Yorkshire businessman Kevin McCabe had thought a Saudi prince had "substantial wealth" when they started working together at Sheffield United in 2013, the High Court has been told.
Prince Abdullah Bin Mosaad Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, a co-owner of Belgian football club Beerschot Wilrijk, had been "interested in identifying" a UK club in which to invest.
He had been in talks about buying a stake in Cardiff City and had considered investing in Leeds United before becoming involved with Sheffield United.
The prince indicated that he was wealthy but said his fortune could not be compared to the wealth of the owners of Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG).
Barrister Paul Downes QC, who leads Sheffield United Ltd's legal team, said Mr McCabe had "perceived" that Prince Abdullah had "substantial wealth" when he made an approach about investment six years ago.
Prince Abdullah said he was "very passionate" about English football, and the Premier League in particular, and around 2012 and 2013 had wanted to find a club he "could take to the Premier League".
He said Premier League clubs were too expensive to invest in.
"I had some years earlier been in talks to buy a stake in Cardiff City," he said. "I was also considering an investment in Leeds United."
But he said he was not in the Manchester City or PSG money league.
"I am a self-made man," he said. "Compared to Manchester City or PSG I don't have substantial wealth."
He said in 2013 he thought it would take five years to get Sheffield United - then in League One, the third tier of English football - to the Premier League.
The hearing at the High Court continues.