Saudi royal Prince Abdullah wins Sheffield United ownership fight
Saudi royal Prince Abdullah has won his legal battle to take control of Sheffield United.
Joint-owner and lifelong Blades fan Kevin McCabe was ordered by the High Court to sell his 50 per cent share in the club to the prince.
In a statement McCabe said he was ‘heartbroken’ that his long association with the club had ended in such a way.
He said he felt ‘betrayed’ after High Court judge Mr Justice Bancroft’s verdict was delivered at a three-minute hearing.
The 262-page judgement was the finding of a 19-day trial during the early summer after Prince Abdullah and McCabe fell out over the ownership of the club.
Mr Justice Bancroft found overwhelmingly in favour of Prince Abdullah and ordered McCabe to sell his half of the shareholding for £5m.
Claims by McCabe’s SUL company for breach of contract and conspiracy to cause harm against the prince were also dismissed.
McCabe is now considering whether to launch an appeal after seeing his association with the Premier League club severed in such dramatic fashion.
It brought the curtain down on on a bitter and protracted fight for control at Bramall Lane since the Saudi prince bought 50 per cent of the club for £1 six years ago.
A statement on behalf of the McCabe family said: “Kevin McCabe is bitterly disappointed with the outcome of today’s judgment. He has supported Sheffield United through thick and thin going back to the 1950s and wishes nothing more than success for the club, its supporters and the many staff employed by it.
“The McCabe family have invested more than £100m into the football club over the years, and the Judge’s warm tribute to Kevin McCabe’s generosity in this regard was extremely welcome. Kevin McCabe has been the longest-serving director and/or owner of Sheffield United in the history of the club. For the McCabe family to have lost their connection with the football club in this manner and by way of this judgment is simply heartbreaking. Kevin feels a deep sense of betrayal.”
A statement by the Prince said: “ I am delighted that this judgment brings an end to the uncertainty over Sheffield United’s future.
“Our manager Chris Wilder and the team are off to a promising start and we can now focus on this vital Premier League season under stable ownership.
“As we turn a new page at Bramall Lane, my first priority is to secure our position in the top tier for many years to come.”