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'It’s not a disgraced name' - Sheffield United owner defends dealings with Osama bin Laden's family

Prince Abdullah says he will continue to do business with relatives of the former Al-Qaeda leader.

Prince Abdullah bin Mosa'ad bin Abdulaziz Al Sa'ud (file pic).
Prince Abdullah bin Mosa'ad bin Abdulaziz Al Sa'ud (file pic).
Image: Anna Gowthorpe

PRINCE ABDULLAH BIN Mosa’ad bin Abdulaziz Al Sa’ud, the new owner of Sheffield United, has defended his business ties with the family of terrorist Osama bin Laden, and insists he will continue to do business with them.

The Saudi prince held a press conference on Thursday after a High Court ruled in his favour in his battle with former co-owner and business partner Kevin McCabe over who was entitled to take sole control of the club.

During the court hearing it was revealed that Prince Abdullah had received a loan from relatives of former Al-Qaeda leader bin Laden to help maintain the funding of the club.

But he defended his links to the family when pressed on them by reporters, claiming that Osama was just the “black sheep” of the family.

I get offended when people think bin Laden is a bad name,” he said. “It’s a really good family. It had a black sheep as most families do but it’s a really respectable family and if I do business with them again, I’d be happy to.

“It’s not a disgraced name. I was trying to help Kevin sell his shares, I never put mine for sale.

“The family were looking to buy Kevin’s shares, and the million they put was a downpayment to give them time to do due diligence and if they decided not to buy, the money was to be used as a loan for a year without any interest.

I’m usually tolerant but when people talk about bin Laden as a dirty family I get offended. It’s not my family to support but I think it’s the right thing to say.”

Prince Abdullah taking ownership of the newly-promoted Blades has led to some reports that he would be looking to replace manager Chris Wilder.

Wilder has led the Bramall Lane outfit from League One to the Premier League in the space of three seasons, and has made a steady start to life in the top-flight having picked up five points from as many games.

And Prince Abdullah allayed the fears of supporters, claiming that Wilder would be safe in his role for the forseeable future.

When asked if Wilder was safe from the sack, he said: ”I think would be crazy if I said no and the last time I checked, I was not crazy!

“Of course, we are blessed to have Chris. More important than results is the way we play; it speaks for itself.

“Chris is the face of this great club and as the crowd like to say, he is one of us. I have good harmony with Chris, and we will always work to this team better.

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“I hope that five years from now, things will be much better, with Chris taking us to a better place.”

United return to action on Saturday as they visit Goodison Park to take on Everton.

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