Sheffield United's takeover deadlock has to be resolved one way or other, and soon - Alan Biggs Column

Nearly three months have elapsed since it emerged that Sheffield United owner Prince Abdullah had struck a deal to sell the club.
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If the EFL is finally satisfied and the deal is done, this could yet prove time well spent. On the other side of the coin, how much time have the Blades got to waste?

Since those first takeover reports in December, the club itself has made no statement, not even to confirm the sale.

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Only the would-be new owner himself, Dozy Mmobuosi, has stepped into the news vacuum (seemingly gladly) to grant an online interview to Rio Ferdinand.

The EFL, apparently taking a dim view of this break with protocol, has made the only other public intervention, casting doubt on the takeover. That was three weeks ago.

If Mmobuosi passes the criteria - with the EFL thankfully tightening their procedures to protect clubs - then all well and good.

But if doubts persist - and suspicion is healthy considering this club’s ownership history pre-Kevin McCabe - then maybe United’s hierarchy should consider pulling the plug before the EFL do. Vital time is being lost.

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Right now the club has no plan for the Premier League other than getting there. No plan for another promotion bid if they don’t.

Dozy Mmobuosi is attempting to purchase Sheffield United from Prince Abdullah bin Musa'ad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud: George Wood/Getty ImagesDozy Mmobuosi is attempting to purchase Sheffield United from Prince Abdullah bin Musa'ad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud: George Wood/Getty Images
Dozy Mmobuosi is attempting to purchase Sheffield United from Prince Abdullah bin Musa'ad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud: George Wood/Getty Images

A dozen contracts are up in the summer, a transfer embargo remains in place and manager Paul Heckingbottom is evidently completely in the dark about what the future holds.

Yet amid all this upheaval, there are huge positives - one certainty and one strong likelihood. That United are attractive to investors promoted or not; that they could well be raking in close to £200m for Premier League exposure next season.

It surely has to be a more than workable scenario for someone, whether inside Bramall Lane or outside it.

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But time is of the essence. United are already well behind schedule for plotting a top flight survival campaign, even if an embargo that could cripple their attempt was lifted tomorrow.

Sheffield United owner Prince Abdullah bin Mosaad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud: Chris Brunskill/Getty ImagesSheffield United owner Prince Abdullah bin Mosaad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud: Chris Brunskill/Getty Images
Sheffield United owner Prince Abdullah bin Mosaad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud: Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

Prospective deals are brokered through agents many months in advance. Hecky and the club’s recruitment team have their hands tied, not knowing who and what they can afford, if anything.

So the inertia over the takeover has to end, one way or the other. And sooner rather than later.