Sheffield United co-owner Prince Abdullah's adviser 'troubled' by Kevin McCabe's view of wanting directors to have an understanding of the city

An adviser to Sheffield United co-owner Prince Abdullah has told the court battle for ownership that he was 'troubled' by his rival wanting directors to attend all the team's matches and have an understanding of the city.

By Sam Cooper
Friday, 24 May, 2019, 14:30
Sheffield United's Yusuf Giansiracusa (left).

Yusuf Giansiracusa said the Prince's co-owner Kevin McCabe felt it was important directors had an 'understanding of Sheffield'.

Mr Giansiracusa made the claim on day nine of the High Court battle for ownership.

Running through his witness statement, Paul Downes QC, for Sheffield United Limited - a company owned by McCabe, said Mr Giansiracusa had said the Prince felt 'distanced' from the club.

SUL has alleged ‘conspiracy’ and ‘unfairly prejudicial conduct’ and wants damages.

UTB LLC, a company controlled by Prince Abdullah, wants declarations in respect of its rights under an investment and shareholders' agreement.

In his statement, which was read to the court, Mr Giansiracusa said: "The Prince felt there was a disparity of involvement in the club, the McCabes were more involved than he was."

He added: "I was troubled by their [McCabes'] apparent assumption that a director must be present at each match and the importance they put on 'understanding Sheffield' and having an in-depth understanding of football."

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Mr Downes QC also questioned Mr Giansiracusa on whether he knew the identity of those behind a £3m loan, which the hearing has previously heard was a member of the Bin Laden family.

The barrister asked Mr Giansiracusa if he deliberately closed his eyes' to the detail of the Charwell loan.

But the adviser said he was not 'engaged in any investigation or anything of that sort'.

Mr Giansiracusa also told Judge Mr Justice Fancourt that when he got involved in the club he recognised there were 'tensions' between Mr McCabe and Prince Abdullah's directors but that he didn't consider them 'significant'.

The hearing continues.