BLADES IN COURT: ‘We have the best interests of Sheffield United at heart,' says McCabe
Lawyers acting for former Sheffield United chairman Kevin McCabe have forecast ‘stormy waters’ for the club if the judge rules in favour of his Blades co-owner Prince Abdullah, adding only he has the ‘best interests’ of the club at heart.
The claim came at the end of a day of closing arguments from Paul Downes QC for McCabe, duing which he went through evidence from the six-week long trial which will decide the long-running ownership dispute between the two men.
Mr Downes said in his view there were six possible outcomes in the case, but only those that would result in Mr McCabe gaining full control of the club could be considered fair.
He said: “My client feels very strongly that if this club goes to [Prince Abdullah's] UTB side it could be heading for very stormy waters.
“We have been seeking to persuade your Lordship to give us control of the club because we have its best interests at heart.”
Mr Downes went on to detail their case that Prince Abdullah had acted in an ‘underhand, tricky and sneaky’ way over the buyout process, seeking to profit from a mistake he knew Mr McCabe had made, and that this had led to the drawn out process the parties were still embroiled in.
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“If UTB had acted lawfully the agreement would have come to an end consensually,” he said.
“But they did not act lawfully, litigation was inevitable and the nightmare continues for another 15 or 16 months.”
And Mr Downes also revisted the contentious £10m ‘Charwell’ loan, which it was revealed during the trial had come from a member of the Saudi Bin Laden family.
Mr Downes said it was still their view – contrary to what Prince Abdullah’s lawyers have recently claimed – that this loan was a bribe or at least could have given that impression to outsiders, and that this could have had a detrimental effect on the reputation of the club.
He said: “Even the hint of corruption could have had potentially devastating consequences on the club’s relationship with bankers and sponsors, player transfers and the EFL. There has to be zero tolerance.”
The case will conclude tomorrow with closing arguments from Prince Abdullah’s lawyer Andreas Gledhill QC before the judge retires to consider his verdict, due later this year.