Scarborough businessman Kevin McCabe loses High Court battle for control of Sheffield United

Kevin McCabe and Prince Abdullah.
Kevin McCabe and Prince Abdullah.

Scarborough businessman Kevin McCabe has spoken out after losing a High Court battle for control of Premier League football club Sheffield United this morning.

Judge Mr Justice Fancourt’s judgement this morning ordered Mr McCabe to sell his 50 per cent stake in United’s parent company to co-owner Prince Abdullah Bin Mosaad Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, a member of the Saudi royal family, for just £5m.

In an emotional statement, on behalf of the McCabe family, the lifelong Blades fan admitted he “feels a deep sense of betrayal” and “is in a state of shock”.

Mr McCabe is the founder and chairman of Scarborough Group International and many of its other globally branded Scarborough corporates. Scarborough Group International is a global organisation focusing predominantly on real estate.

The McCabe Family Charitable Foundation is behind the new squah and racquets academy at Scarborough Rugby Club.

Mr McCabe and Prince Abdullah fought over the running of the Premier League club after falling out.

Lawyers told the judge that Mr McCabe, who is in his 70s, was “a wealthy Yorkshireman”.

Prince Abdullah was a grandson of King Abdulaziz, the founder of modern Saudi Arabia.

Mr McCabe was born in Sheffield, had long been associated with Sheffield United, and had invested more than £100m, the judge heard.

He had met Prince Abdullah in 2013, when United were in League One, after looking for new investors. They “fell out” in 2017.

In his statement, Mr McCabe said he "deeply regrets going into business" with Prince Abdullah.

He also admits he has “deep misgivings about the suitability of Prince Abdullah as an appropriate custodian of Sheffield United.”

The statement adds: "Serious consideration is now being given, with the advisors to Sheffield United Limited, to an appeal against the Judgment. Mr McCabe sincerely hopes that he is proved wrong in relation to his deep misgivings about the suitability of Prince Abdullah as an appropriate custodian of Sheffield United. In this regard, only time will tell. For the moment however the McCabe family are simply deeply grieved that matters should have come to this.”

In his own statement this morning, Prince Abdullah said he was “delighted that this judgement brings an end to the uncertainty surrounding the club's future” and “we can now focus on this vital Premier League season under stable ownership”.