Former Ilkeston chairman allegedly unable to sell Scunthorpe United

Glanford Park (Credit: Bill Boaden / Creative Commons)

Beleaguered Scunthorpe United owner David Hilton has tried to sell the club but is unable to find a buyer, a man close to him wrote on a Facebook fan group today.

Fan Jason Herbert posted what he claimed to be David Hilton’s words to the Scunny United fans group on Friday afternoon. Scunthorpe United’s media officer has not yet confirmed whether these comments are Hilton’s words. The post was quickly deleted.

Meanwhile, Scunthorpe United’s official podcast of an interview with Hilton in which he admitted having served a prison sentence for 15 counts of fraud, uploaded on Monday, has also since been deleted.

In his Facebook post Herbert says Hilton told him, “I’ve put the club up for sale but nobody wants it. The consortium never had the money last time and still don’t. They are not interested and I’ve offered it at a considerable financial loss to myself for the good of the club. That means that if I step away the club dies.”

The consortium referred to, a group of local businessmen headed by car dealer Simon Elliot and filmmaker Ian Sharp, was reported in December last year to have reached a deal to buy the club from previous owner Peter Swann.

That deal fell through, and Nottingham-born Hilton, formerly chairman of Ilkeston Town,  bought the club – but not the ground – from Swann in January this year.

If Herbert’s report of Hilton’s comments is accurate, the financial situation at the club is dire. In addition to a pending civil trial over the Iron’s use of the Glanford Park stadium still owned by Swann, Herbert says Hilton told him, “If I don’t pay HMRC there will be a winding up petition put out next week.

“If I don’t pay players they will leave and an embargo would stop any coming in. If I don’t pay the bills the club will get 60 CCJs and winding up petitions in a month.”

There is no indication that Hilton is unable to or will refuse to pay wages and bills. Though his reported comments refer to the pressures placed on himself and his family, Herbert also quotes Hilton as saying, “Please thank everyone who supports me and I promise if I continue moving forward it is solely for them. I’m one of them and always have been.”

And they conclude, “I’m trying to save my football club.”