Sheffield United owner buys French club to increase worldwide presence

Sheffield United’s owners have acquired Ligue 2 club Chateauroux as part of their plans to develop its business’ worldwide presence.

The French club became the fifth addition to the expanding system of clubs owned by Prince Abdullah’s company.

Abdullah Al-Ghamdi, CEO of United World, said: ‘’United World’s decision to invest in France is not a difficult one given the level of development the game has reached over there, especially over the last decade.

“With the country today hosting one of the top five leagues in the world, it generates hundreds of millions of global viewership every year.’’

What can be even more important for the main club of the system – Sheffield United -is the fact that French clubs are famous for producing quality talents.

David Taylor, Editor of fanzine DEM Blades, says: “With an eye in France, the United World pyramid will be in a much more powerful position to find young French talent, with the very best hopefully making their way to Sheffield United.’’

In addition, the further worldwide expansion will help Sheffield United to acquire new international contacts, a stronger reputation, and more sponsorship opportunities.

However, the fans are still cautious as the club was in a similar position in the past. Kevin McCabe’s acquisitions of Chengdu Blades and Ferencváros are thought to be a major factor in Sheffield United’s financial problems.

Mr Taylor continued: ‘’United World seems to have a much more professional and transparent approach to a club network than McCabe’s “Blades Way” initiative ever had.

‘’United World looks, on the surface, to be a more established initiative, with a clear forward plan.’’

The company hopes to make Chateauroux an established side in the highest level of French football.

Mr Al-Ghamdi says: ‘’We are confident that this vision will come to life sooner rather than later with the support we are getting from the city of Chateauroux for our project.’’

Chateauroux are currently bottom of Ligue 2 on 18 points, having only won four of their 28 games this season.

Written by Yaroslav Matveev

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