'Going to fall behind' - Sheffield United boss's warning over Prince Abdullah sale timeline amid Dozy Mmobuosi bid

Paul Heckingbottom has called for clarity over Sheffield United’s ownership future sooner rather than later, after describing Prince Abdullah’s four-week deadline to sell the Premier League-bound Blades as “too long”.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

United’s ongoing takeover saga has threatened to overshadow progress on the pitch for months, with a deal first struck between the Prince and Nigerian businessman Dozy Mmobuosi towards the back end of last year.

But the saga has dragged on since and patience has worn thin in the Prince’s camp. The current owner has other interested parties and with Mmobuosi’s period of exclusivity now over, paved the way for other offers for the Premier League’s newest club by admitting he is still looking to sell.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The Prince’s four-week timescale was imposed in a bid to avoid the chance of discussions overshadowing United’s preparations for the new season, with a number of key off-field decisions still up in the air. But Heckingbottom, speaking after Saturday’s 4-1 victory over Preston North End at Bramall Lane, described it as “too long”.

“We need it now; that's too long," Heckingbottom said. "We've got to do it now. I wanted to have been speaking to the players last week. As soon as Wednesday [when promotion was confirmed] was done. There are conversations now.

"I want to be speaking to them and in my eyes, it's simple. We know where we stand now, so let's work with that.

Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom and owner HRH Prince Abdullah Bin Mosaad Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud celebrate promotion to the Premier League: David Davies/PA Wire.Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom and owner HRH Prince Abdullah Bin Mosaad Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud celebrate promotion to the Premier League: David Davies/PA Wire.
Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom and owner HRH Prince Abdullah Bin Mosaad Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud celebrate promotion to the Premier League: David Davies/PA Wire.

"If someone bought the club, or investment or whatever, and it increased our capability, then that's fine. We'll spend that. But at the minute we'll work with what we've got, otherwise we are going to fall behind."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The Mmobuosi saga appeared to be coming to a head last week when the Prince used an interview with a national radio station to admit a deal with the Nigerian businessman was “unlikely”. Mmobuosi has already paid almost £9m to the Blades’ parent company United World but Prince Abdullah insisted no-one was owed a refund if the deal doesn’t go through.

Mmobuosi later issued a statement confirming he has not withdrawn his offer to buy the Blades but, perhaps pointedly, referenced “positive and constructive” talks with chairman Yusuf Giansiracusa and chief executive Stephen Bettis, rather than the man he hopes to succeed at the helm of the Blades.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.