Sheffield United defend club director

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Sheffield United have defended one of their directors following claims he was once part of a violent group of football hooligans.

Selahattin Baki was filmed by a documentary crew talking about his past with a gang associated with the Turkish club Fenerbahce.

But Blades board member James Phipps said while Mr Baki admitted to some ‘youthful indiscretions’, since then he has ‘consistently demonstrated better judgement’.

The footage was recorded for a series called Real Football Factories, fronted by actor Danny Dyer.

Mr Baki told of hurling a flare at pals because they supported rival club Galatasary, and mentioned incidents involving knives.

He arrived at United earlier this year after his friend, Saudi Prince Abdullah bin Mosaad, bought a 50 per cent stake in the team.

Mr Phipps said: “The prince chose Mr Baki based on his love and knowledge of football and based on a judgement about his ability to add value to the work and deliberations of the board. This judgement remains unchanged.

“The prince is aware that Mr Baki is a fervent supporter of Fenerbahce and that, in younger days, the fervency of his support may have overcome his better judgement.”

Mr Phipps added: “Indeed, Mr Baki has built a reputation as a well-regarded, law-abiding businessman and has earned his place as a trusted advisor to His Royal Highness.

“For my part, I am delighted that Mr Baki is helping in the effort to return Sheffield United to the higher echelons of English football.

“His passion for the game, bridled by wisdom gained through experience, is an asset to us.”