Sheffield United co-owner Kevin McCabe ordered to sell his share of club to Prince Abdullah
By Keith James, Chief News Editor
Last Updated: 16/09/19 2:36pm
Sheffield United's co-owner Kevin McCabe must sell his share of the club to Saudi co-owner, Prince Abdullah, a High Court judge has ruled.
McCabe will have to sell his stake in the Premier League club to Prince Abdullah for £5m.
In a hearing which lasted less than three minutes, Justice Fancourt's judgement ended a bitter 18-month legal battle for control at Bramall Lane.
After hearing six weeks of evidence in London's High Court over the summer, the judge said McCabe and his company SUL must sell their shares in the club to Prince Abdullah and dismissed McCabe's claims for damages and breach of contract.
The judge also described McCabe's allegation that Prince Abdullah had been party to a bribe as "fanciful" and found McCabe's conduct was "manipulative and devious" with key evidence also described as "disingenuous."
The Saudi royal bought 50 per cent of the then-League One club for £1 six years ago, promising to finance the running of the club for three years.
In a statement, Prince Abdullah said: "I am delighted that this judgement 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.
"[...] I am fully committed to continued investment in both the First Team and the Academy and to bringing best practices and the highest standards of management to the club.
"I also look forward to hearing from the fans, club staff and other stakeholders regarding ways in which we can improve the matchday experience and support the community that has so loyally supported us.
"One initiative already underway is the unification of the club and its key properties. We want to own our stadium and intend to complete this integration within the coming year."
McCabe described the judgement as "heartbreaking" and accused Prince Abdullah of "fraud" as he considers appealing the verdict.
"For the McCabe family to have lost their connection with the football club in this manner and by way of this judgement is simply heart-breaking," a statement said.
"Kevin feels a deep sense of betrayal and is in a state of shock about the way that he has been treated by Prince Abdullah and he now deeply regrets going into business with him.
"[...] the McCabes were very seriously misled about the true extent of Prince Abdullah's wealth and had to rescue the club from insolvency because of the Prince's impecuniosity around December 2016.
"Kevin McCabe was also devastated to learn, from documents disclosed in the litigation, of the fraud that Prince Abdullah and his advisors attempted to carry out on him with regard to commission on the "Project Delta" transaction."
Justice Fancourt adjourned the case until October 14, after which McCabe will have 21 days to decide whether he is to appeal Monday's judgement.