Sheffield United: 'I'm not in Manchester City's money league' admits Blades co-owner as High Court hearing continues
Kevin McCabe, the Sheffield United co-owner, believed Prince Abdullah Bin Mosaad Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud possessed "substantial wealth" when he effectively gifted the Saudi prince a 50 per cent stake in the Blades, the High Court has been told.
Prince Abdullah received a half stake in United’s football operations in 2013, in exchange for certain financial guarantees.
The Prince, also co-owner of Belgian football club Beerschot Wilrijk as well as United, had been "interested in identifying" a UK club in which to invest and held talks about aquiring a stake in Cardiff City before becoming involved with United.
Leeds were also one club Prince Abdullah considered investing into. The Prince estimated his net worth to be around $200m, but added his fortune could not be compared to that of the owners of Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain.
Barrister Paul Downes QC, who leads McCabe’s legal team, said McCabe had "perceived" that Prince Abdullah had "substantial wealth" when he made an approach about investment six years ago.
Prince Abdullah said he was "very passionate" about English football, and the Premier League in particular, and around 2012 and 2013 had wanted to find a club he "could take to the Premier League".
Sign up to our Sheffield United newsletter
He said Premier League clubs were too expensive to invest in.
"I had some years earlier been in talks to buy a stake in Cardiff City," he said. "I was also considering an investment in Leeds United."
But he said he was not in the Manchester City or PSG money league.
"I am a self-made man," he said. "Compared to Manchester City or PSG I don't have substantial wealth."
He said in 2013 he thought it would take five years to get Sheffield United - then in League One, the third tier of English football - to the Premier League.
The hearing continues. Additional reporting by Brian Farmer, Press Association