Sheffield United’s Kevin McCabe and Prince Abdullah in court fight

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The owners of firms running Sheffield United FC are embroiled in a High Court battle after “falling out badly”.

Relations between Kevin McCabe and Prince Abdullah have so deteriorated Mr McCabe is “willing” to give up his involvement in the Championship club.

At a preliminary hearing in London, Mr Justice Fancourt said the club is “consistently loss-making”.

One area of disagreement has been over how much needs to be spent on players for next season, the court heard.

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Prince Abdullah has been involved in the club since 2013.

Meanwhile, Mr McCabe and family have been involved for many years and invested “much money”.

A trial is not expected for some time but Mr Justice Fancourt has been asked to make funding decisions for the first half of the 2018-19 season.

Business managers say the club needs £10m until January, despite promotion from League One in 2016-17 and a top-10 Championship finish in the 2017-18 season.

The judge said Mr McCabe and family own Sheffield United Ltd, while Prince Abdullah Bin Mosaad Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, a Saudi royal, owns UTB LLC.

Each owned 50% of shares in Blades Leisure Ltd, which owned all shares in The Sheffield United Football Club Ltd and ran the club, the judge noted.

In 2013, UTB LLC invested £10m in the club and bought the 50% share stake in Blades Leisure.

  • Sheffield United in ownership talks

But a series of disagreements on spending since 2017 have led to relations between Mr McCabe and Prince Abdullah to deteriorate.

The judge said when the Blades offered to buy shares, UTB responded with a “manoeuvre” meaning it was entitled to “purchase all Sheffield’s shares at a low price”, causing “consternation and upset”.

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He said the McCabes felt “tricked”, “the parties fell out badly”, and UTB sued Sheffield United Ltd.

The club made a counter claim, and Mr McCabe has said he is “even willing to give up his involvement in the football club” over the row.

The judge said it was “impossible” to say which firm, if any, will emerge in control of the club.

Source: BBC

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