Chelsea Talks Hold Consequences For Sheffield United Takeover

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A Premier League inquiry into the relationship between Chelsea’s principal owners, Clearlake Capital, and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund may have ramifications for Sheffield United, as Prince Abdullah bin Musa’ad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud considers selling his stake.

Amid concerns about the relationship between Stamford Bridge and the PIF, which effectively controls top-flight rivals Newcastle and appears to be bankrolling a number huge transfers from England to the Saudi Pro League, it has emerged that officials at the governing body’s headquarters sought “written assurances” from Chelsea frontman Todd Boehly that the PIF were not involved in the takeover which saw CC replace Roman Abramovich last year.

A private equity firm, CC is known to oversee several large investments made by the PIF in non-footballing related projects. The answers Boehly provided, which were described as “detailed”, are said to have satisfied the PL that the PIF did not play a role in the Chelsea buy-out and has no means of influencing any aspect of the Londoners’ business.

As The Star revealed earlier this week, Sela Sports, an events and hospitality company owned by the PIF and now Newcastle’s major shirt sponsors, were once viewed by some senior figures at Bramall Lane as potential buyers of United after making money available to the club.

Prince Abdullah, who hails from the Middle Eastern kingdom, is known to be considering potential opportunities to sell United or secure fresh investment following their promotion from the Championship.

The PL’s decision to scrutinise fears about any links between the PIF and Chelsea’s majority shareholders confirms that if United identify potential partners from Saudi, they must be able to demonstrate they are not controlled or in any way guided by that nation’s sovereign wealth fund; something which would constitute a conflict of interest.

United are pressing ahead with attempts to bolster the options at manager Paul Heckingbottom’s disposal ahead of the new PL campaign.

Earlier this week, they met Manchester City’s director of football Txiki Begiristain to discuss the possibility of bringing midfield duo Tommy Doyle and James McAtee back to South Yorkshire.

The pair impressed on loan at Bramall Lane last term, helping United finish second in the table and also reach the semi-finals of the FA Cup.


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