Sheffield United Owner Could Be Jailed If Blades Beat Newcastle United According To Claims
Sheffield United owner Prince Abdullah could be jailed if his side beat Newcastle United after a potential Saudi takeover, according to claims from a PR firm working with owners rival.
The Premier League side, who have been surprising all pre season expectations and are still battling for a potential top four finish, were part of a bitter ownership battle earlier in the season.
Prince Abdullah won a legal battle with former co-owner Kevin McCabe in January but, according to the Sun, McCabe isn't giving up the fight and has hired a PR firm to discredit Abdullah.
The firm, Media House International, have sent a letter to Amnesty International and Clive Betts, MP for Sheffield South East, over the 'suitability' of the owners and according to the paper it makes one incredible claim.
"How does someone such as Prince Abdullah run Sheffield United without Saudi influence, now that his much more important cousins will be running a rival team?" the letter to Betts reportedly says.
"I would not imagine that Newcastle losing to Sheffield would be an event taken lightly given Saudi Arabia's track record for knee-jerk imprisonments of various Royal Family members."
Newcastle are reportedly deep in talks over a takeover from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the 'Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund,' which is worth an estimated £320 billion and would make the Magpies the Premier League's richest clubs.
There is many questions about the takeover, especially over the morality since Saudi Arabia has often been accused of using sportwashing to cover up its poor human rights record.
Talking about the difference between the Sheffield and Newcastle ownerships Kate Allen, Director of Amnesty International UK said they were 'very different,' due to Abdullah being just a private businessman rather than Newcastle's potential state ownership.
McCabe had to sell his shares for £5 million and his case to the Court of Appeal was rejected but he remains in a legal dispute over selling the stadium, two plots of land nearby and the training ground.
Despite the legal wranglings the south Yorkshire side have excelled in their first season back in the Premier League under Chris Wilder, who has got the club promoted from the third tier to the top tier.
The Blades are currently seventh but just two points behind fifth place Manchester United, and they have a game in hand over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side.
Fifth could be enough for a Champions League spot next season due to Manchester City's potential ban, and fourth could still be up for grabs should the league restart at some point.