After months of negotiations, Southend News Network can EXCLUSIVELY reveal that Qatari billionaire Sheikh Oonvakh is on the verge of taking over the club and pumping vast sums of money into the club. It is believed that the investment could catapult the club into both the Premier League and Champions League within 4-5 years.

According to one of his spokesmen, the sheikh, who made his fortune in oil and cheese exports, spotted Roots Hall from a helicopter during a trip in 2012 and ‘instantly fell in love with its rustic and raw beauty.’ He added: ‘His excellency had never seen anything like it before in his life. Three full size stands and some sort of shallow mini double-decker enclosure structure wedged between the pitch and some 90’s housing blocks – he knew straight away that this would be the perfect place for a footballing fantasy.’

Once the takeover is complete, Sheik Oonvakh will set out his five year plan that will involve staying at Roots Hall and leaving the South Stand intact. Instead of moving, 75000 extra seats will be added equally between the other three sides, and his legal team has already written to residents of Shakespeare Drive to confirm that he intends to ‘purchase’ the entire street.

However, football insiders have expressed concern that the deal will fall foul of Financial Fair Play regulations. The spokesperson confirmed that this has already been taken into consideration, and said: ‘In anticipation of the takeover, his excellency set up an airline, Crevette Air, in 2012. For the next five seasons, this company will sponsor the club for £1.8bn per year.’

Once the formalities have been completed, it is rumoured that the sheikh’s first order of business will be to restart last year’s attempt to sign Christiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi for £900m.