The new owner of Sheffield United, Prince Abdullah, insists he would be “happy to do business” with the Bin Laden family.
Prince Abdullah says he is “100 per cent committed” to the Premier League club after gaining full control on Monday when a legal dispute with co-owner Kevin McCabe was settled in his favour by a High Court judge.
McCabe questioned the Saudi royal’s “suitability” to run the club and admitted he regrets entering into an agreement which saw Prince Abdullah receive a 50 per cent stake in the club for £1 in 2013.
But Prince Abdullah’s says his main focus is now “to bring in sponsors from Saudi”.
The Bin Laden family – one of Saudi Arabia’s richest families – were interested in buying shares in the club, Prince Abdullah said.
“I really get offended when people think the Bin Laden family is a bad name,” he said.
“Bin Laden is a good family, every family may have one bad person – but they are a very respectable family.
“I have not done business with them in the past but if I can do business with them I’d be very happy to do business with them.
“The Bin Laden family is not a disgraced name or something I should hide.
“The Bin Laden family were going to buy the Kevin McCabe shares, they paid £1m as a down-payment to do due diligence and decided not to buy – it will be treated as a loan without interest for one year. I don’t see it as a big deal.”
Osama Bin Laden led the attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, in which nearly 3,000 people were killed. He was killed by US special forces in 2011.
Prince backing Wilder
Speaking in a press conference on Thursday, Prince Abdullah also told supporters he will do all he can to take the club forward.
He praised the start the players have made on their return to the Premier League under manager Chris Wilder, with five points secured from as many matches ahead of Saturday’s trip to Everton.
“I can assure everybody that we will work hard to make the fans proud to make everything better,” Prince Abdullah told a press conference at Bramall Lane.
“I am, and my team is, 100 per cent committed to the club. Actions speak louder than words.
“So I hope in five years’ time when fans look back on this day, things will be much better and we will be with Chris [Wilder], taking us to a bigger and better place.”
Prince Abdullah was also asked if anything would change with regard to manager Wilder’s role and how he is allowed to operate.
“I’d be crazy if I said no and the last I checked, I’m not crazy!” he added.
“We are blessed to have Chris. The results, and more importantly the way we play, speaks for itself.
“Chris is the face of this great club and as the club loves to say, Chris is one of us.
“I have good harmony with Chris and we will work together to make this team better.”
He also insisted he has the credentials to back his claims after his role as president of Saudi football club Al-Hilal.
“It won the club of the century in Asia, it has a huge fan base,” said Prince Abdullah.
“It won more trophies than any other Asian club. It is a big club and has not gone, in the last 40 years, back-to-back years without a trophy.