Discover more from footballwriting.co.uk
Friday Freebie: Time is running out to save Scunthorpe Utd
No money, no ground, no leadership, the Iron in plea for help
Welcome to the Friday Freebie and if you’re new to www.footballwriting.co.uk, this is the free post coming at you every Friday as a taster of what you can find behind the paywall. Please feel free to share these posts far and wide, there’s something for both paid and free subscribers to my site.
If you like what you see and enjoy what you read please consider becoming a paid subscriber for just £5 a month (£1.16 per week) which gets you 8 paid for blogs as a minimum and the 4 free ones also, not bad for your money! Or if you prefer subscribe annually which works out at £4 a month or 93p a week, just an absolute bargain especially adding in the relaunched ‘Trev Talks’ podcast.
This evening there is only one place to go and that of course is to Scunthorpe Utd. We’ve seen the troubles taking place at Southend Utd and also further up the food chain in the Football League as well, the Shrimpers have had some coverage from me and now time for the Iron to have the same.
The only thing to decide on is where to start with it all! If you are reading this in 24 hours’ time then the club will have played it’s last game at Glandford Park, home for the last 25 years for at least the time being.
Now the reason for that comes from a legal battle with former owner Peter Swann, a detachment of the ground from the club which is common amongst owners but certainly shouldn’t be, it’s about time there is a clause in the football constitution whereby the ground cannot be sold without the football club as a separate entity, protection is needed.
Let’s go back a short while to Swann running the club into the ground to the point where the incoming David Hilton (or whatever he wishes to be known by either now or before) was painted as the saviour to rid the club of their devilish incumbent.
Arriving in January this year Hilton arrived with a fanfare of cash, clearing debts, splashing out on players and bringing in manager Jimmy Dean from Peterborough Sports. Ultimately, it was too little too late, the damage of the prior months meant Dean couldn’t save them from relegation and the club sunk to the lowest level in its history for some 70 odd years, the National League North.
Undeterred, they went big again this summer bringing in around a dozen new players and most from levels higher no doubt commanding a decent wage. On the pitch, Dean has got the side gelled and as expected right in the promotion mix after 10 games.
Off the pitch the club has unravelled into the kind of mess it appeared had been left behind when Swann departed. But, actually it’s gone beyond that and a real threat that Scunthorpe Utd could cease to exist in the next few weeks or even days.
It’s hard to get your head around where to begin even with this, something new and jaw dropping almost every day this week has occurred. Let’s track back a few days before, The Athletic dropping a piece on Hilton and his fraudulent past, directors resigning, 5 CCJ’s in place and a winding up order issued.
On Monday afternoon they issued banning orders against a number of fans for daring to speak out against an owner who appears caught with his trousers down and doesn’t know which way to turn.
On Tuesday all club social media channels were deleted although Twitter/X was restored a couple of hours later.
On Wednesday came the bombshell announcement Hilton had withdrawn his financial backing to the club along with a move from Glandford Park to Gainsborough Trinity to fulfil the remaining fixtures only for Trinity to release their own statement a couple of hours later claiming to know nothing about a groundshare taking place.
I think that’s it up to date but please correct me if there is anything else I’ve missed out! All you can sum it up with is what an utter shambles. Once again we have an owner whose passed a test of his credentials apparently to be able to run a football club but clearly not have the capital to do so.
Not only are Southend Utd running dangerously close to the wind, the club that shares the same initials are also well in the mire. There are only one set of losers in all these circumstances and that is the fans.
My Twitter/X timeline has been full all day of Iron fans pleading for help. We get these idiots from the PL clubs moaning because they’ve lost five in a row or not won a cup for x amount of years, get real please, this is where the crisis is.
When this piece is consigned to my archives so could both Scunthorpe and Southend Utd be as well, it’s that grim, fans losing their club, not those unaffected in the wealth washing of cash at the elite level, the effect of people’s mental health is unbearable to think about.
Every time we see a club heading towards the rocks the call for the independent regulator gets louder with each crash, football just can’t govern itself and doesn’t appear to want to either so someone needs to step in for the good of the game, the whole game and not just those who feel football began in 1992.
It's also about time we had fan ownership as a stipulation partnership for all clubs, how else is there a way round these rouge owners that are becoming more commonplace if the regulator doesn’t arrive?
Feel free to come at me David, because all I can see is you’ve misled the Iron fanbase, the staff, the players, the management team, the National League and everyone else connected with Scunthorpe Utd that you can run a football club.
Yes we appreciate that the club was almost at death’s door before you arrived but it doesn’t appear you’ve moved it any further away than when you took over.
The other thing as well and we’ve seen it today at Sheffield Wednesday owners withdrawing funding like clicking your fingers. I’m sorry but you decided to buy a football club you are responsible until you sell it, it’s not and none of them ever will be play toy’s, there are people’s livelihood’s on the line, generations of family support ingrained in the fabric of these clubs.
Enough is enough, the authorities need to do more because I bet you there are more than a dozen others that aren’t very far from sailing in this exact same ship, take accountability for your actions, own the problems and deal with it properly, banning fans and taking them for mugs isn’t a bright idea.
A reminder as well, every owner is a custodian of a club, nothing more, the club should be there for 100 years minimum long after they are gone, supporters will be there after a lifetime of different owners, some will do very well to read and remember that, for all the good owners that are out there, the bad apples are the ones that get the press and not for the right reasons.
*With news that staff at the club have not been paid a GoFundMe page has been set up by Iron Bru and if you wish to donate head to the link below to do so: