Sheffield United ownership dispute begins in London High Court

13 May 2019

The ongoing dispute between Sheffield United co-owners Kevin McCabe and HRH Prince Abdullah Bin Mossad Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has been taken to High Court today.

Lawyers representing both parties began the five week hearing by giving representations at the hearing this morning.

Both parties have a 50% stake in the club after the Saudi Prince bought half the shares in August 2013.

The dispute dates back to December 2017 when McCabe submitted a £5m offer for his stake in the club’s parent company Blades Leisure Limited (BLL).

McCabe’s barrister opened the case by saying the parties relationship “started optimistically but became dysfunctional and acrimonious.”

McCabe had put £70m into the club since he started and wanted to sell 50% of the shares. Prince Abdullah was approached on the recommendation that he was “minted”.

It is said that the clubs recent jubilation from their promotion campaign has not ceased the disagreements between the two parties.

Manager Chris Wilder and his players enjoyed a successful season in the Championship, winning promotion to the Premier League after winning 26 of their 46 games.

McCabe formed a joint venture between Sheffield United and Scarborough Holdings to invest in low-risk commercial property.

It was verbally agreed that if Prince Abdullah wanted a 75% stake in the club he must reunify the club and its property interests.

McCabe’s lawyer is now worried Prince Abdullah’s legal team will ignore this good faith agreement.

It is thought McCabe’s legal team are arguing Prince Abdullah’s company UTB was only set up in 2018 to avoid having to reunify the club with its property partners.  

McCabe had previously expressed his interest in selling the club if he wins this legal battle and admitted he wanted to “pass on the baton” and support the club he has supported since he was young.

McCabe’s counsel have claimed that Prince Abdullah couldn’t even come up with £500,000 to pay staff wages. As a result, McCabe has used his own personal money to see the club through its recent struggles.

The case continues


Written by Alex Jones

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