Southend United have confirmed that Phil Brown has agreed on terms to remain in the role of first-team manager at Roots Hall Stadium.
Despite the Blues suffering relegation to the Vanarama National League, performances and form improved after the 61-year-old replaced Mark Molesley for the final six games of their Sky Bet League Two campaign – his second spell at Southend, having achieved promotion from League Two during a five-year stint between 2013 to 2018.
Following a meeting held on Sunday between Brown and Chairman, Ron Martin, terms were agreed on a two-year deal with the option of a third if Southend are promoted: “Uncertainty is a big word in the game of football. To kill any uncertainty, to give clarity to everybody and show people which direction we are going in at this early stage is key.” Brown explained.
“Everything has been agreed in principle and I’m a man of my honour, and I’m sure the Chairman is too. As far as we’re concerned, we’ll go forward together.
“We need to move things on quickly and relegation is never a nice feeling.
Brown continued: “I took the six games to back myself and probably in hindsight it was maybe two games short, but that’s life. I accepted the six games because I wanted to prove to the Chairman that I can motivate a group of players and win games of football and I was delighted to get my 100th win as Southend United manager. That was a very proud moment for me.
“With that in mind, I hope it doesn’t finish there.
“I’ve signed a two-year deal which is geared towards promotion, and then it becomes a third-year automatically, which I shook hands-on and I’m going to back myself to do.
“Hopefully I can get to 200 wins in that short space of time, and if that’s the case then certainly promotion is on the cards, if not back-to-back promotions. Let’s take one step at a time.”
The new boss will now begin shaping his squad ahead of Southend’s first season outside the Football League in more than a century: “We’ve got a squad to build,” he added.
“I’ve had 20 individual conversations in the last two days and I’ve got another 10 tomorrow with players who are staying, players who are going, players who will be offered deals, players who are already existing under contract who I want at the football club and players I don’t want at the football club.
“All of them, conversations have been ongoing in the last couple of days, and in the background, I’ve been trying to do my own deal.
“These things can take time, we want everything to be spot on and I’m happy with what I’ve agreed and I’m happy with how the Chairman wants to take the club forward.
“I think he’s had enough of losing, he’s had enough of back-to-back relegations and quite simply he wants to get it back to where it was when I left. That would be a great achievement if we could do that in the space of two or three years, so that’s the challenge for us.”
(Quotes courtesy of Southend United Football Club)