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Sheffield United ownership: McCabe refused chance to appeal


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Sheffield United ownership: McCabe refused chance to appeal

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Kevin McCabe and Prince Abdullah worked together for six years but fell out in 2017 Sheffield United’s ex-owner has been refused the chance to appeal against a decision forcing him to sell his 50% stake in the club. Mr McCabe and Prince Abdullah Bin Mosaad Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud…

Sheffield United ownership: McCabe refused chance to appeal

Prince Abdullah Bin Mosaad Abdulaziz Al Saud and co-owner Kevin McCabe watch Sheffield United play Rotherham in September 2013Image copyright
Getty Images

Image caption

Kevin McCabe and Prince Abdullah worked together for six years but fell out in 2017

Sheffield United’s ex-owner has been refused the chance to appeal against a decision forcing him to sell his 50% stake in the club.

Mr McCabe and Prince Abdullah Bin Mosaad Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud have been locked in a two-year legal battle over their ownership of the Blades.

In September, the High Court ruled Mr McCabe must sell his share to the prince, but he appealed against it.

But now, he must sell his share and the club’s Bramall Lane stadium.

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In a statement on its website, United said ownership of the stadium hotel, training ground and Shirecliffe Academy junior development centre, would also be transferred.

“Prince Abdullah expects the transfer of the properties to be completed within a matter of months and looks forward in particular to the club being unified with its beloved home, Bramall Lane,” it said.

“The board is delighted that any lingering uncertainty about the club’s future ownership is at an end and that everyone at Sheffield United can now fully focus on what has, to date, been a fantastic first season back in the Premier League.”

Analysis

Andy Giddings, Sports Editor BBC Radio Sheffield

Today is a legal marker to the end of an era.

Kevin McCabe was a genuine supporter-owner who oversaw two promotions to the Premier League during his tenure.

There were also two relegations, most notably from the top flight in 2007 that resulted in a court battle with West Ham over the “Tevez affair”.

The McCabe family invested tens of millions of pounds into the club, and helped build their facilities to the high standards that they are now.

His last significant football act was to appoint Chris Wilder as team manager, thus kick-starting their rise back to the Premier League from League One.

McCabe’s role in taking Sheffield United into the modern era shouldn’t be forgotten, and it’s a shame the co-owners couldn’t resolve their differences outside a court room.

Mr McCabe met Prince Abdullah in 2013 while looking for fresh investment in the club, which was then in League One.

Prince Abdullah invested £10m but the two men fell out in 2017.

Image copyright
Reuters

Image caption

Mr McCabe is thought to be the longest-serving director and owner in the history of Sheffield United

Sheffield United Ltd, the company run by Mr McCabe and his family, made an offer to buy out the prince for £5m.

But the offer also gave the prince’s company, UTB LLC, the option to buy Mr McCabe’s shareholding at the same price and a counter notice was served in January 2018.

At the High Court last September, Mr Justice Fancourt said Mr McCabe had “injected tens of millions of pounds into the club out of love and loyalty, not for financial return”.

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But he ruled the contract of sale and purchase of Sheffield United Ltd’s shares could not be set aside.

The judge said UTB LLC would also have to buy the club’s property assets from Sheffield United Ltd.

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