Sheffield United: 'Bin Laden stories offend me,' says Prince Abdullah as he says he would do business with the family

H.R.H Prince Abdullah bin Mosa'ad bin Abdulaziz Al Sa'ud: Simon Bellis/SportimageH.R.H Prince Abdullah bin Mosa'ad bin Abdulaziz Al Sa'ud: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
H.R.H Prince Abdullah bin Mosa'ad bin Abdulaziz Al Sa'ud: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
HRH Prince Abdullah bin Musa'ad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has defended his discussions with the bin Ladens, which emerged during May's battle for control of Sheffield United at the High Court.

Earlier this year, lawyers acting on behalf of fellow co-owner Kevin McCabe detailed how the 54-year-old had sought investment from the family during an attempted fund-raising exercise which became known as Project Delta.

Although that provoked an avalanche of negative headlines - one of the bin Ladens, Osama, founded Al-Qaeda – Prince Abdullah reminded the former terrorist had been publicly disowned by his relatives, who are one of Saudi Arabia's most influential families, in 2004.

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Speaking during a press conference called to mark his takeover at Bramall Lane following Mr Justice Fancourt's ruling on Monday, Prince Abdullah said: "I get offended when the Bin Laden family is a bad name. Every family may have one bad sheep but they are a very respectable family.

"I have not done business with them in the past but I will be very happy to do business with them. The Bin Laden family is not a disgraced name or something that I should hide."

The bin Ladens, estimated to contain around 600 members, made their fortune in construction and, under their corporate banner the Binladin Group, have overseen a variety of projects across the globe. They include airports and tower blocks in Jeddah, Kuual Lumpur international airport and the Univerisity of Sharjah in the UAE.

"They were going to buy Kevin McCabe shares," Prinxe Abdullah continued. "They (the bin Ladens) did due diligence but decided not to buy. I don't see it is as a big deal. When I see the Bin Laden family as a dirty name I get really offended."

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Despite ruling out the possibility of selling United - ALK Capital, a group of North American investors, were poised to buy out McCabe if the verdict had gone in his favour - Prince Abdullah confirmed he is seeking to exploit potential commercial opportunities in the Kingdom. Although his purchase of United is a private transaction, Saudi Arabia's desire to become a major player on the global sporting stage could open up potential avenues for United to explore, both Prince Abdullah and HRH Prince Musa’ad Bin Khalid Bin Abdulrahman Al Saud, the club's soon to be chairman, suggested.

"My main focus is to bring in sponsors from Saudi right now,"Prince Abdullah said.