Is there evidence that Swann doesn’t actually want to sell the ground?

Iron Bru Forums Blast Furnace Is there evidence that Swann doesn’t actually want to sell the ground?

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  • #262636
    JasperParrotJasper Parrot
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    Looks like the Club’s Statement is correct: Swann has not followed the rules for the disposal of an Asset of Community Value. The information is in the public domain.

    1. Glanford Park (sorry, Sands Venue Stadium) is indeed an Asset of Community Value.
    2. We know this because Swann made it one on 17th Feb 2021. See:

    Community rights and assets


    3. Swann’s decision has consequences. It means that he would have to notify his intention to dispose of the land. That notification should be made to the Council under Section 95(2) of the Localism Act:
    https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2011/20/section/95
    4. We know Swann hasn’t done this because the Council website shows other properties have made such a notification but the “Sands Venue” Stadium hasn’t. https://www.northlincs.gov.uk/community-advice-and-support/community-rights-and-assets/
    5. We know that the sale can’t complete without it because there hasn’t been the necessary 6-week moratorium period.

    If Swann DOES want to sell the ground, I can believe he might be stupid enough to have forgotten that he’s the one who made the place an Asset of Community Value in the first place. I can’t believe that his solicitors, responsible for a multi-million pound sale, wouldn’t have told him very early in the process. Doesn’t make sense that he’d be preventing the sale by not doing paperwork, whilst also threatening to turf the club off the turf before the sale could possibly have completed because he’s not done his paperwork.

    But if Swann DOESN’T actually want to sell the ground to the club, it all makes sense. This isn’t “Hilton not coming up with the money”, this is “Hilton can’t legally complete”.

    ………

    We know the Club’s Statement is correct about planning permission. We only need to look at the request for a Lawful Development Certificate PA/2022/1729 to know this: https://apps.northlincs.gov.uk/application/pa-2022-1729
    It hasn’t been decided yet. Hilton is being asked to buy land with planning permission that might not actually have the planning permission. Planning permission is material to land valuation.

    …….

    We could find out whether the “unregistered parcels of land” / “ransom strips” claim by the Club is true or not. We’d just need to buy a copy of the Title Deeds from the Land Registry. I’m not using my spare cash to check. Sorry. If I had to guess, I’d guess Hilton is telling the truth because there’s nothing to be gained by lying. It would be provable.

    …….

    We do not know about undeclared access rights for a third party, or whether flood risk is higher than stated (we don’t know what’s stated, we know the area), or whether the valuation has come back far lower than Swann’s price (especially in light of the planning permission). Those things are important but they’re not critical.

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    #262637
    TheJuryeffsOutTheJuryeffsOut
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    Looking at your point 2 it says nominated by Scunthorpe United Supporters Society Limited. Did Swann even know ?

    #262638
    cliffbyrnesrightpegCliff Byrne’s Right Peg
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    Good post.

    I’ll ask the same question that I asked of Hilton. What is the end game for Swann if he is playing games?

    The ground has an agreement for the club to play there for 99 years doesn’t it ? I don’t know how water tight that is as Swann implemented it.

    I’d be highly sceptical that Swann will get planning permission for anything worthwhile and the opposition would be as militant as anything you’re going to see in North Lincolnshire.

    The random, unregistered strip of land has appeared from somewhere though, these things aren’t missed on a standard property transaction, let alone a 15 acre site worth millions.

    #262642
    JasperParrotJasper Parrot
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    Looking at your point 2 it says nominated by Scunthorpe United Supporters Society Limited. Did Swann even know ?

    Sorry, I was slightly inaccurate there. In my memory I’d confused the ACV with the Heads of Terms (they’re both in the same Swann statement from May 2021).

    Swann agreed with the principle of the Asset of Community Value (but wanted it to be done slightly differently) and claimed he hadn’t been consulted.

    He certainly knew the rules though, which is the point! As Swann explained to fans, “It gives the group about an initial six weeks for consultation and a further 20 weeks to come up with a bid and finances, thus delaying any potential sale of the asset to a new buyer.”

    https://www.scunthorpe-united.co.uk/news/2021/may/shareholder-and-fans-update/

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    #262643
    JasperParrotJasper Parrot
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    I’ll ask the same question that I asked of Hilton. What is the end game for Swann if he is playing games?

    This presumes that Swann is a rational actor, even in his own self-interest. Some people aren’t. Could Swann be a gambler or fantasist by nature? He hopes to be able to sell the land on the open market for more. A pipe dream, yes, but does he believe that?

    The ground has an agreement for the club to play there for 99 years doesn’t it ?

    The only reference I’ve seen to that is the mention in Swann’s statement of a Heads of Terms in May 2021. We were supposed to get a 99-year right, and market rent only payable once the club is sustainable.

    A Heads of Terms is a pre-contract agreement. Was a contract ever signed? Is anything enforceable?

    Swann claimed at the time that right would lapse if the club can relocate to new facilities at least as good as the old.

    I don’t know how water tight that is as Swann implemented it.

    Swann clearly doesn’t think it’s watertight (if indeed it exists) if he’s threatening to kick us out of the ground next week?

    I’d be highly sceptical that Swann will get planning permission for anything worthwhile and the opposition would be as militant as anything you’re going to see in North Lincolnshire.

    You know that. I know that. Is Swann self-absorbed enough that he overvalues the land in his own mind, and overvalues the chances of getting planning permission?

    The random, unregistered strip of land has appeared from somewhere though, these things aren’t missed on a standard property transaction, let alone a 15 acre site worth millions.

    It must exist surely. Where could that strip be? Don’t suppose it’s part of the access road? But then why wasn’t it sorted before?

    #262644
    adminSST
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    With regards to the ACV, I was under the impression that the reason it was referenced in the statement was because it is alleged he should have notified the council before he transferred the assets to Cool Silk.

    Did Swann have an obligation to notify the council if it was a transfer of a going concern between group companies?

    This suggests not: https://www.holmes-hills.co.uk/news/2022/march/assets-of-community-value-beware-the-pitfalls/

    If it was infact regarding the potential sale of the assets from Cool Silk to DH, I hope somebody can enlighten me as to the issue?

    #262646
    JasperParrotJasper Parrot
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    With regards to the ACV, did Swann have an obligation to notify the council if it was a transfer of a going concern between group companies? This suggests not: https://www.holmes-hills.co.uk/news/2022/march/assets-of-community-value-beware-the-pitfalls/

    I am fairly sure he did, but not 100%. IANAL.

    If the club and land had been sold together, I can see it being a Transfer of a Going Concern. They weren’t. The transactions for sale of the club and sale of the ground have been separated out. The club was sold for a nominal figure (£1) with Hilton acquiring the debts. That means this probably isn’t a Transfer of a Going Concern, because the Going Concern has already been transferred.

    This is now a simple sale of an asset, subject to the ACV protections.

    #262648
    JasperParrotJasper Parrot
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    I think I misread your post. Sorry. I hadn’t realised you were talking about the previous sale.

    The sale TO Coolsilk in April 2021 was only of the land wasn’t it? Not sure if Coolsilk and the football club counted as Group companies, but they might have done.

    The sale FROM Coolsilk to Hilton (or the club or whoever) wouldn’t be, because they’re clearly separate entities and there isn’t a Going Concern being transferred in 2023.

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    #262649
    adminSST
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    I will seek clarification later today but that would make sense.

    #262650
    That Crazy New YorkerThat Crazy New Yorker
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    I have nothing good to say about Peter Swann, and he could have easily avoided all this trouble. But the reality is that he chose Hilton because he promised to pay £3.5m for the ground and land.

    Hilton tried for months to get the money via loans and investments, but he failed miserably due to his dodgy track record and lack of collateral. He tried to offer lenders parts of the land and lots of interest, but they were the people he’d already ripped off, so it was a no go.

    I’m sure Swann is being his usual difficult self, but Hilton failed to get the money stipulated in the contract and tried to negotiate way down. It’s easy to blame Swann, because everybody (rightly) hates him, but here, as in many other deals, Hilton is making up new details to cover up his failure to deliver.

    #262651
    JasperParrotJasper Parrot
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    Any actual evidence that Hilton tried and failed to get £3.5 million?

    IF you were right, then we already know Swann valued the land at £5.2 million in around November 2019 (see May 2021 Shareholder and Fans Update), and property prices have gone up quite a lot since then. You’ve just provided a solid reason to suggest Swann doesn’t actually want to sell…and answered Cliff Byrne’s Right Peg’s question.

    At least some of Hilton’s details clearly aren’t made up because we can see them for ourselves.

    #262652
    Deereyme66Deereyme66
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    ‘Hilton tried for months to get the money via loans and investments, but he failed miserably due to his dodgy track record and lack of collateral. He tried to offer lenders parts of the land and lots of interest, but they were the people he’d already ripped off, so it was a no go.’

    Don’t know about that Jordan. Do you have evidence of the above?

    #262653
    Deereyme66Deereyme66
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    ‘Any actual evidence that Hilton tried and failed to get £3.5 million?’

    Er, the 1899 scheme? Or have I got that wrong?

    #262654
    JasperParrotJasper Parrot
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    1899 scheme good idea in principle. Botched implementing the thing. If they fixed it I’d join.

    #262655
    Deereyme66Deereyme66
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    Really? Good idea? Expecting 2k fans to stump up almost £2k? Sorry mate, not ‘botched implementing’ but fantasy land IMO. Fixed what exactly?

    #262656
    Deereyme66Deereyme66
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    If you mean botched promotion of the scheme I beg to differ. He/they did a very good job on that front. Don’t think he/they wagered on the scepticism based on the fact he didn’t actually own the place.

    #262657
    TheJuryeffsOutTheJuryeffsOut
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    I think if Hilton had framed 1899 differently it would have had a chance.
    I would have put that amount in to actually save the club. A fan owned company that actually owned the ground, securing it for Scunthorpe United to play there, either for ever or until DH builds a new place. But 1899 came across as a timeshare scheme for a seat in Mortz and a season ticket and also raised a number of questions that haven’t been satisfactorily answered, hence the low take up.

    #262667
    That Crazy New YorkerThat Crazy New Yorker
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    Any actual evidence that Hilton tried and failed to get £3.5 million?

    IF you were right, then we already know Swann valued the land at £5.2 million in around November 2019 (see May 2021 Shareholder and Fans Update), and property prices have gone up quite a lot since then. You’ve just provided a solid reason to suggest Swann doesn’t actually want to sell…and answered Cliff Byrne’s Right Peg’s question.

    At least some of Hilton’s details clearly aren’t made up because we can see them for ourselves.

    Swann valued it at £3.5 million, which was already inflated from what independent evaluators told potential buyers at the time. If he wanted even more beforehand, it was perhaps because he hadn’t yet taken out a £1m loan against the property from a dodgy lender, which he did in 2021 or so.

    I’ve spoken with folks who Hilton tried to get loans from to buy the land, hence my comment on the collateral he offered.

    Again, I’ve got nothing good to say about Peter Swann —- I first got involved with Scunthorpe United to get him out and made whole videos and public appeals that trashed him —- and I’m know he’s a pain in the ass to deal with. But given his own financial problems (some of which I unearthed), I do not think he is trying to not sell the land and stadium. There’s only so much that can be done on it, after all.

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    #262672
    lesgeolesgeo
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    I still have to wonder if Hilton now feels himself in a considerably stronger position for renegotiation with the discovery of the so-called ‘ransom strips’.
    Is it his intention to use this as leverage? – Is it all a ploy for us to remain at GP?
    This is PS – after all, it wouldn’t be fair to kick a man when he’s down. Would it?
    All speculation however, at least until we manage to locate these ‘ransom’ beasties and understand just what they might mean.

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