Who is the potential new Scunthorpe United owner David Hilton?
David Hilton is expected to complete a deal to take over at Scunthorpe United – but who is the potential new man in charge at Glanford Park?
The Nottinghamshire-based businessman stepped down from his role as Ilkeston Town chairman yesterday (24 January) to take charge at another club, which has now been confirmed to be the Iron.
He said: “An opportunity has arisen for me to help navigate another club away from an unthinkable fate and hopefully assist them in getting back to where they belong.”
The 45-year-old has a track record of trying to assist clubs in distress, having previously worked on a deal to buy Bury FC after it was placed into administration.
Hilton said his objective back then was to “revive Bury Football Club” and create a “self-sustainable model moving forward”, while also eradicating the club’s debt – believed to be about £15m.
But any potential deal collapsed after he was unable to agree on a deal for former owner Steve Dale’s shares.
Hilton, who has an extensive background working in property, started investing in Ilkeston Town in 2019 after former owner Mark Clifford purchased the club from Alan Hardy.
Alongside business partner Andrew Nalley, he put money into the Derbyshire club to improve its New Manor Ground and the academy.
In November 2021, Hilton and Nalley took over Ilkeston from Clifford, who thanked the duo for the financial backing they provided during the Covid pandemic and described the improvements they had made as “phenomenal”.
In their only full season in charge, the Robins gained promotion to the Northern Premier League Division One Midlands title.
Steering the side to glory was former Scunthorpe United striker Martin Carruthers, who enjoyed a fruitful spell with the Iron between 2001 and 2003 – scoring 34 goals in 86 games.
He left Ilkeston by mutual consent in September 2022 following a three-year spell in charge and is now manager of Northern Premier League Premier Division side Matlock Town.
The former Iron forward also has a business interest with Hilton in the “construction of domestic buildings”, according to the government website Companies House.
After the news broke that Hilton was on the verge of taking over at the Iron, Carruthers took to Twitter to express his delight over the potential deal.
“I’d just like to say how happy I am that Dave is saving my former club,” he said. “A great chairman who interacts and will deliver on any promises.
“All I will say is, anyone involved needs to be prepared to work hard because he will insist on it. The perfect man for a great club.”
It is so far unclear what the potential new owner’s intentions are at Scunthorpe, given that he is yet to formally communicate his plans for taking the club forward.
His first task will be to make a decision on the backroom staff and to start building a squad capable of keeping the Iron up this season, with the side languishing at the bottom of the National League table.
After meeting with Peter Swann at Glanford Park on Monday, Hilton’s bid was given the green light ahead of former Notts County owner Alan Hardy’s consortium.
Speaking to ITV Yorkshire about the proposed takeover, Hardy said: “To be fair to him (Hilton), he’s taken Ilkeston on to the next level. He’s put in a 3G pitch and he’s done loads of work around the club.
“I hope he does exactly the same job that he’s done for Ilkeston Town that he does at Scunthorpe because that would be amazing.
“I don’t know the people of Scunthorpe. I’ve only interacted with a couple of dozen on Twitter, but what I have found is an immense passion and desire for great football and success at Scunthorpe United.
“If David Hilton does for Scunthorpe what he’s done for Ilkeston, then I think they’re going to be in good hands.”
Contact Gi Scunthorpe News
Email us: email@example.com