Sheffield United High Court case: Recap the evidence of three-week trial as decision looms over who will own Blades

Fifteen days of evidence, more than three weeks of battle – the Sheffield United High Court case was certainly not dull.

Monday, 16th September 2019, 10:07 am

And judgement day is upon us, with judge Mr Justice Fancourt ready to deliver his verdict on who will own the Blades.

United co-owners Kevin McCabe and Prince Abdullah have been locked in dispute since launching rival takeover bids in 2017 and the details of the row were made public in the court case.

Prince Abdullah told the court he ‘tried his best’ to persuade the Bin Laden family to invest in the club.

Sign up to our Sheffield United newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The case gave fans a real insight into how the club has been run over the last few years and has revealed information which would never otherwise have got into the public domain.

While football clubs are essentially businesses and have no right to disclose any such information into the public arena, the case offered loyal fans who part with their hard-earned money to follow the Blades a better understanding of the situation.

And at times exchanges in court were bitter.

Mr McCabe was described as 'stubborn' and 'xenophobic', with UTB counsel claiming he felt it was important for directors to have an 'understanding of Sheffield'.

Sheffield United co-owner Kevin McCabe strenuously denied claims he was 'devious'.

The Saudi Prince was accused by SUL barristers of not having the amounts of money he claimed to.

One of the more memorable exchanges came when it was revealed that SUL said it was not going to stump up any additional funds for manager Chris Wilder to spend in the transfer window of January 2018.

A board meeting was held in October 2017, just two days before the Blades beat Leeds United away from home to go top of the Championship. A poor run of form in the second-half of the season saw them finish outside the top six.

Exchanges between those in the witness box and Paul Downes QC, for SUL, and Andreas Gledhill QC, have at times also been heated and there have been several 'I don't know' or 'I cannot recall' answers from witnesses.

Sheffield United owners Kevin McCabe and Prince Abdullah bin Mosaad bin Abulaziz Al Saud

Mr McCabe has openly said, on a number of occasions, of his desire to 'pass on the baton' and bring in new owners, should SUL get full ownership, while Prince Abdullah is seeking full ownership of the club.

The only certainty to come from the case so far, is what an even more remarkable job Chris Wilder has done to secure promotion to the Premier League against such a backdrop.