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The final day of the second week of the Sheffield United ownership trial at the High Court will get underway at 10.30 with Yusuf Giansiracusa expected to finish giving his evidence. Nothing else newsworthy happening today is there? 👀 #sufc #twitterblades #TheresaMay
For all the latest on Theresa May’s resignation, please follow my colleague @annholmesjourno. We’ll be getting underway with the tenth day of the Sheffield United ownership trial at the High Court in just a few minutes time #sufc #twitterblades
Kevin McCabe and Prince Abdullah’s lawyers just having a discussion with the judge about the property valuation evidence that will feature later in the trial #sufc #twitterblades
They’re also taking about the possibility of bringing in handwriting experts to give evidence on the forgery claims that were made earlier this week and how to fit it all within the rest of the time allocated for the trial #sufc #twitterblades
Paul Downes QC beginning by asking Mr Giansiracusa about the position of Stephen Bettis and disagreements between Prince Abdullah and Kevin McCabe about him continuing in his role on a part time basis #sufc #twitterblades
After a very long answer by Mr Giansiracusa about Stephen Bettis, Mr Downes says he will have to give shorter answers if they are going to finish his evidence on time #sufc #twitterblades
Giansiracusa says there was consensus on Stephen Bettis’ continuation in his role as CEO but accepts his written statement may have been wrong about his discussions with Kevin McCabe about this #sufc #twitterblades
Downes accuses him of being deliberately misleading but Giansiracusa rejects this and says that was not his intention. Says the situation was ‘much more fluid’ than Downes is giving it credit for #sufc #twitterblades
Downes says he is a risk taker who will put statements in documents that he knows are highly doubtful and say later that people agreed with them. ‘That is how you operate isn’t it?’ says Downes. ‘No’, says Mr Giansiracusa #sufc #twitterblades
Giansiracusa says McCabe wasn’t ‘vocal’ or responsive in meetings with Prince Abdullah. Downes accuses him of inserting favourable minutes into records of meetings and hoping people will not spot them #sufc #twitterblades
Downes says Giansiracusa tried the same trick when it came to the Deloitte involvement with the club. Downes says he is trying to wear McCabe down by adding things into records of meetings that he hadn’t agreed to #sufc #twitterblades
Giansiracusa says he doesn’t remember the details of specific conversations but says the minutes were an attempt to ‘find consensus’ after meetings had taken place. Downes says he is again hoping people wouldn’t check them #sufc #twitterblades
Downes says that inviting Deloitte’s into the club could have led people to believe the club was ‘distressed’. Giansiracusa disagrees but acknowledges accountants can be ‘disruptive’ #sufc #twitterblades
Now talking about disagreements over the appointment of a new CFO and the provisions in the initial agreement between Prince Abdullah and Kevin McCabe for how that would be done #sufc #twitterblades
Downes says it ‘at least arguable’ that Giansiracusa didn’t act in good faith over the appointment of the new CFO. ‘Everything is arguable as we have demonstrated over the last three days’, says Mr Giansiracusa #sufc #twitterblades
Downes now talking about a confidential email that McCabe sent to him that he forwarded to Stephen Bettis, changing parts of it. Says Giansiracusa is quite prepared to give deliberately misleading impressions #sufc #twitterblades
Giansiracusa says in a negotiation it is appropriate sometimes to ‘posture’ and disclose confidential information. Also says he changed the email to protect McCabe and that ‘it was for his own benefit’ #sufc #twitterblades
Downes reads out an email in which Giansiracusa says of McCabe ‘Fuck him’. Says it is indicative of the ‘war of attrition’ that he was seeking to pursue with McCabe on Prince Abdullah’s behalf #sufc #twitterblades
Giansiracusa acknowledges he can be stubborn if he thinks he is right and was not going to sacrifice his positions easily. Says he was just acting as any lawyer would for his client #sufc #twitterblades
Giansiracusa reveals under questioning that they have had conversations with other potential buyers of the club but says he is not at liberty to reveal who they are as it is subject to a non-disclosure agreement #sufc #twitterblades
Downes asks if they are the same people who provided the money that Prince Abdullah used to exercise the call options last year. Giansiracusa says as far as he is aware that money came from Prince Abdullah #sufc #twitterblades
After a short break we are now back and taking about Stephen Bettis again. Downes says Bettis was part of the fight that was going on at that time. Giansiracusa says their position was that they wanted him to stay after October and they wanted to win #sufc #twitterblades
Downes says Bettis’ understanding was that he would only stay if the owners agreed on it. Giansiracusa says it wasn’t in the interests of the club for him to leave but that if he submitted his resignation they would have to accept #sufc #twitterblades
Downes says it was agreed at a board meeting that Bettis would resign but accuses Giansiracusa of again altering the record to say it would be discussed further #sufc #twitterblades
Giansiracusa says Bettis was an experienced CEO who had a good relationship with Wilder. Says there are few better examples of McCabe rocking the boat than him wanting to get rid of a successful CEO #sufc #twitterblades
Downes says he is not criticising Giansiracusa for wanting to keep Bettis, but for the way they went about fighting for that position #sufc #twitterblades
Downes says the Giansiracusa was aware that the Charwell loan could expose the club ‘reputational damage’. Giansiracusa disagrees and says there is nothing in Saudi law that forbids that kind of transaction #sufc #twitterblades
Downes suggesting that Giansiracusa asked Prince Abdullah whether he had repaid the loan early because he was worried about its nature. Giansiracusa says it is highly improbable that he did that but accepts it is a possibility #sufc #twitterblades
Giansiracusa says he is ‘absolutely certain’ that he didn’t have that conversation with Prince Abdullah. Says Andy Birks ‘may have been encouraged’ to remember a different version of events than actually happened #sufc #twitterblades
Giansiracusa says Downes is struggling to fit his theory to the facts whereas he thinks it would be better to apply ‘Occam’s Razor’ and look for the simplest explanation #sufc #twitterblades
Now talking about the position of Radcliffe as finance director. Downes says Giansiracusa wanted him to be UTB’s man and for him report to him and not the company. Giansiracusa says they wanted to have ‘eyes on the ground’ #sufc #twitterblades
Giansiracusa says Downes is trying to make it look like a conflict of interests but they wanted the finance director to have primary responsibility to them because Prince Abdullah felt outnumbered at the club by people loyal to McCabe #sufc #twitterblades
Downes: ‘I suggest to you that [the argument over the finance director] was part of a deliberate strategy to escalate hostilities’. Giansiracusa says it was because he considered McCabe’s actions to be ‘beyond the pale’ #sufc #twitterblades
🚨 The entire court building has just been evacuated because of a fire alarm! As we quickly left the court the judge decided to take an early lunch so we’ll be back at 1.45. 🚨
Just catching up with the awful news coming out of Sheffield today. Makes what’s going on down here seem a bit pointless really. My thoughts are with everyone affected. RIP.
Just starting again after lunch and taking about discussions that went on between Mr Giansiracusa, Prince Abdullah and others in which they discussed sending a ‘harsh’ email to McCabe, as it is ‘the only language he understands’ #sufc #twitterblades
Emails from Prince Abdullah show she wanted more people ‘on the ground’ at the club to ‘fight’ the McCabes. Giansiracusa says Prince Abdullah’s reaction to what McCabe was doing was ‘very strong’ and he was ‘very, very angry’ #sufc #twitterblades
Lawyers now discussing the extent to which Mr Giansiracusa is bound by his role as Prince Abdullah’s lawyer by attorney, client privilege. Judge says he need to be careful when talking about advice he gave him as a lawyer #sufc #twitterblades
Giansiracusa says McCabe ‘went behind their backs’ and put pressure on an employee to change the new CFO’s job. Says the episode caused his and Prince Abdullah’s attitude to ‘change dramatically’ #sufc #twitterblades
Downes describes the relationship between the owners at this time as a ‘turf war’. Giansiracusa says he and Prince Abdullah were ‘offended’ about how McCabe had behaved but rejects the idea that the relationship was ‘irreparable’ #sufc #twitterblades
Downes incredulous at Giansiracusa’s assertion that he doesn’t remember discussing an email in which they would lay out their grievances with McCabe. Giansiracusa says club matters were ‘routine’ and lots of things cross his desk every day #sufc #twitterblades
Downes says Giansiracusa is being untruthful by saying he doesn’t recall the meeting. Giansiracusa says he doesn’t deny a meeting about the email took place but he maintains he doesn’t remember it #sufc #twitterblades
Giansiracusa says their forceful attitude to Mr McCabe can be explained by his ‘strong personality’. He admits they started looking at the possibly of exercising the call options in November 2017, but makes clear they didn’t have an investor at that time #sufc #twitterblades
Downes: ‘You felt a strong antipathy towards Mr McCabe, didn’t you?’ Giansiracusa: ‘Over time I lost respect for him. He misused the power and influence his status in the community gave him in the context of the joint venture with Prince Abdullah’ #sufc #twitterblades
Downes now reading out the very strong email Giansiracusa sent to McCabe. ‘I have come to learn that the people of Sheffield don’t very much like you’, it says. Describes him as a ‘bully’ and that he ‘lacks the intellectual integrity to keep his word’ #sufc #twitterblades
Downes: ‘I am not denying your right to send a robust email. But this goes further. It is deliberately intense to provoke a reaction. It is personal’ #sufc #twitterblades
Giansiracusa: ‘It is not diplomatic or kind language but it is truthful, it is accurate. He may be liked and loved by many and is also reviled by many, like many people who run sports franchises’ #sufc #twitterblades
Downes: ‘It is just nasty isn’t it? You were trying to provoke him to trigger the call options’. Giansiracusa says we had tried lots of different ways of dealing with Mr McCabe and felt that this was the best way of making him ‘back down’ #sufc #twitterblades
Downes says when it came to the decision to stop Bettis’ pay, Giansiracusa’s responsibility as a director of SUFC was to defend the companies position. Giansiracusa says he wants to do the thing that was least prejudicial to the company #sufc #twitterblades
Giansiracusa says he was ‘flabbergasted’ by McCabe’s actions. Downes says the ‘red mist had descended’ and he wanted to hurt McCabe. Giansiracusa denies this #sufc #twitterblades
Downes accuses Giansiracusa of sending a ‘highly tendentious’ document to staff in order to hurt Mr McCabe. ‘No’, says Giansiracusa, it was a reaction to the ‘extraordinary overreach’ by McCabe over the pay issue #sufc #twitterblades
The incendiary email was followed by others, says Downes, in which Giansiracusa threatened to do things that would affect McCabe’s ‘standing in the club and the community’ #sufc #twitterblades
Giansiracusa says they wanted to make clear that McCabe ‘needed to behave himself’. We were warning that we were not going to tolerate the kind of things they had seen with Bettis and Radcliffe #sufc #twitterblades
Downes now accusing Giansiracusa of sending correspondence attacking McCabe’s son because they knew it would touch a nerve with him. ‘You are now turning on his children’, he says. Giansiracusa says Downes is trying to get a ‘quotable line’ in the record #sufc #twitterblades
Giansiracusa says that one of the things that parties who are in dispute can do is reach out to one another and says ‘one solution was for us to buy the shares’ from them #sufc #twitterblades
Downes says this was when ‘mark one’ of Prince Abdullah’s scheme to evade the property call options came about. Giansiracusa says if anyone was scheming it was the McCabe side #sufc #twitterblades
Downes: ‘Do you accept it is morally acceptable to take advantage of someone else’s mistake? You knew full well when you got the call option that the assumptions SUL were acting on were wrong and you deliberately took advantage of that’ #sufc #twitterblades
Downes says that is ‘unconscionable and dishonest’ but Giansiracusa says that will be for the judge to decide. However, he then accepts after a question from the judge that he was aware that McCabe didn’t know what they were planning #sufc #twitterblades
Downes asking why Giansiracusa didn’t disclose their plans to McCabe. Giansiracusa says they were under no obligation to do so. ‘Why would we do that the day before it was going to happen’ #sufc #twitterblades
Downes: ‘You were being deliberately misleading because it benefited you to keep them in the dark for as long as possible’. Giansiracusa says the allegation of fraud Downes is making is a very serious one. Accuses him of ‘bringing a cannon to a knife fight’ #sufc #twitterblades
The implied value of the share transfer between UTB and UTB 2108 was £4m but was sold for £1 says Downes. Do you know if that pound was ever paid? Giansiracusa says he doesn’t #sufc #twitterblades
Downes has finished his cross examination of Giansiracusa and Prince Abdullah’s lawyer Andreas Gledhill QC is now asking the questions again #sufc #twitterblades
Gledhill now asking for clarification on some of the evidence Mr Giansiracusa has given in his cross-examination about the Charwell loan’s Bin Laden family links and Stephen Bettis’ continuation as CEO #sufc #twitterblades
Mr Giansiracusa has now finished giving his evidence after three days in the witness box and after a brief period of legal discussion the case has been adjourned until Tuesday, June 4 #sufc #twitterblades
Heading back to Sheffield now and will post a full roundup of the day’s proceedings to thestar.co.uk as soon as I can, train WiFi permitting. Story will also be in Saturday’s print edition. Thanks for following. Dan. #sufc #twitterblades
My report of today's proceedings at the Sheffield United ownership trial at the High Court in London.

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