Saudi Arabian buy-in at League One Sheffield United
Saudi Arabia's HRH Prince Abdullah bin Mosaad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has purchased a 50 per cent stake in English soccer club Sheffield United.
The 47-year old grandson of the founder of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, King Abdulaziz, has become co-chairman of Blades Leisure Ltd, the holding company for the League One club, alongside existing owner Kevin McCabe.
The local Sheffield Star newspaper reported that the shares were purchased for a nominal UK£1 but a club statement on Tuesday morning said the new investor intends to inject 'substantial new capital into the club...to achieve the Blades' return to the Premier League as quickly as possible.'
Prince Abdullah is the founder and chairman of the Saudi Paper Manufacturing Group and a former president of Saudi team Hilal FC.
He said: "I am delighted to invest in such a sensibly-organised, family and community club with a great history and heritage. Joining Sheffield United FC at a time close to its 125th year in existence is significant to me and, like Kevin, I am determined to see it achieve its goals and look forward to working with the whole Blades community.
"However, money will be spent judiciously, and in any case we must comply with the Salary Cost Management Protocol."
McCabe added: "We are thrilled to be building this new partnership for Sheffield United with Prince Abdullah, who shares our vision for the Blades to join the top tier of English football. The McCabe family remains wholly committed and over the past 10 years has invested more than UK£90 million in rebuilding our fine and proud club, which now has a top-class stadium, academy and junior development centre."
Forticap, a London and Dubai-based specialist consulting firm, 'acted as the sole arranger for the transaction', according to the club.
New directors have been added to the club's board following the transaction, notably Prince Abdullah's son, Abdulraham Bin Abdullah, and the Prince's principal advisor James Phipps.
After a fifth place finish in League One last season and a failure to win promotion through the end-of-season play-offs, United lie 17th in the third tier after five games of the 2013/14 season.
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- Length of contract: N/A
- Annualised value: US$1
- Overall value: US$1
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