The Saudi prince won his legal dispute with co-owner Kevin McCabe in the high court this week.

New Sheffield United owner Prince Abdullah aiming for "bigger and better"

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  • 2019-09-20 02:10:24 4 months ago
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Sheffield United owner Prince Abdullah has assured the club's fans he will do all he can to take them to "a bigger and better place".

Prince Abdullah won full control of the Premier League club on Monday when a bitter legal dispute with co-owner Kevin McCabe was settled by a high court judge in his favour.

"I can assure everybody that we will work hard to make the fans proud to make everything better," Prince Abdullah told a press conference at Bramall Lane.

"I am, and my team is, 100 per cent committed to the club. Actions speak louder than words."

"So I hope in five years' time when fans look back on this day, things will be much better and we will be with Chris (Wilder), taking us to a bigger and better place."

Prince Abdullah, full name Prince Abdullah Bin Mosaad Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and a grandson of King Abdulaziz, the founder of modern Saudi Arabia, insisted he has the credentials to back his claims after his role as president of Saudi football club Al-Hilal.

"It won the club of the century in Asia, it has a huge fan base," he said. "It won more trophies than any other Asian club. It is a big club and has not gone, in the last 40 years, back-to-back years without a trophy.

"I know how to deal with the fans. I know what the fans want. I know how to deal with coaches. I've seen many great coaches work from close.

"I'm connected in the football world, I know the good agents. I know the business of football and I've been in football all my life, it's my passion."

In the High Court on Monday, Mr Justice Fancourt ruled that McCabe must sell his 50 per cent stake in the Blades to Prince Abdullah, who owns the other 50 per cent, for £5million, in line with a 2013 investment and shareholders agreement.

The judge also said Prince Abdullah's UTB firm will have to buy the club's property assets, valued between £35-40m, which include Bramall Lane stadium and the Sheffield United hotel, from McCabe's company Sheffield United Ltd.

Prince Abdullah told the press conference that it would not be a problem to finance the purchase of the assets and that money would be made available to manager Chris Wilder – who he wants to be with the Blades long term –  to strengthen his squad in January.

He also defended the Bin Laden family after it had been revealed in court that members had loaned Prince Abdullah £3million during his time as co-owner at Bramall Lane.

"I really get offended when people say the Bin Laden family is a bad name. Bin Laden is a really good family. Every family may have one bad person," he said.

"But they are a really respectable family. I had not done business with them in the past, but if I can do business with them (again) I'd be very happy to do business with them."

Prince Abdullah insisted he did not hold a grudge against previous co-owner McCabe, despite their legal battle which lasted over 18 months.

Despite already knowing the High Court had ruled in his favour, Prince Abdullah said, he arranged a meeting with McCabe in Paris in a bid to reach an out-of-court settlement.

"I like many things about Kevin. I like his family, I like (sons) Kevin and Scott. I tried to find a better way to end his relationship with the club."

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New Sheffield United owner Prince Abdullah aiming for "bigger and better"

Winston Reid to step up West Ham United injury recovery

West Ham United defender Winston Reid is set to step up his recovery from injury by featuring for the club's development side.

The Hammers centre-back has been sidelined for well over a year since a serious injury sustained against Swansea City.

As a result, Manuel Pellegrini is keen to ease the 31-year-old, who is now in his 10th season with the club, back into action slowly, according to the Evening Standard.

Reid will not feature in the next Under-23s game against Middlesbrough but could make his return in the following fixture against Sunderland.

The New Zealand international scored the last-ever goal at Upton Park before the Hammers moved to the London Stadium and will compete with the likes of Issa Diop, Fabian Balbuena and Angelo Ogbonna for a position in the centre of defence when he eventually returns to full fitness.

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Arsenal director Josh Kroenke 'has doubts over Unai Emery'

Arsenal director Josh Kroenke has reportedly starting having doubts about head coach Unai Emery.

The former Paris Saint-Germain, Sevilla and Valencia boss replaced Arsene Wenger in the summer of 2018 and was tasked with getting the Gunners back into the Champions League.

However, a dramatic late-season collapse saw Arsenal miss out on the top four and lose in the final of the Europa League, consigning them to another season in Europe's second club competition.

Football expert Ian McGarry believes that Josh Kroenke, son of Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke, is beginning to have his doubts over the Spaniard's appointment.

"It was a bit more by luck than design that they [Arsenal] finished as high as they did last season," McGarry said in quotes reported by The Sun.

"And there's a little bit of doubt creeping into the Arsenal hierarchy about Unai Emery, specifically with Josh Kroenke.

"They're not close to sacking him, that's not what we're saying here, but what we've been told is that they didn't want to invest a huge amount of money on the basis that 'we have to suck it and see' with this guy.

"He's got a lot of things right and he's got some things wrong, as we saw against Watford last weekend when they couldn't have got it defensively more wrong."

Arsenal made big strides towards overhauling their squad this summer, but despite the change in personnel Emery's side have started the season in stodgy fashion, being out-shot by their opponents more often than not.

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