Prince used ‘Bin Laden’ family cash to fund Sheffield United, court hears

The courtroom battle over the ownership of Sheffield United has heard claims that co-owner HRH Prince Abdullah used cash from the ‘Bin Laden’ family to help fund the club.

Thursday, 16th May 2019, 2:16 pm
Sheffield Utd co-owners Prince Abdullah Bin Mosaad bin Abdullah Al Said and Kevin McCabe. Pic: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Co-owners Kevin McCabe and HRH Prince Abdullah are locked in a battle for control of the newly promoted Premier League football club.

Both Mr McCabe and Prince Abdullah Bin Mosaad Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud each own 50 per cent of the club but they have clashed over the terms of a buyout provision in the initial agreement drawn up by both parties in 2013.

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Sheffield-born former club chairman, Mr McCabe, 71, met the Saudi prince in 2013 when he was looking for an investor in the Blades after investing £100 million, of his own cash over 12 years.

Prince Abdullah invested £10m in 2013 but in 2017 the relationship between the co-owners faltered, with Mr McCabe said to have been frustrated that the prince did not have the funds he claimed to.

The dispute centres around which of the two men can take control of the club and on what terms.

During the fourth day of the court hearing this morning,  Andreas Gledhill QC, for Prince Abdullah, revealed that a £3 million loan to Sheffield United, which the two owners are in dispute over, came from the ‘Bin Laden’ family.

Mr Gledhill said: “You know that the Prince never said the loan would not have to be repaid.

Mr McCabe added: “He said exactly that.”

The court heard about emails in which the £3m was discussed, including one in which SUFC director Jeremy Tutton said he would have hated to have seen a headline in The Star saying ‘Blades launder money for extremists’.

Mr McCabe said it was just banter but Mr Gledhill said it showed he knew where the cash came from.

The case continues.