Warring co-owners Kevin McCabe and Prince Abdullah are “united in their vision and determination to return Sheffield United to the Premier League”, Bramall Lane chief executive Stephen Bettis insists.
Bettis’ message comes after a letter to shareholders of Sheffield United Limited, the McCabe-controlled company which owns 50 per cent of United, revealed that both co-owners underwent mediation in late September but no resolution would be found – meaning that the bitter boardroom battle for sole control of Bramall Lane will likely be settled in the High Court in May if no solution is found.
The situation has led to fears amongst United fans that manager Chris Wilder, whose Blades go into the international break fourth in the Championship table, will not be handed sufficient funds in the January transfer window to consolidate United's push for the Premier League.
But Bettis, whose return to Bramall Lane in July was a key factor in Wilder signing a new contract at his boyhood club, said ahead of Friday’s Steel City Derby draw against Wednesday that such concerns are unfounded.
Pointing to Chris Basham’s recent contract extension as evidence of the owners’ commitment to the club, chief executive Bettis added: “The January transfer window is also on the agenda and discussions have already started around our plans to strengthen the squad for the second half of the season.
“Both owners are united in their vision and determination to return this football club to the Premier League, where it belongs.”
On Basham’s deal, Bettis said: “We were delighted to announce a new contract for Chris, and we are talking to a number of others with regards to extensions.
“Chris Wilder and his team naturally want to ensure that the key players are rewarded and maintained.”
As The Star revealed recently, Kieron Freeman and Enda Stevens are amongst the players set to be offered new deals while Billy Sharp and Paul Coutts are out of contract in the summer. Both Freeman and Stevens have expressed a desire to stay while Coutts and Sharp are key parts of Wilder's squad.