After spending over £8.7million to support the financially-stricken Sheffield United club, Nigerian businessman Dozy Mmobuosi’s £115million takeover of the club is set to collapse.
The report is coming two days after reports that Africa’s richest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, was reportedly in talks to acquire a 60% stake in French Ligue 2 side, Valenciennes FC for a fee of €10 million.
But according to UK’s Daily Mail in the case of Sheffield United, Mmobuosi’s relationship with the club’s current owner Prince Abdullah has broken down to such an extent that the ownership deal for the Championship side is in major jeopardy.
The African tycoon is said to have pumped close to £9million into the Bramall Lane club since November to help the cash-strapped Blades fulfil their financial obligations on the expectation his protracted buy-out would be ratified early in 2023.
However, Mmobuosi is now effectively at war with Prince Abdullah amid assertions he made substantial cash deposits in good faith to help preserve the club’s future.
It is claimed that on November 18, 2022, Mmobuosi and Prince Abdullah shook hands on a deal for the club worth £115m at London’s Dorchester Hotel.
As proof of his intentions, Mmobuosi is believed to have immediately transferred £1million.Three days before Christmas, he is said to have made a further £6.5million payment to help them avoid administration – an advance made on the proviso that the sale would be confirmed early in 2023.
It is also claimed that on January 24, 2023, Mmobuosi paid an extra £1.2million after the club pleaded with him to settle their HMRC bill which sources have indicated helped the Blades lift the transfer embargo placed on them in January.
However, United insiders insist the lifting of the embargo is not related to Mmobuosi’s takeover, but because of money raised from their FA Cup run and renegotiated transfer deals.
The cash injections made by Mmobuosi is understood to have been paid into United’s holding company, and not directly into club accounts.
Since Mmobuosi and Prince Abdullah struck an agreement in November, the Blades’ season has gone from strength to strength.
They are set to confirm promotion back into the Premier League and reached the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley where they eventually lost to champions Manchester City on Saturday.
The club’s impressive second half of the season has coincided with a delay in Mmobuosi’s proposed takeover.
Indeed, there have been reports in the previous 24 hours indicating Prince Abdullah is now open to listening to alternative offers for United.
With top-flight football within reach, the club’s value is likely to soar in the coming weeks.
It is understood Mmobuosi has been informed by the EFL that he has passed initial checks with regards their stringent owners and directors test ahead of his proposed Blades takeover.
Mmobuosi and Prince Abdullah had previously enjoyed a good relationship but that connection has deteriorated significantly in recent weeks given the delays in their original agreement being formally ratified.
It now remains to be seen whether the agreement can be revived, though there appears to be little hope that a sale will happen at the originally agreed price of £115m.