Swann: Price agreed for sale of club

All the key talking points from our interview with Scunthorpe United owner Peter Swann.

On whether he has sold, or is close to selling the club

It’s not as easy as that. Me stepping down was to allow me to take the time to sell the club. The aim is to sell everything. I don’t want to stay where I’m not wanted. We’re a little bit closer. I’ve been working with a group now for quite a few months, we’ve agreed a price and we are just waiting for the owners and directors test to come back. Hopefully before the start of the season.

On the individuals interested in purchasing the club

We have been under an NDA and when that time comes and if they have bought the club those details will come out. There has been a lot of work over the last four or five months and its not been easy. Hopefully were a little closer to that and someone else can take the helm. They’ re football fans that are interested in the club as a whole and I think the development excites them.

On what the buyer will get for their money

Everything. I’m not interested in staying and it’s been difficult. From day one I said I’d put my money where my mouth was and not risk the club. Risking the club and relegation is different. Not risking the club and keeping it as a club has been the main aim. If the deal goes through, we will resign as directors and be out.

On the two known rejected bids for the club

The bids didn’t include the money into the wages. There wasn’t any investment into the club and that’s the most important thing for the fans.

On whether the land, which has been earmarked for 160 apartments in the car park at Glanford Park, will be included in the sale.

No, that will be included in any sale. It is a backup because if we don’t sell the club we will still be seven figures short so we have to find the money somewhere. What we have to do is carry on and build 160 apartments, get them sold and the club benefits from it. There’s a deal in place where we can get £1000 a unit which is £160,000 a year income off those apartments as ground rent and it’s what we’ve worked towards. We need to get other projects up to £1m a year to give back to the club so it survives.

On the current development happening outside GP

It’s related to the apartments and all our planning. We are still working to get a fan zone outside. Regardless of what people think of me and how much abuse we get we still have to make sure the majority of fans who have tickets get something to enjoy. I hope it’s carried on if we do sell the club. If not, we want to create a better experience for the fans.

On an anticipated timeline for the sale?

I’m not sure at the minute. Until its done its not done, you’ve seen so many deals fail now where you think it’s done. It’s a good group that certainty have great intentions. I’m the backup which will get the club through the season. I want to make a clean break at it and the fans can have something fresh and new in front of them. The stadium being a community asset wont slow the deal down. If the deal goes through we will transfer the ground back to Scunthorpe United within 48 hours.

On whether the pending deal is affecting summer recruitment?

No, we have had to carry on and work to the budget put in. Keith is doing a great job at the minute on recruitment and we are getting exciting players in and youngsters are coming through. Lee is also working hard in the background with sponsors.

On whether the funds are there to get through the season without a new owner?

No, not really. I am willing to support the club as much as possible through that period. There is only so much an owner can do. There a few plans in place but the most important thing is the development goes up within the next 6 months. I won’t walk away from the club and the most important thing is Scunthorpe United exists.

On the mortgage recently secured against the ground

Whatever we have to do to ensure the club goes forward is what we have to do. The apartments will cost a huge amount of money and we have to raise that to pay architects, builders and designers. If this doesn’t work this year it won’t be easy and we need to get the club in the position to get extra income. If I leave the development will be in the hands of whoever comes in.

The new group I’m working with at the minute are excellent and they have been honest about what they want to do and spend money on the team, if that works excellent. but I have to have a fall-back position if it doesn’t work and I cant just walk away. If I go now, the club goes.

On the EFL loan

It is a long term thing, it was supposed to be a rescue package which ended up as a noose around our neck! It doesn’t affect our football fortune and we are not under an embargo. It is just part of going forward. The deal in place is good for the football club.

On the stadium name reverting back to Glanford Park

Nobody wanted the Sands Venue to be associated with the club so it’s gone back to Glanford Park. We are talking to people who want so sponsor the stadium but until the ownership issue is resolved there is no point in doing that.

On whether he believed he would be leave the club in no worse position than he found it as promised when he arrived at the club

Financially? Yes. League position? No, obviously we haven’t been good enough. We had a good run for three years and it didn’t quite work for us. Financially, the club isn’t in debt.

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