After a period of continuous and consistent mismanagement and decline, Scunthorpe United have found themselves battling through one of the lowest points in their entire history. However, are they now stable and ready to prosper once more? Or is it a mirage? 

Year Founded: 1899

Nickname: The Iron

Stadium: Glanford Park 

Capacity: 9098

Manager: Andy Butler

League: National League North 


Scunthorpe United are now entering their 125th year of existence, and in recent years it was at best unclear and at worst seen to be unlikely that we would make it to this stage.

But, here we are, and for the first time in many years, Scunthorpe are back competing at the top of a league in the English Football period. But how exactly did the club get to this stage? 

The Iron were founded in 1899, however it would not be for half a century before they would finally be admitted into the Football League.

Their first season in the league would come in 1950. Before this, after merging with local team North Lyndsey United (a local rival and something that would almost be unheard of in the modern era) the club would go on to be known as Scunthorpe and Lyndsey United and would compete in the Midland League for many years.

In the pre-Second World War period, the club would apply to become part of the Football League, however these applications would subsequently be rejected and when the War of 1939 would come around and the football would cease. 

Football League stalwarts 

Through continued persistence the Iron would finally be admitted into the Football League, following a league expansion in 1950, United would play in the Third Division North, where they would find a period of stability, finishing mid table and pushing further up the table as the years went by.

After the clubs eighth year in the Third Division, the club would finish first, gaining promotion to the second division for the first time, a high watermark for the club, as they have never advanced above this tier of the English league structure. 

For decades following the club’s admittance into the Football League, they would be consistence competitors and for over 70 years would find themselves a Football League club.

However, entering the third decade of the 21st century, mismanagement at the clubs higher levels, resulted in grave dangers on and off the pitch. 

Sharp declines

Under the tenure of then chairman Peter Swann, Scunthorpe would be plunged into poor season after poor season.

After being relegated to League 2 after finishing 23rd in 2019, the club flirted with back to back relegations out of the Football League altogether, subsequently finishing 20th and 22nd in League in the next two years.

With off the field financial problems, the club would be relegated from League 2 in 2022. 

The club was in immediate danger of being put into administration, threatening its existence all together. After takeover attempts came and went, the club was finally taken over by convicted criminal David Hilton in 2023 (a fact that wasn’t made clear at the time).

HMRC debts were settled however this wasn’t enough to stop a club in freefall, and a second relegation in as many years ensued.

Just a few months later, and following many disagreements with the club’s passionate fan base, Hilton would sell the club. 

Finally, under stable ownership, the nosedive stopped and Scunthorpe would finish second in the National League North in its first season, with chances of promotion back to non-league’s top tier.

However, much work is still to be done and a long road lies ahead to return the club to its past position as one of the Football League’s stalwarts.