Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Sheffield United denies link to bin Laden family money

Sheffield United celebrating promotion Image copyright PA
Image caption Sheffield United has just won promotion to the Premier League

An accountant has denied knowing Sheffield United might be getting money from a relative of former al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

The High Court is hearing evidence in a battle for control between the two owners of Sheffield United.

Lawyers for Prince Abdullah Bin Mosaad Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud claimed the club knew a £3m investment came from Saudi businessman Saleh Mohammed bin Laden.

A colleague of co-owner Kevin McCabe described the claim as "rubbish".

Lawyers for Prince Abdullah told the court in London that Mr McCabe, or his associates, knew about the bin Laden link in early 2017.

Mr McCabe disputed Prince Abdullah's claims. He said he recalled the name being mentioned once at a meeting but it was never mentioned again.

Barrister Andreas Gledhill QC said accountant Jeremy Tutton, who works with Mr McCabe, had written an email telling how he would hate to see a local newspaper headline saying Sheffield United was "laundering money for extremists".

Mr Tutton said the email was "banter" and described the suggestion he knew the money might be from a member of the bin Laden family as "rubbish".

He told the judge: "No way I knew this was anything to do with the bin Laden family."

Mr McCabe and Prince Abdullah, a member of the Saudi royal family, have worked together for six years.

Mr Justice Fancourt is analysing their fight for control of the South Yorkshire club which has just been promoted to the Premier League.

Sheffield United Ltd, a company controlled by Mr McCabe and his family, has alleged "conspiracy" and "unfairly prejudicial conduct" and wants damages.

UTB LLC, a company controlled by Prince Abdullah, wants declarations in respect of its rights under an investment and shareholders' agreement.

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