Wilder keen to see end of ownership dispute

Sheffield United
Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder praised his players for battling past 10-man Nottingham Forest in Saturday's clash at Bramall Lane.

Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder is relieved a long-running High Court battle for control of the club will soon be over.

A bitter dispute over the past two years between joint-owners Kevin McCabe and Prince Abdullah will be resolved in the High Court on Monday when Mr Justice Fancourt delivers his verdict on the club’s ownership.

Prince Abdullah, a member of the Saudi royal family, invested £10million in the Blades in 2013, but when McCabe activated a clause with an offer to buy out his co-owner for £5million in December 2017, the two parties fell out.

Wilder says the club needs to move forward as one now they are in the Premier League and hopes the issue will be resolved, but insists he has always had the backing of the joint-owners in the main.

“Everybody wants it settled. I imagine both the owners do,” said Wilder. “We’ve coped with it. We’ve not used it as an excuse and there’s no reason to use it as an excuse.

“When I’ve asked to be backed, I have been. When I’ve pushed to always improve the football club, on and off the pitch, they have supported me in their ways.

“But really for a club to move forward it has to be united, on the pitch, which obviously it is, and off it. So it needs to be settled and hopefully it will be on Monday.”

Despite the legal battle, Wilder, who has been in charge since May 2016, has managed to guide the club up to the Premier League this season for the first time since the 2006-07 campaign.

The Blades have collected five points from their first four games after fighting back from 2-0 down at Chelsea in their last match to draw 2-2.

Wilder’s men are 10th in the table and entertain Southampton at Bramall Lane on Saturday.