A Saudi prince has bought a 50 percent stake in Sheffield United, the English League One football club, it was announced on Tuesday.
Prince Abdullah bin Mosaad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has become joint owner after securing the interest in Blades Leisure Ltd, the holding company for Sheffield United FC, the club said in a statement.
In return, he will invest "substantial new capital" into the club with the aim of working with current owner Kevin McCabe and his family to achieve the Blades' return to the Premier League as quickly as possible, the statement added.
The prince becomes co-chairman with Kevin McCabe of Blades Leisure and Sheffield United.
Prince Abdullah, aged 47, is a grandson of Saudi Arabia's King Abdulaziz.
The club said he is a passionate football supporter and is former president of Al Hilal FC, the largest and most successful club in Saudi Arabia. He is also chairman of Saudi Arabia's Football Privatisation Committee.
Prince Abdullah is a prominent Saudi businessman and industrialist. He is the founder and chairman of the publicly-listed Saudi Paper Manufacturing Group, the largest paper tissue manufacturer in the Middle East.
Prince Abdullah said: "I am delighted to invest in such a sensibly-organised, family and community club with a great history and heritage.
"Joining Sheffield United FC at a time close to its 125th year in existence is significant to me and, like Kevin, I am determined to see it achieve its goals and look forward to working with the whole Blades community. However, money will be spent judiciously, and in any case we must comply with the Salary Cost Management Protocol."
McCabe added: "We are thrilled to be building this new partnership for Sheffield United with Prince Abdullah, who shares our vision for the Blades to join the top tier of English football.
"The McCabe family remains wholly committed and over the past 10 years has invested more than £90 million in rebuilding our fine and proud Club, which now has a top-class stadium, academy and junior development centre."
The boards will also see new directors including Abdulraham Bin Abdullah (the prince's son), James Phipps (the Prince's principal advisor).
London and Dubai-based specialist consulting firm Forticap acted as the sole arranger for the transaction.For all the latest business news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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