Sheffield United: Kevin McCabe REFUSED permission to appeal decision to grant sole control of Blades to Prince Abdullah as each side’s estimated legal bills are revealed

Kevin McCabe, the former Sheffield United owner, has failed in the first stage of an appeal bid against the decision to hand sole control of the Blades to Prince Abdullah last month.

Monday, 14th October 2019, 10:59 pm
Kevin McCabe & HRH Prince Abdullah bin Mosaad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud © BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY

A bitter fight for sole control of the Blades seemed to have come to an end last month, when High Court judge Mr Justice Fancourt ruled in favour of Prince Abdullah after a lengthy trial.

Sheffield United Ltd, a company controlled by McCabe and his family, had alleged "conspiracy" and "unfairly prejudicial conduct". UTB LLC, a company controlled by Prince Abdullah, wanted declarations in respect of its rights under an investment and shareholders' agreement.

The two businessmen fell out after disagreeing on a number of aspects of running United, and their relationship rapidly deteriorated.

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Lawyers representing McCabe told Mr Justice Fancourt on Monday that they wanted to challenge his ruling in the Court of Appeal, but litigants must first get permission to mount an appeal and show that they have an arguable case.

Either the judge who made the decision, or a Court of Appeal judge, can give that permission – and Mr Justice Fancourt today refused, adding that he did not think McCabe’s camp had a realistic prospect of overturning his ruling in the Court of Appeal.

Lawyers representing McCabe are now expected to make a second bid and ask a Court of Appeal judge to give them permission to mount an appeal.

Mr Justice Fancourt was considering a number of legal issues - including arguments about who should pick up particular lawyers' bills.

Sources estimated to PA Media that each side has spent around £1million on lawyers – and McCabe may have to pick up some of the Prince’s legal costs after losing the judgement.