Sheffield United: Blades boss set to get his wish as ownership announcement imminent

Chris Wilder, the Sheffield United manager, will discover more about his club's future plans next week when a High Court ruling designed to settle its long-running ownership dispute is published.

Wednesday, 11th September 2019, 16:49 pm
Updated Wednesday, 11th September 2019, 19:59 pm
Kevin McCabe & HRH Prince Abdullah bin Mosaad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud © BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY

Mr Justice Fancourt, who presided over a five week long hearing investigating the disagreement between Kevin McCabe and HRH Prince Abdullah bin Musa'ad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, is scheduled to deliver his verdict on Monday morning following nearly three months of deliberation.

The ruling is set to exert great influence over the direction United take moving forward, with McCabe expected to sell to a group of North American businesspeople if he wins sole control. Although Prince Abdullah has indicated he would remain at Bramall Lane should the decision go in his favour, the Saudi Arabian can also expect to receive proposals from outside investors following United's promotion to the Premier League. There is also a strong possibility that the losing party will lodge an appeal when the judge announces his findings.

The row between McCabe and Prince Abdullah, who both hold 50 per cent stakes in United's parent company Blades Leisure Limited, traces back to December 2018, when the two men launched rival bids for power. Although their dispute has not cast a shadow over performances on the pitch - Wilder steered United to a second-placed finish in the Championship last term - he has frequently expressed his frustration at events behind the scenes. Despite walking a diplomatic tightrope, Wilder believes clarity at board level is required before United can truly realise their potential.

Chris Wilder: James Wilson/Sportimage

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Details of McCabe's discussions with ALK Capital LLC, an investment vehicle used by Alan Pace and Dave Checketts, emerged during the hearing in London. Although Checkett's involvement is thought to be limited - he is currently serving as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' mission president in England, the two are well-known figures in US sport after previously being involved with MLS franchise Real Salt Lake City.

United return to action following the international break on Saturday, when Southampton visit South Yorkshire.