Hardy bid for Iron looks set to end in failure

Nottinghamshire entrepreneur Alan Hardy appears to have ruled himself out of buying stricken National League club Scunthorpe United – just days after submitting a final bid to take control.

Former Notts County owner Hardy was heading up a consortium to buy The Iron, who sit bottom of the fifth tier of English football and who have been dogged by problems recently as divisive owner Peter Swann looks to sell up. Begbies Traynor have been instructed to find a buyer for the club.

However, on Tuesday evening (January 24) Hardy admitted he was no longer in the frame.

In a statement, he said: “Sadly, I am led to believe that an alternative bidder has been selected to move forward with the purchase of Scunthorpe Utd FC. I therefore wish the chosen party great success and send my best wishes to all the fans of this great club. I sincerely hope happy times soon return.”

Earlier on Tuesday, David Hilton, the chairman of Ilkeston Town FC, resigned from his post.

In a statement, Hilton said: “It is with deep sadness I have to resign my position as the Club chairman with immediate effect.

“An opportunity has arisen for me to help navigate another club away from an unthinkable fate and hopefully assist them in getting back to where they belong.”

Hardy is also a former owner of Ilkeston Town and enjoyed a successful spell there with Hilton.

Hardy enjoyed initial success at Notts County when he took the club over in 2017, but this soon turned sour as the club was relegated to the National League for the first time in its long history. Shortly after he sold the Magpies to the Reedtz brothers.

Click here to sign up to receive our new South West business news...