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Sheffield United reportedly received loan from family of Osama bin Laden

Sheffield United's chairman Kevin McCabe claims to have known nothing about a loan his co-owner Prince Abdullah secured from the family of Osama bin Laden. (Photo by Andrew Matthews/PA Images via Getty Images)

Sheffield United was recently promoted to the Premier League, but its owners are too busy fighting to celebrate.

Co-owners Kevin McCabe and Prince Abdullah Bin Mosaad Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud are currently engaged in a contentious court battle over control of their club. And this court battle has led to the release of a detail that’s not going to make anyone look good.

Local Sheffield news outlet The Star reported that during the fourth day of testimony, it was revealed that Prince Abdullah obtained a £3 million loan (about $3.8 million) for the club that came from the family of Osama bin Laden. McCabe claimed that he didn’t know where the loan came from at the time, but was presented with emails that appear to contradict that. In one email between McCabe and Jeremy Tutton, a Sheffield United director, Tutton wrote that he would hate to see headlines that claim Sheffield United “launders money for extremists.”

Prince Abdullah’s lawyer said that email exchange proves that McCabe knew about the source of the loan. But McCabe told the court that the emails were just “banter” and don’t prove he knew anything at the time. He also said that Prince Abdullah told him that the loan would never need to be paid back.

Whether the Osama bin Laden connection will impact the eventual ruling remains to be seen. The two are feuding over the buyout provision that was drawn up in 2013, when Prince Abdullah originally invested in the club. The provision outlines which of the co-owners can take control of the club and under what circumstances. The trial is expected to last several weeks.

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