: Former Southend United striker offers to help club for free

After joining Liverpool, Stan Collymore was a three-time England player.
Stan Collymore, a former Southend United striker, has offered to work free of charge to help them improve their fortunes.

Collymore, 50 years old, offered to take the deal after Saturday's defeat by Chesterfield, 4-0.

Boss Phil Brown was then fired along with Southend 20th place in the National League, just outside of the relegation zone.

He said that although there is a loser's mentality in the club, he was certain that if he gets involved, whether he is paid or free, he will arrest it tomorrow morning.

Former striker who played for Southend during the 1992-93 season was involved in Tom Lawrence's appointment this year as chief executive. He said that he has offered his support to chairman Ron Martin since July.

The ex-Liverpool player stated that he had told Brown to get him involved in the club. This was shortly before Brown's departure was confirmed.

"I will watch the games, I will find two outstanding recruitment specialists to get players in budget, and I will put you in front of a manager or managers that can play attacking, open, front foot football. They must also have integrity.

"If I can deliver Southend United the things I promised tomorrow, Monday, Friday, and then in three to six months, and the club is in a healthy place, then we will sit down and discuss a longer-term partnership."

Collymore scored 15 goals in his 30 Shrimpers appearances, earning him a 2.25m transfer from Nottingham Forest. He later moved to Liverpool in 1995 to become one of the Premier League's top strikers. However, he stated that his time at the Essex club was one of his most "life-affirming" seasons.

He said, "I know what it's to wear that shirt proudly, to play at Roots Hall avec pride, and what I'm now seeing is the slow death a football club."

In the last two seasons, Southend were relegated from League One and Two consecutively.

Only two wins in their 10 National League matches this year means that they are still outside the relegation zone.

Supporters' protests against recent fixtures have also made Chairman Martin a target, with one leading to Saturday's match being suspended in the second period.

The Shrimpers were expelled from the Football League in May. Roots Hall is being sold to developers.

Shrimpers' slide must be stopped by emergency surgery

Glenn Speller, BBC Essex sports editor

Despite the performance and results, Saturday was another devastating day in Southend United's recent history.

Since the start of the season Phil Brown's recruitment strategy has been in question. Many experienced players have failed to stop the club's slide, and his team selection is becoming more unpredictable.

He acknowledged that he might need to play 20 games to fully understand the National League and the requirements to be a successful player in it. However, after a promising start, he saw his confidence wane and realized that he didn't have the skills or the resources to turn it around.

Roots Hall has become known for its supporters protesting Ron Martin's owner. Yesterday's match was halted due to pitch invasion.

Before the season, more than 3,000 season tickets had been sold. This is a remarkable number considering the awful viewing experience provided by those wearing the Blue shirt.

To prevent a long-running relegation battle, a proven operator at the National League level will be required.

Although Neil Smith and Darren Currie were already linked to the job it is hard to imagine how anyone could work the miracles that are required without a structured plan and an end of the off-field dramas.

The chairman is pushing for his plans to build a new stadium, while Roots Hall slowly deteriorates. Emergency surgery is necessary if the club is to survive.