Sheffield United: ‘The right deal at the right time’

Kevin McCabe of Sheffield United Football club ' 'See Story  Ian Appleyard   Picture Chris Lawton '09 May   2011
Kevin McCabe of Sheffield United Football club ' 'See Story Ian Appleyard Picture Chris Lawton '09 May 2011
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Kevin McCabe has revealed Sheffield United rejected numerous approaches from potential backers before striking a deal with an “international” investor.

McCabe, the South Yorkshire club’s plc chairman, confirmed top-secret talks had been “on-going for several months” after receiving an approach from the unnamed individual earlier this year.

The identity of McCabe’s partner - he has agreed to hand over 50 per cent of his interest in the football club - is set to be revealed next week.

But The Star has been told that the documents which McCabe insisted marked the start of a “bright new era” at Bramall Lane have been signed and ratified by lawyers working on behalf of both parties concerned.

“We’ve had more than a few proposals put to us over the years,” McCabe said. “But we rejected those because we didn’t think they were right.

“This is different. It is serious and driven by the right motives. It is the right deal for Sheffield United and it is being done for the right motives.

“If we had thought any different, as we have with some of the other people we’ve spoken to in the past, then we wouldn’t have proceeded. We wouldn’t have gone forward. It’s as simple as that.

“But, like I say, this is different. It’s the right one.”

Members of United football and administration departments were briefed on developments yesterday.

Pointedly, McCabe acknowledged that the qualities possessed by new manager David Weir, together with the former Scotland international’s coaching and scouting teams, had helped to secure a positive outcome to the protracted negotiations.

McCabe’s decision to instigate a reshuffle of United’s business portfolio also means that the new revenue stream will primarily be used to improve Weir’s first team squad.

Jose Baxter, previously of Oldham Athletic, is expected to make his debut against MK Dons today while Stoke City’s Florent Cuvelier and Coventry City centre-forward Callum Wilson also feature on Weir’s wanted list.

“There were numerous things which attracted them to us,” McCabe said. “They recognise that we are a historic football club with an superb and loyal fanbase.

“And they recognised that we are a well run football club. That will remain the case.

“They want to stay true to the principles of Sheffield United Football Club.”