BLADES IN COURT: Judge retires to consider verdict in Sheffield United ownership case

The judge in the Sheffield United trial has retired to consider his verdict in the long-running ownership battle between Blades co-owners Kevin McCabe and Prince Abdullah.

By Dan Hayes
Tuesday, 25 June, 2019, 12:44

Mr Justice Fancourt brought proceedings to an end on Tuedsay after the six-week trial by telling the parties he had ‘a lot of thinking to do’ and they should not expect a verdict within the next few weeks.

The final day of the case saw Prince Abdullah’s lawyer Andreas Gledhill QC present his closing arguments in the case, during which he sought to defend his clients from the accusations Mr McCabe’s lawyer Paul Downes QC had made the day before.

Kevin McCabe and Prince Abdullah disagree over several issues

Mr Gledhill said their case rested on two issues: one, who caused the breakdown in the relationship between McCabe and the Prince; and two, the alleged wrongdoing of Prince Abdullah and his associate Mr Giansiracusa over the club buyout and Bin Laden loan.

He said: “It is our case that the collapse of the relationship was the fault of Mr McCabe and Mr Tutton, and that there is no basis on which anyone could properly complain that there was any impropriety committed by Prince Abdullah or Mr Giansiracusa.”

Mr Gledhill attacked Mr Downes’ claim that Prince Abdullah owed McCabe a duty of good faith over the agreement entered into by the two men in 2013, argung that no such duty existed, especially after the breakdown of the relationship and the attempt to buy the Prince out.   

He said that the facts of the Charwell or Bin Laden loan that had come to light in the case ‘didn’t even begin to warrant an allegation of bribery against Prince Abdullah’, as had been alleged by Mr Downes, and that there was ‘a vacuum at the heart of Mr McCabe’s case in this regard’.

And he also hinted at the possibility that the current trial might not be the end of the matter, and it may eventually need to be resolved by an even higher court at appeal.

After Mr Gledhill finished his closing arguments, Kevin McCabe’s lawyer Paul Downes QC urged the judge again to find the case in their favour.

He said: “The balance of injustice strongly favours our side in this case. If they win they are going to get 50 per cent of a Premier League club for a song.

“If we win they will still be compensated at fair market value.”