Prince Abdullah wants to sell Sheffield United in four weeks - but probably not to Dozy Mmobuosi
It was reported earlier this year that the Nigerian businessman had agreed a £115m deal to buy the club but with the Football League going public with its frustration about unanswered questions as the deal went through the "fit and proper person's test" and with Mmobuosi’s exclusive negotiating period in the water, it looks dead in the water.
Last summer a bid from Henry Mauriss also failed despite apparently being submitted for League approval.
“I can’t say it’s off but I think maybe now it’s unlikely,” the Saudi prince told Talksport. “But everything is open. I can’t comment more than that.
“If we reach a decision I want it to be before we start preparations for the next season. It can’t affect the team next year. It has to be done now. If we are in the club, we are going to manage it the best we can.”
The value of the club rocketed on Wednesday when the Blades clinched promotion back to the Premier League, the most lucrative domestic competition in club football.
They did it despite a multitude of financial problems which means they have only made one permanent, paid-for signing in manager Paul Heckingbottom's 17-month tenure, and were under a transfer embargo for much of the second half of the season.
Although one transfer debt was cleared for it to be lifted last week, another has had to be renegotiated.
So it is no surprise the Prince is still looking to sell, but he will only do so if he can find what he considers to be the right custodian - and presumably, the right price.
“This is my intention, but nothing is guaranteed," he said. "I’m not going to sell to just anybody. I care about who owns the club next.
“The most important decision in any club is not hiring the right manager or the right players, it starts from the top. If the owner is a bad owner it can drive everything eventually to the ground. My intention is to sell but it’s not guaranteed yet.
“There are other parties interested. I would rather do something in the next four weeks or do nothing, but these things never go as expected. There are always some complications here and there.
“The important thing is that we are now in the Premier League. You can have all the money in the world but how can you have a night in Sheffield like (Wednesday) night? Share it with the fans and the players, see the people’s faces and the young fans’ faces, how proud and happy they are. You can’t put a value on that.”
Mmobuosi is thought to have paid considerable sums up front to prove his commitment to buying the club, and the Prince said it is not true that any of it will have to be paid back if a takeover does not go ahead.
“No, this is not accurate but I don’t want to talk about that," he said. "Dozy is a good man and hopefully he will be successful in whatever he does in the future. But we don’t owe anyone any money.”