Sheffield United ownership battle: Investment expert 'didn't reveal Bin Laden family were behind £3m loan into Sheffield United'

An investment expert has been accused of purposely not revealing that the Bin Laden family were behind a £3m loan into Sheffield United due to 'sensitivities' around his client's name.

By Sam Cooper
Tuesday, 11 June, 2019, 13:59
Sheffield United owners Kevin McCabe and Prince Abdullah bin Mosaad bin Abulaziz Al Saud

The claim was made during the ongoing High Court battle for ownership of the club as Hosaam Alsaady, who acted on behalf of Saudi businessman Saled Mohammed Bin Laden, gave evidence.

Kevin McCabe and co-owner Prince Abdullah's relationship broke down in 2017 after both launched rival takeover bids. The case will decide who gets full ownership of the club.

Paul Downes QC, representing SUL, a company controlled by co-owner Kevin McCabe, said Mr Alsaady didn't 'correct' anyone from SUL when they referred to Sela Sports being behind the deal, known as Charwell, which was signed on February 9, 2017.

Mr Downes showed Mr Justice Fancourt an email from Kevin McCabe to Mr Alsaady on February 13, which had 'P&C Sheffield United/ Sela Sports - Project Delta as the subject.

He asked Mr Alsaady why he didn't correct him, to which the expert replied: "Because I had no idea this would matter after all this time. It's an email - it didn't seem relevant at the time."

The court was also shown a number of emails which referred to Sela Sports - none of which mentioned the name 'Bin Laden'.

Mr Downes said: "In very many documents, time and time again, it's clear that people on the Sheffield United side believe this is a Sela Sports transaction and time and time again you do not correct them and say: 'To be clear, it's not Sela Sports that's behind Charwell."

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He added: "You never told the McCabes did you, that you were not representing Sela Sports."

Mr Alsaady responded: "I think, you know, I disagree with that."

Mr Alsaady told the court he was aware of 'sensitivities around the name' Bin Laden.

Mr Downes said: "Why is that there is not a single document from the McCabe side where they refer to Sela Sport being behind the loan, do you not correct them?"

Mr Alsaady said: "I don't know."

The hearing continues.