Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 22 October 2019

Saudi Prince Abdullah promises investment for Sheffield United after takeover

New owner of English Premier League outfit said he was committed to the club after court battle

Prince Abdullah won sole control of Premier League newcomers this week after winning a court battle with former owner Kevin McCabe. Action Images
Prince Abdullah won sole control of Premier League newcomers this week after winning a court battle with former owner Kevin McCabe. Action Images

The new Saudi owner of English Premier League side Sheffield United promised on Thursday that the club was in safe hands and told supporters he was focused on bringing in new investment.

Prince Abdullah Bin Mosaad Bin Abdulaziz secured sole control of the Premier League newcomers earlier this week after a bitter legal battle with a former co-owner who had cast doubt over his suitability to run the club.

In one of his first acts at the helm, Prince Abdullah installed his son-in-law Prince Musaad, 26, as the youngest chairman in the world’s most lucrative league.

Prince Abdullah said his focus was to secure sponsorship from Saudi Arabia, but insisted that his ownership would not lead to state-level control of the club.

Prince Abdullah joined the club in 2013 while the club was languishing in the third tier of English football and injected £10 million into the club. He said that he had personally invested £28 million in the club, the Telegraph reported, which the court said was now worth about £104 million.

But his former co-owner – and later bitter rival Kevin McCabe – claimed that he had been duped about the extent of the wealth of Prince Abdullah, who ran a tissue paper manufacturing business.

The court case heard that Prince Abdullah “though rich by any standards” was not as wealthy as McCabe believed him to be, according to the court ruling, and sought outside funding when the club hit financial problems.

Prince Abdullah secured a £3 million loan from investment company Charwell Investments, which was ultimately controlled by the family of Osama Bin Laden. The details of the financial dealings emerged during the court case.

Prince Abdullah on Thursday defended the family. “I get offended when the Bin Laden family is a bad name,” he told media in Sheffield.

“Every family may have one bad person but they are a very respectable family,” the BBC reported. “The Bin Laden family is not a disgraced name or something that I should hide.”

Updated: September 19, 2019 08:44 PM

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