Scunthorpe United fan’s held ‘lockgate’ protest ahead of match

Scunthorpe United fans staged a protest against club chairman Peter Swann by locking the front gates to the stadium ahead of their game with Forest Green Rovers on Saturday.

Fans have been unhappy with recent league performance and Mr Swann’s handling of the club.

Having once been competing for a place in the Championship just a few years ago, the Iron now confront an upward struggle to keep in League Two, under Swann’s stewardship, after a sorry state of results and performances sees them rock bottom of the division.

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In recent games, the Iron have been thrashed 4-0 at home by Exeter City, in addition as experiencing a 6-1 trouncing at Harrogate Town.

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Scunthorpe United fans protested against their club chairman, Peter Swann, over the weekend by locking the gates to the ground. Ground staff unlocked the gates with the help of a tractor. Tensions have been running high between fans and Mr Swann for a long time with no end to the situation in sight.

Fans have also been protesting against Mr Swann by failing to attend games – resulting in low turnouts.

On Saturday, protesters locked the gates to the stadium using a D-lock, made of hardened steel, just after 1.30pm.

With only 90 minutes until kick-off, this caused major delays to traffic with cars and buses unable to go into the stadium.

Fans were left in a state of limbo despite Scunthorpe United’s ground staff working tirelessly to open the gate.

However, they couldn’t catch a break as they already used a saw at one point without any success.

In the end, a tractor was used to strength open the gates.

‘Lockgate’ has been described as a peaceful way to protest against the club chairman Peter Swann, whilst others criticised the act of protest.

“It’s a sorry situation,” says one fan who witnessed the saga develop on Saturday.

Geraldine Katharty, who regularly travels to home games throughout the season, said fans should be allowed to protest as long as it is peaceful.

She said: “Fans have a right to protest if they are discontent with the way their football club is being run.

“I enjoyed ever minute of this protest. It was a shame that the fans had to suffer who had travelled to the game. But the idea of protest is to grab attention and cause a stir. This effort certainly did both.

“There should be more fans willing to voice their concerns and to show that they will not go quietly.”

Geraldine also offers reasons why some fans are so unhappy with Mr Swann’s running of the club.

Fans are unhappy at the decline of a football club with Peter Swann at the helm

She said: “Look where we were a few years ago – fighting for promotion to the Championship to fighting for survival in League Two.

“This to me shows that the club is being run poorly. Our squad isn’t good enough for this league and we’re going down to the National League.”

“I don’t agree with a lot of things that Mr Swann is doing at the moment. It feels like he has a genuine without of interest and care for the club.

“I’ve listened to interviews he’s done on the radio and it’s fair to say, that he doesn’t come off as either genuine or caring towards the fans or the club itself.”

Another lifelong Scunthorpe United fan said: “I didn’t agree with what the fans did. It was a complete waste of time.

“I am in favour of Mr Swann leaving the club because we seem to have crashed and burned from the club we once were.

“Mr Wharton should never have sold the club – that’s where we went wrong. Many fans also grumble at having to pay over twenty pound to watch the level of football we are seeing at present.

“The manager, Neil Cox, and Mr Swann need to go or else we’re heading towards the National League.”

Scunthorpe United have been approached for comment.

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