Henry Mauriss: Meet the American billionaire who wants to buy Sheffield United

Henry Mauriss, the American billionaire who attempted to buy Newcastle before they were purchased by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, has held talks about taking over Sheffield United.

Thursday, 21st April 2022, 8:25 pm

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As The Star reported earlier this week, United owner HRH Prince Abdullah bin Musa’ad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has been approached by two different parties interested in acquiring the Championship club.

One of those is Mauriss, a Californian who made his fortune in the credit card and financial sectors before expanding his interest into the field of media and PR.

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Bramall Lane, the home of Sheffield United: Zac Goodwin/PA Wire.

Although likely to be coincidental, the fact he investigated the possibility of seizing control at St James’ Park before the Saudis eventually completed their protracted deal is intriguing given that Prince Abullah and some of his closest associates hail from the Middle Eastern kingdom.

Sources close to Bramall Lane have been indicating for several weeks that Bramall Lane could be set to experience another regime-change; three years after former co-owner Kevin McCabe was ousted following a High Court battle with Prince Abdullah.

ALK Capital, who are now in charge of Burnley, were set to be installed had McCabe emerged victorious and, despite reports to the contrary, continued negotiating with Prince Abdullah and other board members after the Scarborough based businessman’s departure.

Crucially, after exploring a variety of different investment scenarios, they were unable to agree a package for either the entirety of Prince Abdullah’s shareholding in United or a significant proportion.

Sheffield United could soon be set to unveil a new owner, following talks between Henry Mauriss and Prince Abdullah

However, Mauriss has reportedly signalled he is ready to meet Prince Abdullah’s £115m valuation; a 23 fold increase on the £5m the 57-year-old was required to pay to gain sole control of United following his fall-out with McCabe.

Paul Heckingbottom, the United manager, told The Star this lunchtime that he hoped to be kept abreast of any developments which might affect his position, But, insisting he is focused on preparing his team for Saturday’s game against Cardiff City, Heckingbottom acknowledged he could not shed any further light on claims Prince Abdullah could be set to depart.

“We speak every week,” said Heckingbottom, confirming he is in regular contact with United chairman Yusuf Giansiracusa. “In terms of takeover, that’s not my business.”

“There’s nothing I can do to affect that,” he added, with his team standing sixth in the Championship table. “There’s no information I can give you because I don’t know anything.”

If the process is concluded to the satisfaction of all parties involved, Mauriss would have to convince the English Football League of his funding and character.

Reports at the time stated Mauriss was prepared to offer £350m for Newcastle, following discussions with then owner Mike Ashley, who has also been linked with United.

Said to be a Tottenham Hotspur supporter, Mauriss was responsible for transforming Clear TV, which provides tailored content for audiences inside facilities such as airports and healthcare facilities, into an industry leader.

Mauriss has also forged relationships with US broadcasting giants CBS and NBC, and is known to admire the work of his fellow Americans John W Henry and Thomas C Werner at Liverpool.