Sheffield United takeover: Key decisions still being taken despite ownership bid

Although ongoing talks surrounding Henry Mauriss’ proposed takeover of Sheffield United have prompted the club to place several projects on hold, key decisions relating to its performance both on and off the pitch are still being taken, sources at Bramall Lane have reassured supporters.

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Mauriss’ attempt to purchase United, which it emerged earlier this week is being delayed by financial checks and complexity of the bond structure being used to raise the capital, is expected to influence the scope of some close season projects - including plans to completely overhaul their training complex in Shirecliffe.

But others, including a new kit deal with Errea, are continuing as planned; even though that also includes other teams within current owner HRH Prince Abdullah’s United World network, which Mauriss is not offering to purchase.

Sheffield United CEO Stephen Bettis, manager Paul Heckingbottom, chairman Yusuf Giansiracusa and director Abdullah bin Yousef Alghamdi: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Despite continuing to try and identify alternative sites across the city, improvement works to the pitches at the Randox Health Academy have also been signed-off by United’s board of directors after manager Paul Heckingbottom expressed concerns about playing surfaces there. Although no guidance has been given, it is unlikely United will begin seriously attempting to source the funding for the refurbishment of Bramall Lane’s hotel, which was closed soon after Prince Abdullah became sole-owner following a High Court battle with Kevin McCabe, until the situation becomes clearer.

Mauriss, who runs the California based broadcasting company Clear TV, is pressing ahead with his bid to take control of United despite seeing the period of exclusivity he was granted earlier this year end.

Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom: Darren Staples / Sportimage

As The Star reported yesterday, Mauriss’ efforts to gain the approval he requires from the English Football League in order to press ahead with his bid are being hampered by beefed-up checks introduced following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and also the method he is using to generate funding.

United temporarily suspended several initiatives earlier this year when it became clear Mauriss was serious about progressing his bid. However, many of those were later revived - including both the agreement with Errea and also devising their pre-season schedule, which will see Heckingbottom’s squad begin their preparations for the new season with a trip to Portugal.

American Henry Mauriss is attempting to purchase Sheffield United: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images