Football: Sheffield United say no change in Saudi ownership despite filings

Sheffield United's Bramall Lane stadium. PHOTO: REUTERS

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND (REUTERS) - Premier League club Sheffield United said on Thursday (May 21) there had been no change to their Saudi ownership despite filings which suggested Prince Abdullah bin Mosaad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud had given up control.

Documents published on the website of Companies House stated that Prince Abdullah had ceased to be a "person with significant control" of the club on Oct 18, 2019.

A Feb 20 filing had stated that Prince Abdullah gained such control status, also on Oct 18, 2019.

After the confusion, United said in a statement that they had received a number of inquires related to the filings.

"The Club confirms that there has been no change in ownership of the shares in either The Sheffield United Football Club Limited or Blades Leisure Limited. The filings at Companies House were made to allow Companies House to accurately reflect that ownership on the public record and not to disclose any change," the club said.

"Accordingly, HRH Prince Abdullah bin Mosa'ad bin Abdulaziz Al Sa'ud remains the ultimate owner and controller of Blades Leisure Limited and its subsidiary, The Sheffield United Football Club Limited.

"The Club expects that the public record will be updated by Companies House to reflect the filings referred to above in the coming days," the statement concluded.

A bid by a Saudi Arabian state fund to secure ownership of another Premier League club, Newcastle United, is currently being reviewed by the league.

The Premier League's "owners' and directors' test", which was previously known as the "fit and proper person's test", has to give the green light to any deal.

Investors wanting to become owners of English professional clubs have to show they have no unspent criminal conviction for fraud, are not bankrupt and do not "either directly or indirectly (be) involved in or has any power to determine or influence the management or administration of another Club".

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