BLADES IN COURT: McCabe employee ‘dishonestly invented’ bribery allegations against Sheffield United co-owner
A senior employee of Sheffield United co-owner Kevin McCabe has been accused of ‘dishonestly inventing allegations of bribery’ against McCabe’s Blades co-owner, Prince Abdullah.
The accusation came during compelling exchanges between Prince Abdullah’s lawyer Andreas Gledhill QC and Jeremy Tutton, the chief financial officer of McCabe’s Scarborough Group, on the fifth day of a High Court trial which will rule on the club’s long-running ownership battle.
Mr Gledhill said Mr Tutton’s claim that an employee of the law firm Farrer told him the source of a £3m loan that had been procured by the Saudi Prince was ‘simply incredible’ and that Tutton was lying.
“You have dishonestly invented an allegation of bribery for the purposes of these proceedings,” he said.
“If Farrer’s had told you that it would be in breach of their client’s confidentiality. Your evidence on this is simply incredible. I put it to you that you are deliberately lying.”
Mr Gledhill said Mr Tutton had in fact spoken to no one at Farrer’s about the loan, and had changed his story only when someone realised the person he said he had spoken to wasn’t in the office that week.
Mr Tutton said the mistake was down to his ‘sloppiness’, but went on to angrily denounce Gledhill’s line of questioning and Prince Abdullah’s role in both the £3m loan and the club in general.
He said: “This loan absolutely stinks and it doesn’t stink on mine or Kevin’s side - it is Prince Abdullah’s side that stinks. He still hadn’t repaid it by April 2018.”
“Prince Abdullah doesn’t give a toss about the club. You are making us out to be terrible people and it is really wrong.”
The court heard further testimony about the loan being from a member of the Saudi Bin Laden family.
Mr Tutton said that if he had ever realised that the Bin Laden name was behind the loan he would have been straight on to his partners.
Earlier, however, Tutton’s boss Kevin McCabe had told the court he had been ‘100 per cent sure’ from the beginning that a member of the Bin Laden family was one of the investors involved.
Mr McCabe told Mr Justice Fancourt the relationship had stated optimistically and he had been elated to find an investor who he felt could help Sheffield United achieve success.
“But ourselves and Prince Abdullah have failed to understand each other’s culture and that is where we have fallen down,” he said.
The case continues.