Blades’ Prince sets Premier League target

Sheffield United’s new co-owner Prince Abdullah hopes to take the Blades back into the Premier League within the next five years - and revealed he had looked at investing in Leeds United.

Saturday, 7th September 2013, 12:57 pm
Sheffield United FC announce that HRH Prince Abdullah bin Mosaad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has become joint owner of the club

The Saudi Arabian Prince was unveiled to the media at Bramall Lane on Saturday morning where he outlined his ambitions for the club, where he has bought a 50 per cent stake from the now joint owner Kevin McCabe.

The Blades are struggling in League One, but that has not diluted the Prince’s appetite and he will invest millions of pounds into the first team to help them climb back up the footballing pyramid.

Prince Abdullah said: “I’m under no illusions it will be easy. Maybe five years is a bit ambitious, but I prefer to have ambitious goals and fail than to have easy goals and succeed.

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“We want to go to the Premier League - I think it will be difficult but it will not be impossible. With the help of the fans, hopefully we’ll be there sooner rather than later.”

The Prince dismissed reports he was worth £18 billion, as previously reported, as this figure is more family wealth with his uncle being the ruling Saudi Arabia King.

He said: “We agreed I would bring in an amount of money Kevin thinks is enough for us to get to the next level, but we will do whatever it takes.

“I read some ridiculous reports about £18bn - I wish I had one tenth of that and I would be very happy!

“I know that investing in sport and a club like this is not the safest investment ever, but I’ve worked hard for all the money I have so I don’t like throwing my money away.

“If I did not think this offered me a reasonable chance to compete and be successful I wouldn’t have done it.”

McCabe said: “I met the Prime fortuitously, and we had a general chat about NFL, Chelsea, football. I couldn’t resist introducing Sheffield United and some of the background to the club.

“It was a very friendly conversation that we then followed up with an exchange of emails, and one thing led to another.

“I think he recognised that - with all the infrastructure, a great stadium and a great academy - we are in the wrong league, and the ingredients are probably far better than other clubs he looked at in the Championship.”

On Leeds, the Prince said he had considered investing in three Championship clubs, but felt the Blades were a better match to what he wanted to achieve.

Read Richard Hercock’s full report in Monday’s Yorkshire Post newspaper.