A Saudi prince has become the new joint owner of Sheffield United Football Club.
HRH Prince Abdullah bin Mosaad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has secured a 50 per cent interest in Blades Leisure Ltd, the holding company for Sheffield United FC, in return for which he will invest substantial new capital into the club with the aim of working with current owner Kevin McCabe and his family to achieve the Blades’ return to the Premier League as quickly as possible.
The Prince becomes Co-Chairman with Kevin McCabe of Blades Leisure and Sheffield United.
Prince Abdullah, 47, is a grandson of the founder of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, King Abdulaziz.
He is a passionate football supporter and is former President of Al Hilal FC, the largest and most successful club in Saudi Arabia. He is also Chairman of Saudi Arabia’s Football Privatisation Committee.
Prince Abdullah is a prominent Saudi businessman and industrialist. He is the founder and Chairman of the publicly-listed Saudi Paper Manufacturing Group, the largest paper tissue manufacturer in the Middle East.
The Prince is active in other fields in the services and investments sectors in Saudi Arabia, and internationally. He travels extensively and works with other prominent businessmen from around the world to promote trade, goodwill and understanding through sport between Saudi Arabia and other countries.
Prince Abdullah said:
“I am delighted to invest in such a sensibly-organised, family and community club with a great history and heritage. Joining Sheffield United FC at a time close to its 125th year in existence is significant to me and, like Kevin, I am determined to see it achieve its goals and look forward to working with the whole Blades community.
“However, money will be spent judiciously, and in any case we must comply with the Salary Cost Management Protocol.”
Kevin McCabe said:
“We are thrilled to be building this new partnership for Sheffield United with Prince Abdullah, who shares our vision for the Blades to join the top tier of English football.
“The McCabe family remains wholly committed and over the past ten years has invested more than £90 million in rebuilding our fine and proud Club, which now has a top-class stadium, academy and junior development centre.”
The boards will also see new directors in Abdulraham Bin Abdullah (the Prince’s son), James Phipps (the Prince’s principal advisor) and Selahattin Baki (a highly regarded Turkish businessman and General Manager of Premier Paper Converting Company, which manufactures consumer tissue paper products in Izmit, Turkey).
London and Dubai-based specialist consulting firm Forticap acted as the sole arranger for the transaction.