Dozy Mmobuosi the African billionaire behind Sheffield United takeover attempt - reports
Sheffield United’s takeover appears to be edging closer with reports suggesting that the new person currently set to become Blades owner is a Nigerian businessman Dozy Mmobuosi.
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It has been common knowledge for some time that United were up for sale with current owner HRH Prince Abdullah bin Musa’ad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud struggling to maintain the funding needed to keep the club going.
Last year American businessman Henry Mauriss - founder of broadcaster Clear TV and previously linked with taking over Newcastle United - had a bid, understood to be over £100m accepted by the Bramall Lane hierarchy.
However, as The Star first reported, a proposed takeover of Sheffield United by American businessman Henry Mauriss collapsed because of the complex financial structure he was using to try and purchase the Championship club. Mauriss was granted a period of exclusivity by Prince Abdullah and his advisors but because he was using bonds rather than loans to fund the buy-out, it proved impossible to receive clearance from the EFL.
Since then United’s financial difficulties have become more apparent and they were placed under transfer embargo last month due to the failure to pay the latest installment of a transfer fee due to another club.
News of the latest takeover attempt broke last year with the identity of the proposed new owner being kept between the Prince and his tight circle. However, national media reports have revealed that Nigerian businessman Dozy Mmobuosi is behind the move, according to The Times.
It has been suggested that a deal of around £90m involving Mmobuosi - who is CEO of Tingo International Holdings, values last year at over £7billion - has been accepted and that, as things stand, the proposed takeover is in the hands of the EFL, with no snags being thown up at this stage.
The report also revealed that it was Liverpool who were owed the money which caused the club to become subject to a ransfer embargo, presumably dating back to the signing of Rhian Brewster who moved to Bramall Lane back in September 2020 in a deal reported at the time to be worth £23m.
Football finance expert Kieran Maguire told The Star earlier this year that United were a very attractive proposition for anyone wanting to buy a football club.
He said that as well as the fact the Blades own their own stadium, Sheffield’s reputation as a football city, make United an inviting prospect for would-be owners.
“Buying a club without a stadium or vice versa can cause issues but whoever this mysterious party is, is getting the whole package [with United],” Maguire, the author of the Price of Football book and a lecturer at Liverpool University, said.
“The stadium issues have been resolved at Bramall Lane, the club is in a very strong position in terms of going up and again that’ll be reflected in the price. Bournemouth sold for £120-130million in the Premier League.
“United have a big fan base and Sheffield is a big city, it’s a football city as well. That’s no disrespect to Bournemouth or my club Brighton, but we’re not a football city. We’ve got a great football club but we’re not a football city.
“And that doesn’t mean the fans are any less passionate at those clubs, but Sheffield United can point to that history and that heritage and sense of community. And I think that’s very attractive to a prospective owner because you’re buying into that noise you get with a club like Sheffield United.”