Sheffield United: Prince Abdullah lands Saudi youth role

Prince Abdullah with The Star's James Shield
Prince Abdullah with The Star's James Shield
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Prince Abdullah bin Mosaad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Sheffield United’s co-owner, has been appointed the new general president of youth welfare by Saudi Arabia’s rulers, writes James Shield.

He was handed the role, which is the Middle Eastern kingdom’s equivalent of the Minister of Sport, when its previous holder, Prince Nawaf bin Faisal bin Fahd bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, relinquished the position earlier this week.

With Prince Abdullah now viewed as a member of Saudi Arabia’s government rather than a private citizen, protocol could require he resigns as United’s co-chairman.

However, as Bramall Lane’s board of directors explained when his arrival in South Yorkshire was confirmed last autumn, the 48-year-old’s investment is structured in such a way that his financial backing would not be affected should this prove necessary.

Prince Abdullah could also be forced to take the same step with regards to his other business interests, which include paper manufacturing, following King Abdullah’s decision to issue a royal decree.

Once again, however, this would not inhibit his support for Nigel Clough’s side.

Saudi Arabia’s Youth Welfare department aims to “provide the young with the means of self-development, physical as well as mental,” according to one commentator in the region. In addition it has “played a major role in the Kingdom’s sporting life.”

Prince Abdullah, who acquired a 50 per cent stake in United last year, was previously chairman of Al-Hilal FC.

The two time AFC Champions League winners are based in the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh.

Prince Abdullah is the grandson of Saudi Arabia’s founder and nephew of King Abdullah.