Representatives of HRH Prince Abdullah Bin Mosa’ad Abdulaziz Al Saud attended last weekend’s Championship fixture against Leeds as talks which could see him take sole charge of Sheffield United continue.
Although Prince Abdullah was not present at Bramall Lane himself, Yusuf Giansiracusa, who was appointed to the boards of the football club and its parent company Blades Leisure Limited in August, watched the match from the directors’ box.
United issued a statement last week confirming that Prince Abdullah, “in response to a process commenced by Sheffield United Limited”, a company controlled by fellow co-owner Kevin McCabe and his family, “served a notice exercising an option to purchase the remaining 50 per cent of Blades Leisure” from SUL. This suggests the move was triggered by a clause contained in the original agreement which saw Prince Abdullah pay £1 to acquire his shareholding five years ago.
That transaction, which elicited a pledge from the Saudi Arabian to invest an undisclosed sum, also saw McCabe write off debts the club owed him.
With discussions between both parties scheduled to continue this week, Prince Abdullah’s bid to become United’s sole owner appears to hinge upon him purchasing Bramall Lane’s freehold and long leasehold interests in the Copthorne Hotel, Enterprise centre, Steelphalt Academy and Junior Development Centre at Crookes.