Sheffield United ownership battle hears claims Bin Laden family cash was used to fund club – The Star

Sheffield United ownership battle hears claims \Bin Laden\ family cash was used to fund club - The Star

Family of Osama bin Laden helped finance Sheffield United as details of £3m loan are revealed

A High Court judge is currently analysing a battle for control of the club between co-owners Kevin McCabe and Prince Abdullah Bin Mosaad Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who is a member of the Saudi royal family.

On the fourth day of the hearing a sensational revelation was read out in court, seemingly linking the newly-promoted Premier League club to relatives of the former Al Qaeda leader. 

Sheffield Utd co-owners Prince Abdullah Bin Mosaad bin Abdullah Al Said and Kevin McCabe. Pic: Simon Bellis/SportimageCo-owners Kevin McCabe and HRH Prince Abdullah are locked in a battle for control of the newly promoted Premier League football club.

It relates to an investment opportunity within the club which became known as Project Delta – a £3million loan that McCabe said would never have to be repaid. 

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.

Sheffield United funded by £3million loan from Osama Bin Laden family, court told

In court on Wednesday, McCabe and Abdullah argued about whether or not the money would have to be paid back, with the Saudi prince insisting it would have been paid back through sponsorship. 

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.

But on Thursday, Barrister Andreas Gledhill QC, who is leading Abdullahs legal team, said McCabe "knew the money had come from another source, namely a member of the Bin Laden family," according to the Sheffield Star. 

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.

The court heard of emails in which McCabes colleague at a property business Jeremy Tutton mentions that he would hate the headline in the Sheffield Star to be "Blades launder money for extremists".

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.

McCabe dismissed this as "banter", but Mr Gledhill told the court the email confirms that the co-owner knew where the money was coming from. 

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.

Mr Justice Fancourt began to oversee the trial in the High Court in London on Monday, but went into private session on Tuesday, after hearing lawyers representing rival camps outline their cases, and ordered members of the public and journalists to leave the courtroom.

The judge gave no indication of what issues were being discussed behind closed doors, but said the public hearing would resume later.

Mr Justice Fancourt has been told that Mr McCabe and Prince Abdullah control ownership of the club on a 50-50 basis.

He has heard that 71-year-old Mr McCabe is "a wealthy Yorkshireman", and "lifelong" Sheffield United fan, and Prince Abdullah is a Saudi Prince and grandson of King Abdulaziz, the founder of modern Saudi Arabia.

Mr McCabe was born in Sheffield, had long been associated with Sheffield United, who are nicknamed The Blades, and had invested about £100 million.

He had met Prince Abdullah in 2013 after looking for new investors. They started working together after agreeing that Prince Abdullah would invest £10 million but "fell out" in 2017.

Sheffield United Ltd, a company controlled by Mr McCabe and his family, has alleged "conspiracy" and "unfairly prejudicial conduct".

UTB LLC, a company controlled by Prince Abdullah, wants declarations in respect of its rights under an investment and shareholders agreement.

The two businessmen behind the running of Sheffield United are facing off in the High Court after their relationship broke down.

On day one, Mr Justice Fancourt was told Mr McCabe and Prince Abdullah started to work together in 2013.

The Saudi prince was first approached by Mr McCabe in 2012. By then, the Yorkshireman had reportedly sunk £70million into his local club and was looking for options to reduce the financial burden being put on him. 

Mr McCabe thought that Prince Abdullah was "minted", but their relationship soured when it transpired this was not the case, the court heard. 

The judge heard how Mr McCabe had long been associated with Sheffield United and they agreed Prince Abdullah would invest £10million. They "fell out" in 2017 and became involved in a dispute over control, the court heard.

Sheffield United Ltd, a company controlled by Mr McCabe and his family, has made allegations of "conspiracy" and "unfairly prejudicial conduct" and wants damages.

UTB LLC, a company controlled by Prince Abdullah, wants declarations in respect of its rights under an investment and shareholders agreement.

Sheffied United has been funded by a £3million loan from the family of Osama bin Laden, a court was told on Thursday.

The Blades are in court as their club is embroiled in a power struggle between co-owners Kevin McCabe and Prince Abdullah Bin Mosaad Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

But on Thursday, the fourth day of the hearing, it was revealed that a £3m loan received by the club, named Project Delta, can be traced back to the family for the former Al Qaeda figurehead.

Barrister Andreas Gledhill QC, who is leading Abdullahs legal team, alleges that McCabe knew who the money came from.

The Sheffield Star report that Mr Gledhill said Mr McCabe knew the money had come from another source, namely a member of the Bin Laden family. 

Emails from Jeremy Tutton, a colleague of Mr McCabes at a property business who was added to the Sheffield United board of directors in 2017, were disclosed in court, one of which said he feared the local newspaper would run a story with the headline: Blades launder money for extremists.

Mr McCabe quickly quashed the content of the email, claiming it to be banter, but Mr Gledhill contested that it confirms he knew the origin of the money. 

Mr McCabe, 71, and Prince Abdullah, 54, each have a 50 per cent stake in the the Bramall Lane club, who secured promotion to the Premier League for next season.

The pair met in 2013 when Mr McCabe was seeking new investors and agreed to work together, on the proviso Prince Abdullah pumped £10m into the club, but reportedly fell out in 2017. 

Mr McCabes company, Sheffield United Ltd, allege conspiracy and unfairly prejudicial conduct while Prince Abdullahs company, UTB LLC, wants declarations in respect of its rights under an investment and shareholders agreement.

Osama bin Laden was disowned by his family in 1994 and killed in Pakistan in 2011 by US Navy SEALs. 

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