Sheffield United have been up for sale for around 2 years now, but they are yet to find an appropriate buyer, despite the club being in the riches of the Premier League.
Prince Abdullah recently conducted an interview with SheffUnitedWay where he revealed the current state of affairs regarding a takeover:
“We are talking with many parties. Like every week we get an offer. But I would say there are two or three serious offers. These things take a lot of time.
“We are in advanced stages. I still want to be involved with the club, so United World will be staying at the club but not controlling interest. Some offers wanted 100% of the club, some preferred that we stay. If all things equal, I’ll prefer to still be part of the club.
“Things will start to accelerate soon, I hope.”
Prince Abdullah has attempted to sell the club twice now, but both attempts failed because the interested parties were unable to pass the EFL’s fit and proper test.
The first failed takeover attempt came via a bid from American businessman Henry Mauriss. Prince Abdullah commented on this:
“First of all let me say that usually you do part of the due diligence. The first buyer was trying to buy Newcastle, so he was in the news for a long time, and the due diligence we did – it didn’t show any red flags.
“The EFL or the Premier League do 10 times more scrutinised due diligence. So even if we missed anything, the EFL or Premier League would not miss it.”
Then, earlier this year a Nigerian businessman by the name of Dozy Mmobousi appeared to have high interest in becoming the new owner of Sheffield United. Mr Mmobousi spoke enthusiastically about being the potential owner of the club on social media. He even conducted a range of interviews talking about the takeover. But, he could not pass EFL’s fit and proper test.
Prince Abdullah told SheffUnitedWay:
“The second one I think we asked for a down-payment. And the down payment was paid, not in full. And that showed us that he was serious. But in the end the deal didn’t go through.”
The owner also detailed why the club went into a transfer embargo:
“Last year we had to have one of three things. We had to either sell players, or bring a partner or buyer, or put more money. We tried to do all of that. I had to put, or borrow, around £40m.
“The reason we got put into embargo, you know, I agreed to sell the club in December or January, and the price in the Championship is much less than when you’re in the Premier League. The reason I made that decision is, we wanted to have cash to run the club so we will not run into an embargo.
“The down-payment was £11m, I think we were only paid around £9m. We only got into embargo because of £2m. £2m that we were not paid. But I think we’re beyond that now.
“I mean there are things you can’t do.”
With all of the negative comments aimed at Prince Abdullah due to the club being put into an embargo, it now appears it was not warranted. With these details emerging, it seems that the embargo was down to a technicality issue involved in the takeover.
Prince Abdullah also added:
“If you tell me like in six weeks you need £5m, you have time to find a solution. But, if you receive like nine out of £11m, you think that you will receive the other two. And then when you need the money in one week or two weeks, it becomes difficult.”