Southend United 2019-20 League One Preview

Last season Southend United were the epitome of the statement “Injuries can make or break your season”.

Southend United fans started the 2018-19 season with hopes of pushing for promotion after finishing 8 points off the playoff spots in the 2017-18 season.

They were also excited that club legend, Chris Powell, who guided them to a 13th placed finish after taking charge when they were sitting 18th was guiding them through the 2018-19 season.

Things didn’t start the way fans were hoping as key players like Tom Hopper, Ben Coker, Harry Lennon, and Rob Kiernan all suffered longterm injuries.

At the end of the January transfer window, they were sitting in 11th position, but their inability to get deals over the line meant that they only managed to bring in Stephen Humphrys. There was also speculation that the club had used up all their wage bill and couldn’t afford to bring in new players.

That was one of the biggest shockers for many fans as they had the 5th highest wage in League 1, but here we will be able to understand how much injuries affected them last season.

During December to March period, they had players making £20,000(Cumulative) a week in the physio room.

At any point during December to March period over £1.0m of salaries are effectively redundant – Source Southend United website

This situation gave a chance for youngsters like Charlie Kelman and Isaac Hutchinson, but the effects of injuries were apparent as the results didn’t improve.

The board made a tough decision to sack Chris Powell After an 11 game winless run with Team sitting at 20th place in the league, at that point, they were above the relegation zone only based on goal difference.

After sacking Chris Powell on 26th March, Ricky Duncan was appointed as the caretaker. He lost his sole game as in charge, to Shrewsbury Town 2-0.

That meant Kevin Bond who was appointed as new manager only had 6 games to save an injury-ravaged season.

He didn’t get off to a good start as he won one, drawn and lost 2 each going into the final game of the season sitting in 20th position.

It all came down to the final game of the season at Roots Hall in front of a bumper crowd of 10,779 and thousands on Sky Sports.

The match had a 5:30 kickoff and turned out to be one of the matches that will be remembered by Southend United fans for years to come.

John White gave the lead to the hosts with an acrobatic overhead kick in the closing stages of the first half but White shoved Charlie Wyke in the box which led to a penalty which was converted by Chris Maguire in the 75th minute.

It seemed like it was all doom and gloom with just 15 minutes of regular time to go but Stephen Humphrys, who joined the club in January, broke his nose, eye socket, cheekbone and suffered a concussion after colliding with the goalkeeper in the match against Accrington in February came in as a 78th-minute substitute wearing a mask to protect his unhealed face scored in dying minutes of the game.

This win led to a 19th placed finish and relegated Plymouth Argyle on goal difference. If you missed that match we are attaching a video from Southend United’s official channel below

Southend United finances

It only makes sense to try and understand what a difference £1.0m in wages can make to a club like Southend United.

To get started Southend united had a turn over of £6.234m that means according to FFP rules they can pay £3.74m(60%) in wages to players.

From the documents, we can see that they were paying above the limit if we remove £150k in management wages that leave us with £4.9 million.

Now for 41 establishment, ground staff and coaching staff can be assumed to be earning £1.16m which means it is safe to assume players have a wage bill close to £3.74m. Now imagine trying to bring in replacements for star players either by Loan or Permanently.

It is really a hard task because if injured players made £1.0m in 4 months then their replacements will also expect at least the same for 6 months.

So this was for one season but are Southend united safe financially?

Southend had a debt of 17.9 million at the end of 2018 filling but 13.3 million of it is owed to their owner who had written off 6.87 million this season but the holding company South Eastern Leisure UK charges 450k in rent for Roots Hall and Training facilities, 300k for maintenance.

What about interest on the debt from other sources?

Southend United paid 114k in the form of interest for 2018 which is not a bad amount considering they had a turnover of 6.2 million.

If you want to read full financial details click here

Southend United 2019-20 departures

Southend United has released a total of 11 players in the summer. The released players are listed below

  • Amadou Ba
  • Ben Coker
  • Josh Bexon
  • Michael Turner
  • Norman Wabo
  • Renei Batlokwa
  • Stephen Hendrie
  • Ted Smith
  • Dan Humphreys (Academy)
  • Joe Mackenzie (Academy)
  • Sewa Marah (Academy)

One name that pops out of that list is Ben Coker who suffered a torn anterior and lateral cruciate ligaments(ACL & LCL) in away match against Sunderland(End of October). Recovery of these types of injuries takes 18 months. He was let go after informing the club of his decision to leave at the end of his contract.

John White who scored in the final matchday was also at the end of his contract but was given a one-year extension.

Southend United Manager

Kevin Bond is the current manager of Southend United. He has been coaching since 1997.

He is known for his Assistant managerial spells with Harry Redknapp at Southampton, Portsmouth FC, AFC Bournemouth, Queens Park Rangers, and Birmingham City.

Bond also worked with Glenn Roeder, Roberto Di Matteo, Christian Damiano, Graham Rix, Velimir Zajec, Tony Pulis, Alain Perrin, Alan Ball, Jim Smith, Steve Claridge in assistant manager capacity.

He also worked as manager of Bournemouth from 2006-08, Hong Kong Pegasus between 2016-17 and as a caretaker for QPR previously.

Bond doesn’t have a preferred formation and is known to play both 3 at the back and 4 at the back but 3-5-2 is his most used formation. He is a UEFA Pro Licence holder.

Southend United 2019-20 new signings

Southend United has signed the following players this summer.

Brandon Goodship

Brandon Goodship is a product of the Bournemouth academy but never managed to make any senior appearances with The Cherries.

While at Bournemouth, he managed to gain experience by going on loan to Blackfield & Langley, Dorchester Town, Hayes & Yeading United, Yeovil Town, Braintree Town then spent six months at Yeovil Town after being released by Bournemouth.

Yeovil Town also didn’t rate him high enough and released him but he managed to make 18 League two appearances and scored a goal during his two spells with the club.

After leaving Yeovil Town, he joined BetVictor Southern League side Weymouth and during his two-year spell there he scored 77 goals in 81 appearances and was named Southern League Premier Golden Boot winner for both seasons.

He is a 6’3″ forward who predominantly plays as a striker but can also play as a right-winger. He is 24-years-old and has a lot of potential to be a key player this season.

Mark Milligan

Mark Milligan is a 33-Year-Old Australian international Midfielder/Defender who predominantly plays as Defensive midfield player but can also play as Center back.

Milligan played in A-League (Australia), J2 League(Japan), UAE Arabian Gulf League, Saudi Professional League, Chinese Super League, and Scottish Premiership accumilating 263 game professional football experience.

He is one of the star Australian players and made 11 U-20, 25 U-23, 79 Senior appearances for the Socceroos.

Milligan is 5 ft 10 but has Ariel leap of a 6 ft 5 player, He is also known for his passing ability, his long throws can convert throw-ins into set-pieces and his reading of the game is widely praised.

He spent last season with SPL side Hibernian FC and managed to make 31 appearances.

Richard Taylor

Richard Taylor is an 18-year-old Center Back who was part of the Burnley academy but was released this summer.

He was signed after a successful trial and is most likely to join the under-18 or under-23 side. Last season he made appearances with Southend U-18, U-23 squads after he was informed that he won’t be offered a new scholarship by Burnley.

Nathan Ralph

Nathan Ralph is a 26-year-old defender who predominantly plays at Left Back but can also play at Center back and Right Back positions.

He is a product of Ipswich Town, Peterborough United Academies but didn’t find a breakthrough at either club. So, he joined Yeovil Town, went on to make 41 appearances for the club over two seasons and was part of their 2012-13 squad that won promotion to League One via playoffs.

After being released by the club and an unfruitful spell at Newport County, he joined Woking FC and after two amazing seasons in the National League, he was scouted by SPL side Dundee FC.

He made 32 appearances for them last season but failed to save them from finishing bottom of the league. He was Dundee FC’s Player of the Season last year and triggered a clause to join Southend United.

Southend United 2019-20 Away Journey

The Longest trip for them this season is a trip to Stadium of Light to play Sunderland while the shortest trip is a trip to Priestfield Stadium to play their rivals Gillingham FC.

Total number of miles3927
Average distance per game170.7
Longest Trip294
Shortest Trip45

Southend United 2019-20 Odds

Bookmakers are predicting a midtable finish with a chance of relegation battle for them this season.

Promotion 40/1
Relegation  3/1

Southend United 2019-20 Fixtures

To read more club previews click here or visit 72 in 72 section from the menu.

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