Kevin McCabe is in talks with fellow Sheffield United co-owner Prince Abdullah Bin Mosa’ad Abdulaziz Al Saud to sell his stake in the Blades.
McCabe and Prince Abdullah each own a 50 per cent share of United after a deal was struck in 2013.
But that agreement had a clause that allowed the Saudi royal to buy out McCabe’s share at a later date.
Now the Prince has “served a notice exercising an option to purchase the remaining 50 per cent of Blades Leisure from Sheffield United Limited”.
Talks are also being held to buy the freeholds of Bramall Lane stadium, plus the long leasehold interests in the Copthorne Hotel and Enterprise Centre, the club’s Shirecliffe Academy and development centre at Crookes.
A Blades statement said: “Both parties are currently in negotiation with regard to the remaining provisions in the Investment Agreement and hope to come to a final settlement in the near future.
“The Prince and Kevin McCabe want to reassure everyone connected to the club that the current negotiations and transfer of ownership will have no impact on the club’s management and its staff.”
Lifelong Blades fan McCabe –who was at the club’s Shirecliffe training ground yesterday – has ploughed millions of his family’s money into United since first joining the board back in the Nineties.
He told The Yorkshire Post in 2016 he would be open to new investors after pumping £90m into the club if that helped United realise their ambitions of a Premier League return.
“I can only say that for as long I am here serving Sheffield United I will continue to do my utmost to bring success to a club that I have been a fan of since I was a nipper,” McCabe said.
“However, if there are level-headed businessmen, either local, national or international who can clearly demonstrate that they have the credentials to work on enhancing the progress of Sheffield United FC then they should make contact as I am prepared to listen to their proposals.”
There have always been question marks on how the relationship between McCabe and the Prince would work, going forward, when extra investment is needed.
Now, it seems, the Prince is taking full control – and the financial burden – to help steer United’s bid for top-flight football.
Chris Wilder’s team sit five points off the play-off spots, with 16 games remaining, as they chase back-to-back promotions.
Earlier this week, Prince Abdullah agreed to invest in Belgian club Beerschot Wilrijk.