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Scunthorpe United to make drastic budget cuts

Scunthorpe United owner David Hilton says the club's first team will train 70 miles away in Ilkeston and close their academy in order to save costs.

The club also plan to limit the use of their Glanford Park home during the week and make some staff redundant.

Hilton took over in January, with the club facing a successive relegation and sixth tier football next term.

"The logistical reasons are a massive reason. The savings to the club are significant," Hilton said.

In a interview on the club's website, Hilton added that the facilities at Ilkeston Town - developed during his previous ownership of the Southern League Premier Division Central side - were of a higher standard compared with those used in Scunthorpe.

"I invested heavily into an artificial surface there," he continued.

"It's probably the best-maintained artificial surface in the country. There's also other fantastic facilities there and logistically they're dead central in the country, they're five minutes off the M1.

"The players have been spoken to. We [currently] have to put up a lot of players in accommodation in Scunthorpe and this will remove a lot of that cost. We will be able to attract a lot more players from many more areas and locations that can still stay at home with their families rather than have to lodge away. It saves the club money and we'll have a bigger pool of players to choose from in the summer."

Scunthorpe were relegated from League Two last season after 72 years in the Football League. They are six points from safety in the National League and face the prospect of regional football next season with five games remaining.

Since arriving at the club, Hilton says he has paid out almost £400,000 having settled a number of tax and VAT bills as well as covering the wage bill, which he says is between £150,000 and £170,000 a month.

Hilton accepts that the closure of the club's academy may not be popular with fans but is necessary in order to make sure the club operates within its means.

"To create a sustainable model for the football club, I would have to strip away money from the first-team budget to fund an academy from which I've seen no real evidence that it will benefit us," he said.

"Keeping hold of the better players in the academy doesn't seem to happen. We lose the majority of them before the age where they can participate in first-team football.

"In 10 years we haven't had any players that we've had a sell on clause for, which in my eyes doesn't show a great deal of success."

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