Local born barrister secures future of Scunthorpe United
Boutique law firm Wildcat Law has acted for the board of Scunthorpe United FC in their £3 million purchase of the Glanford Park stadium and grounds from former owner, Peter Swann
The club famed for launching the career of Kevin Keegan in the 1970s, had been on the brink of losing its home, Glanford Park. This uncertainty is now over, with the stadium forming part of a community interest company (CIC) as part of a deal announced last night by North Lincolnshire Council, which includes a community development plan with provision for other sports and services to benefit the people of the steelmaking town.
The creation of the CIC is the brainchild of Scunthorpe-born barrister and Wildcat Law co-founder, Tahina Akther, who is also a recent addition to the club’s board.
As well as negotiating the contract terms and final settlement between the former owner and a short licence agreement for the club to remain at Glandford Park ground while the sale completed, Tahina oversaw the creation of the CIC in just 48 hours, working with multiple funders including the Council, and the CIC Regulator.
Having grown up in a family of die-hard Scunthorpe United fans, Tahina is well-versed in the club’s rich history and was determined to preserve its status for future generations. She says: “I am ecstatic that we’ve managed to secure the future of the club in such a short space of time, particularly given the complexities involved with the way the club was previously structured. It would not have been possible without a number of local businesspeople providing much needed financing.
“Taking the step to hold the stadium in a CIC is a bold move that puts the fans and the community in the driving seat. We are already speaking to representatives of other clubs regarding how they might follow this example. Getting this over the line was always going to be a challenge but I am delighted for the fans that we’ve been able to make it happen and ensure the club can once again look to the future with hope. I am excited to be part of that journey which will hopefully see Scunthorpe United back in the higher tiers of the football league, nurturing the next generation of players and unearthing the next Kevin Keegan.”
One of the older clubs in the English League, founded in 1899, Scunthorpe United, nicknamed ‘The Iron’, have experienced the typical highs and lows of any football club, spending much of their history in the higher tiers of the league including spells in the Championship as recently as 2012. Envied by many larger clubs for being one of the few clubs in the English Football League to turn a profit, their fortunes changed in 2013 when chairman, Steve Wharton, was replaced by Peter Swann who presided over the club through a turbulent decade until January 2023 when he sold it to former Ilkeston Town chairman, David Hilton.
The club currently occupies the second spot at the top of the National League North and is vying for promotion back to the National League ahead of a charge to be reinstated to League Two of the English Football League.