On the pitch, Sheffield United have marked the past number of years by continually thriving despite being against the odds. Their achievements have been made all the more impressive when you realise the turmoil that has existed at boardroom level during that time.
Two co-owners, Kevin McCabe and Prince Abdullah, have been locked in a legal dispute since both parties launched rival takeover bids in 2017. Today, the High Court ruled that McCabe must sell his stake in Sheffield United to Prince Abdullah.
Blades manager Chris Wilder stated before his sides 1-0 defeat to Southampton on Saturday that he hopes that the verdict was not appealed.
For a club to really move forward it has to be united on the pitch, which it obviously is, but as well off the pitch. It is something that needs to be settled and hopefully it will be on Monday.
McCabe was accused of being a bully by Prince Abdullah's representatives. Likewise, McCabe's legal counsel continually accused the Prince of not having the money he claimed.
McCabe originally held a 100 percent stake in the club, selling 50 percent to the Prince in 2013. This was done on the basis that he would provide significant investment. The Saudi's investment has been modest, yet the relationship between the two reached boiling point in 2017.
Prince Abdullah welcomed the news with a statement which expressed his delight, whilst also calling on the fans to support the club's direction.
This morning, 16 September 2019, the High Court issued its judgment pic.twitter.com/I1z6pTHOgc
— Abdullah Bin Mosaad (@Saudi49er) September 16, 2019
Sheffield United fans were split on the ruling. Some welcomed the news, while others lamented the 'death' of their football club.
We might well be relegated this season but I’d suggest taking some perspective. No one would have had us playing in the prem this year. We’re 5 games into a season with the best manager we’ve had...let’s just see what happens and back the club.
— Jack Walters (@JackWalters92) September 16, 2019
With news of the ruling, Kevin McCabe must sell his shares to Prince Abdullah for £5m. The case has been adjourned until October 14, at which point McCabe has 21 days to appeal the verdict.