There is some confusion over who owns Sheffield United, with Companies House confirming Prince Abdullah bin Musa’ad is no longer “a person with significant control”.
The Saudi Prince was given sole control of the club in October last year after winning a High Court battle against Kevin McCabe. McCabe was forced to sell his 50 percent stake to his former co-owner for £5m.
That appeared to clear up an ownership dispute at Bramall Lane that had been ongoing since December 2017. However, this latest news has cast more doubt.
Prince Abdullah was notified as a person with significant control at the club and then removed from the position on the same day. That day was October 18, 2019 – yet Companies House has only listed that as of today.
So who owns Sheffield United?
The official owners of the club are Blades Leisure Ltd. Prince Abdullah is the director of that company and therefore still, presumably, of United.
In truth, the Saudi Prince has taken something of a hands-off approach throughout his involvement with the Blades – which began back in 2013.
Instead, his daughter and son-in-law are the ones who have made the move to Sheffield to run the club. The latter, Prince Musa’ad bin Khalid Al Saud, is the chairman.
This latest announcement seems to be more of a restructuring decision. Yet in reality, nothing much has changed. The speculation is that it could have been made to make the prospective takeover at Newcastle United easier.
A group of investors are currently trying to buy Newcastle. They are backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, who are headed by the Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.
The expected £300m takeover also took a significant step forwards today, with the Daily Express reporting it had been approved by the Premier League.
Both the Crown Prince and Prince Abdullah are part of the Saudi Arabian Royal family – the House of Saud. It was thought it might be a conflict of interests for the cousins to own rival English top flight teams.
The Crown Prince is by far the more senior figure in Saudi Arabia. As a result, Prince Abdullah may have taken a step back officially at Bramall Lane to avoid complications at Newcastle.