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Club News

Statement from Peter Swann

3 April 2022

I have decided to stand down as Chairman of Scunthorpe United. This wasn’t an easy decision for me to make, but having weighed up the options, it will hopefully ease the tensions at the club and enable the manager, staff and players to focus on their jobs, rather than there be distractions at what is a very important time in its history.

It is vitally important for you, the fans, to continue to support the club and that means buying match tickets and season tickets, using the club shop and catering facilities, sponsoring matches and players, etc as much as possible. This is because while we are budgeting to run at break-even, any extra income to that position can be reflected in the playing budget. I can assure you that all the income received by the club is used to meet the running costs of the club. Whatever you may hear or see I haven’t taken one penny out of the club and all the money generated is kept by the club. It is therefore important that fans support the club as much as they can in order to ensure there isn’t a shortfall against budget.

I have done all I can financially to support the club over the last few seasons and we have had a concerted effort to take the club to a sustainability model and that would have happened earlier if it wasn’t for the pandemic. The turnover the club generates isn’t enough to maintain a large playing budget and that was and has been evident over the last few seasons. Sadly, the lack of cash flow and having to borrow monies from the EFL have combined with the club being restricted on its player recruitment and this has been detrimental to our performances, and we find ourselves staring relegation in the face. 

Last season we had no cash as such and if we had not taken the EFL loan we would have been in administration and relegated through points deduction then, or this season. So I had to decide, and try to give us a chance this season. However, the embargo attached to the loan put us at a huge disadvantage - one we have been unable to overcome.

Although I have not actively been looking for a new owner, I have been talking to several groups who have an interest in the club and having stepped down I can spend more time now working toward finding a new owner for the club and securing its future.

I am delighted that Lee Turnbull has agreed to come in and oversee the operational side of the football club as we focus fully on planning for next season. Lee will be welcomed onto the board in the coming weeks and join Neil Wright in what will be representatives both for fans and the community, I wish them all the best going forward.

Nothing changes regarding the manager or our work to integrate young players into the squad, moving towards a footballing model where we can utilise our academy and not only see them flourish in the first team but also move on and create a future career at the highest level. I am delighted that Keith wants to stay and help the club achieve this and we are fully focused on a positive and robust pre-season, to give us the best chance of bouncing back at the first time of asking. We can’t however do that if we don’t raise enough income from all of our income streams, so again I can only emphasise how important it is for the fans to return and support your club.

It’s a real shame that all the good work done in the first five years (the financial investment, and the hard work behind the scenes to get us to a point where we could have challenged the top end of League One and even return to the Championship), will be overshadowed by what is a few poor seasons of football. 

I have given everything, I know I have come up short, but I will not risk the financial future of the club by borrowing monies and although we may well find ourselves out of the league, we will be financially sustainable. That, in itself, means we offer something substantial to a new owner and I’m convinced we can find the right person for the club. By stepping down I can concentrate on doing just that.

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