Saudi prince buys into third tier Sheffield United

LONDON Tue Sep 3, 2013 7:42pm IST

A small group of travelling Sheffield United supporters watch their team play Reading during their English FA Cup fourth round soccer match at the Madejski stadium in Reading, January 26, 2013. REUTERS/Andrew Winning/Files

A small group of travelling Sheffield United supporters watch their team play Reading during their English FA Cup fourth round soccer match at the Madejski stadium in Reading, January 26, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Andrew Winning/Files

LONDON (Reuters) - Sheffield United received a financial boost on Tuesday when a Saudi prince bought a 50 percent stake in the third-tier English soccer club and promised fresh investment.

The club named the new investor as Prince Abdullah bin Mosaad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, adding that he was a grandson of the founder of Saudi Arabia.

He will become co-chairman of the northern English club, nicknamed the Blades, with current owner Kevin McCabe and plans to make a substantial investment to try to return them to the Premier League from which they were relegated six years ago.

"We are thrilled to be building this new partnership for Sheffield United with Prince Abdullah, who shares our vision for the Blades to join the top tier of English football," local businessman McCabe said in a statement.

Wealthy groups from the Gulf have invested in a number of clubs in England, France and Spain in recent years, with mixed results. (Writing by Keith Weir, editing by Clare Fallon)

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