One other question – does he regret not being able to make things work with Paul Hurst, given that things seemed to be going in the right direction at the time?
For many a man with wealth to use ownership of a sporting club or venture is seen as a symbol of prestige. Swann claims to be a football fan and in love with the game in podcasts made with Iron Bru previously. I believe him. I don’t doubt that he has interest in seeing Scunthorpe succeed, because his motive, in my opinion, is that he sees running a club as a worthwhile hobby in a sport he enjoys and as a means of reflected accomplishment on himself.
Why did he come to Scunthorpe? He was at Gainsborough around this time and it was no longer succeeding, and we were a local club after new owners after Wharton wanted to retire. He saw opportunities with a league club for his own prestige and ground redevelopment/relocation.
Obviously this didn’t come to pass, but I think he was genuine in his intention to move and redevelop. The problem was he promised more than he could deliver and put too much faith in the council and then burned bridges. I think he trusted himself too much to deliver his promises and they have failed, building up fan expectation, and leaving disappointment in the fanbase. He has since had to make cuts due to the failing of a push for the Championship and now coronavirus impacts. This has led to the bargain bin squad we largely have now, dressed up as an exciting attempt to grow young players from non-league into an accomplished team.
I don’t it’s as cynical as Swann having no care for the club. I think he does, even if it is directly linked to seeing it do well to reflect him. The issue I think is that he was overly confident in his own abilities to deliver what he wanted, made a rod for his own back with too many sackings, often when doing well, and a poor understanding of football. It was ok when he was sailing high when times were good and he was willing to fund, such as with Alexander. After that he couldn’t find the right manager and panicked with a less than able squad and continuously sacked managers in a desperate attempt to revitalise, leaving squads which weren’t that of the manager of the time, making it unbalanced and with new signings coming in on the ever more cheap route.