January 25, 2023 2.00 pm This story is over 15 months old

Has Scunthorpe United’s potential new owner just revealed himself?

He resigned from his club and said “an opportunity has arisen” for him

By Local Democracy Reporter

Scunthorpe United’s knight in shining armour may have just revealed himself, as Ilkeston Town owner David Hilton resigns from his role amid rumours linking him to a takeover of the Iron.

David Hilton, along with his business partner Andrew Nally, are believed to be leading the race to be Scunthorpe United’s new owners after a long-drawn out process which has left the club’s future looking uncertain.

He has now added to that speculation by announcing that he is resigning as chairman of Derbyshire-based Southern League Premier Division Central side Ilkeston Town.

A statement was released by Ilkeston Town owner David Hilton on Tuesday, confirming his resignation as club chairman with “immediate effect”.

He said this was because of an opportunity “to help navigate another club away from an unthinkable fate and hopefully assist them in getting back to where they belong.”

While nothing concrete has been confirmed, it seems as though Hilton is on about National League side Scunthorpe United – a club on the brink of extinction after a catalogue of well-documented financial struggles.

This is backed by the statement of another potential bidder, former Notts County owner Alan Hardy, who had expressed an interest in taking over Scunthorpe United.

Hardy took to Twitter on Tuesday evening to say that “an alternative bidder” has been selected for Scunthorpe United, and he said “I sincerely hope happy times soon return” for the Iron.

Scunthorpe United were issued with a winding-up petition from HMRC earlier this month over an alleged unpaid tax bill, and current owner Peter Swann is involved in legal proceedings with a betting firm, after it was revealed he had reportedly wagered £20 million on sporting events over a three-year period.

The club’s struggles off the field have translated onto the pitch, as they sit rock bottom of the National League and face back-to-back relegations – following their drop out of the English Football League for the first time in 72 years last season.

To make matters worse, one of the few positives of Scunthorpe’s season, striker and top scorer Caolan Lavery, has left the club to join Doncaster Rovers after scoring 9 in 19 games for the Iron this campaign.

However, the signs look good for Scunthorpe if Hilton and Nally do end up taking over the club.

Since taking over Ilkeston Town in November 2021, the pair oversaw a renovation of the pitch and stadium, as well as a Northern Premier League Division One Midlands league title in the 2021/22 season.