Sheffield United eye £320m deal

Kevin McCabe of Sheffield United Football club ' 'See Story  Ian Appleyard   Picture Chris Lawton '09 May   2011

Kevin McCabe of Sheffield United Football club ' 'See Story Ian Appleyard Picture Chris Lawton '09 May 2011

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SHEFFIELD United owner Kevin McCabe last night insisted that a proposed multi-million pound deal with a Nigerian businessman could help catapult Danny Wilson’s side back towards the Premier League.

SHEFFIELD United owner Kevin McCabe last night insisted that a proposed multi-million pound deal with a Nigerian businessman could help catapult Danny Wilson’s side back towards the Premier League.

McCabe yesterday charged Jacob Esan, an investment and securities specialist, with attracting over £300m worth of funding from the oil rich west African state.

Mr Esan has been invited to become a director of both Sheffield United Group plc (SUG) and Sheffield United plc.

SUG is a wholly owned subsidiary of Scarborough Group International Limited (SGIL) which boasts an 85 per cent shareholding in the League One club’s parent company.

Although McCabe acknowledged not all of the potential monies raised will be invested directly into footballing operations, he told The Star that “sensible sums” will be made available for reinforcements providing everything runs smoothly.

“Our stated aim is to get Sheffield United back into the Premier League,” he said. “And that is what we are planning to do.

“It won’t happen overnight. Perhaps not even as quickly as we would like..

“But when we do get there again, this time we want to stay.”

McCabe added: “The potential of this is very exciting indeed.

“We have been talking to Jacob for some time now.”

Mr Esan, aged 35, is expected to be present at today’s match between United and AFC Bournemouth.

He believes SGIL’s real estate portfolio will prove attractive to Nigerian business and could also help raise sponsorship in the region.

McCabe, who insisted “for clarity” the ownership of United will “not change,” said: “What we are talking about here is capital, not bank borrowings.

“We are not going to become the nexty Manchester City or be spending money like Roman Abramovic.

“But this is potentially a unique development in what is a football mad country.

“Nigerians are mad about the Premier League and that is where we want to be.”