, 68 tweets, 38 min read Read on Twitter
The final day (hopefully) of the Sheffield United ownership case at the High Court in London will get underway at 10.30 this morning with closing arguments from Prince Abdullah’s lawyer, Andreas Gledhill QC #sufc #twitterblades
Just got into court and it’s much busier than it has been for the last few days I’ve been here. Kevin McCabe is back after being in Sheffield yesterday for the unveiling of the club’s new sponsor. Prince Abdullah not here at the moment though #sufc #twitterblades
Mr Gledhill begins by saying the case rests on two issues. One is the who caused the breakdown in the relationship between he parties and two is the alleged misfeasance of Prince Abdullah and Mr Giansiracusa over the contract and the ‘bribe’ #sufc #twitterblades
He says it is their case that the collapse of the relationship was the fault of Mr McCabe and Mr Tutton, and that there is no basis in which anyone could properly complain that there was any impropriety committed by Prince Abdullah or Mr Giansiracusa #sufc #twitterblades
Gledhill seeking to suggest that Downes’ argument that the relationship between the two men was a ‘quasi-partnership’ is misconceived. Bit difficult to follow without a law degree this but Gledhill clearly sees it as key #sufc #twitterblades
Gledhill concentrating initially on the agreement first entered into by the parties in 2013. Says that this agreement set the template of the relationship between the two parties and that any further considerations good faith and fair dealing are not relevant #sufc #twitterblades
Gledhill just mentioned the possibility that this case could ‘go higher’ meaning that there is a possibility the result could be appealed and end up in an even higher court. I think I heard the collective groan from Sheffield down here #sufc #twitterblades
Gledhill says the fact that there were clear exit mechanisms in the initial agreement means that there was never a mutual relationship of trust between the parties and therefore there was no implied duty of good faith and fair dealing #sufc #twitterblades
Gledhill says it is not ‘reasonable or necessary’ to invoke a responsibility of good faith and fair dealing in a situation where the parties had fallen out. Says the transfer of the shares between UTB and UTB 2018 happened after SUL tried to buy them out #sufc #twitterblades
Gledhill says he breakdown of the relationship between the two men was the conduct over annextended period of Mr McCabe who was acting as unofficial CEO despite the fact he had no legal standing to do so #sufc #twitterblades
Gledhill says Downes’ suggestion that the agreement between the two men contained ‘express prohibitions’ against UTB doing what they did in January 2018 is plainly wrong #sufc #twitterblades
Says that far from prohibiting the transfer of shares, the articles of the company on which the initial agreement between the parties rested expressly allows for a transfer of shares of the kind that UTB did in January 2018 #sufc #twitterblades
Says this is powerfully corroborated by a clause in the articles of the company which allows for transfer of shares to ‘privileged relations’, maybe envisaging a situation in which one party could transfer shares to his two sons if he wanted to #sufc #twitterblades
However, Gledhill says that you don’t need to just rely on the articles of the company to find justification for UTB’s actions, you can get to the same place just by adhering to the terms of the initial agreement between the parties #sufc #twitterblades
Gledhill says that his client did not conspire or hustle SUL into making the mistake they made when they triggered he call option in December 2018. Says they simply did not correct it which they had no responsibility to do #sufc #twitterblades
After a discussion between the judge and Mr Gledhill, the judge mentions the legal maxim of ‘equity following the law’. This means that considerations of good faith and fair dealing come after considerations of the law. Could be key to the verdict #sufc #twitterblades
Judge asks about the nature of the stock transfer between UTB and UTB 2018 for the nominal fee of £1. Is it a contractual transfer or was it simply passing the shares to a nominee? Gledhill says it was a contract because stock transfer forms were lodged #sufc #twitterblades
After a short break we’re back and taking about the stock transfer again. Gledhill referencing case law which he says proves that the fact the shares were transferred for a nominal fee of no fee at all is completely irrelevant #sufc #twitterblades
The stock transfer form makes it clear, Gledhill says, that the intention was to transfer both the shares and the rights of a shareholder on UTB 2018. Judge asks whether it can really be a gift if it is that size. Gledhill says it may be #sufc #twitterblades
Judge asks whether we know anything about the ownership of UTB 2018. Gledhill says no but that Downes says it is merely a vehicle for Prince Abdullah. Nevertheless, he then goes onto say that UTB 2018’s rights as a shareholder cannot be ignored #sufc #twitterblades
Gledhill now being asked by the judge about the transfer of shares between UTB and UTB 2018 and whether the word ‘acquired’ means agreed or paid for. Crazy that these might be the issues on which the case could rest #sufc #twitterblades
Of the call option process, Gledhill says that Downes’ ‘arresting metaphor’ of UTB ‘moving the goalposts after the free kick has been taken’ misses the point and he is in fact taking about two separate games of football #sufc #twitterblades
Gledhill says Downes is taking about a game between the Scarborough Group and #sufc and the judge is being asked to rule on a game between UTB and SUL #twitterblades
Gledhill says the SUL could have simply asked UTB about their intentions relating to the property options contained in the agreement but didn’t do so. Judge asks could Mr Giansiracusa have rebuffed them. Gledhill says he might have done but it doesn’t matter #sufc #twitterblades
Gledhill says there is nothing in the agreement which prohibited his client rearranging his shares if he saw fit. Says the argument put forward by Downes yesterday that there was is ‘fanciful’ #sufc #twitterblades
Gledhill says SUL have now ‘got everything they asked for’ because Prince Abdullah exercised the property call options in the run up to the trial and is now ‘good for the money’. The position now is ‘absolutely clear cut’, he says #sufc #twitterblades
Gledhill: ‘SUL went down a road which they knew was a road that was fraught with risk. Because of the structuring on our side it was a different risk than they imagined but the end result is the same’ #sufc #twitterblades
Gledhill says that SUL have played a hard game but are now saying UTB shouldn’t have done the same. They have thrown every road block in our way since January 2018. He adds UTB’s actions saved a club of 125 years standing from winding up #sufc #twitterblades
Gledhill referencing at length a case which Downes referenced yesterday about hardship in which a woman suffered physical harm. He says the hardships are not comparable and even if that is taken out the case still doesn’t help SUL #sufc #twitterblades
The judge asks him whether it’s fair to compare the cases as they are so different and Gledhill says he will come back to that point after lunch. We’ll be back at 2pm #sufc #twitterblades
Hope that’s been helpful. It’s really difficult to follow at times for those of us without a law degree. Basically Gledhill is trying to say his client did nothing wrong under the law while at the same time poking holes in the case made by Downes yesterday #sufc #twitterblades
Many of you have been asking when a verdict is due. It won’t be today but we may get a date this afternoon. The length of the trial and the complexity of the evidence means that the judge has a lot to consider, which is why he’s going to take his time #sufc #twitterblades
Gledhill begins by clearing things up from the morning including the ownership of UTB 2018 which it says in written submissions from the Prince that it is his sole property #sufc #twitterblades
Gledhill taking about the possibility the judge could award damages or request that UTB or SUL perform some contractual duty. Says it is in the interests of the club for this to be settled for one or the other party and in time for the new season #sufc #twitterblades
Gledhill says there is ‘no credible claim of damage’ in terms of unlawful conspiracy from the other side and that there is no precedent for the unfair prejudice allegation that UTB’s actions damaged SUL should lead to them having to sell their shares #sufc #twitterblades
Gledhill saying in order for the judge to conclude that UTB’s actions had been unfairly prejudicial the club he would be to be convinced not only that their actions caused SUL to serve the call option notice but that those actions were wrongful #sufc #twitterblades
‘It would therefore be inappropriate for your Lordship to instruct us to sell our shares to SUL’, adds Mr Gledhill #sufc #twitterblades
Gledhill now turning to the Charwell / Bin Laden loan and the allegation it was a bribe. He says the case SUL are now pleading is entirely inconsistent with their previous allegations that were advanced under a deputy judge earlier in the case #sufc #twitterblades
He says the facts of the loan that have come out in the case ‘don’t even begin to warrant an allegation of bribery against Prince Abdullah’. Says it is true that there was some confusion over repayment but the fact it was repaid make the allegation fall away #sufc #twitterblades
Gledhill says Downes has given no evidence that Prince Abdullah was bribed over the loan or that he broke Saudi law or the Saudi ministerial code. ‘There is a vacuum at the heart of SUL’s case in this regard’, he says #sufc #twitterblades
Gledhill says in order to back up their claim SUL had to make a substantive allegation that Prince Abdullah breaches his responsibilities under Saudi law but they have not yet done so despite repeated requests from lawyers acting for the Prince #sufc #twitterblades
Gledhill says SUL’s allegation that Prince Abdullah brought #sufc into disrepute by breaking the Saudi ministerial code ‘doesn’t even get off first base’ #twitterblades
Says that the further allegation that Prince Abdullah damaged the club by procuring the loan is also wrong because he was doing what he thought - and everyone else involved in the case has agreed - was in the interests of the club #sufc #twitterblades
Gledhill says the alleged conflict of interests has to be real and not fanciful or potential and that even if the case being brought in this case was a civil bribery allegation - which it is not - it would still fail #sufc #twitterblades
Mr Gledhill says that what is now being alleged - that Dr Rakkan helped the Prince out of a cash flow problem by putting him in touch with Mr Bin Laden - is of a wholly different order than the allegation of him taking a bribe that was originally made #sufc #twitterblades
Gledhill says Downes’ allegation that Prince Abdullah lied in his evidence about the loan and his links with Dr Rakkan is an ‘unfair and inaccurate criticism’. He says the Prince misunderstood what he was being asked but then later clarified the position #sufc #twitterblades
Gledhill says Prince Abdullah meant there was no money changing hands or contracts drawn up but did acknowledge that he did have other dealings with Dr Rakkan. Also references the Prince’s limited English as a possible explanations or the confusion #sufc #twitterblades
Gledhill says it exposes the complete lack of reality of seeing an issue which related to the Saudi ministerial code through the English law of tort. You can’t point to anything that Prince Abdullah did for Dr Rakkan #sufc #twitterblades
Now moving onto the Bettis situation. Gledhill says that the suggestion that he had decided to leave is not true. Reads an email from one of Mr McCabe’s sons and Mr Tutton in which they say Bettis wants to stay #sufc #twitterblades
Gledhill says that the accusation that Mr Giansiracusa damaged the club by telling Bettis he has a claim after McCabe stopped his pay is absurd. He stopped his pay knowing full well he hadn’t resigned #sufc #twitterblades
Gledhill finally turning to the allegation from SUL that UTB have failed to call certain witnesses. Says the main people in the case, Prince Abdullah and Mr Giansiracusa, both attended and were cross examined #sufc #twitterblades
Says the two people they mention, Mr Hawasli and Mr Howard, were not central to the case. And with that Mr Gledhill brings his closing statement to an end. Mr Downes will now get the chance to come back #sufc #twitterblades
Downes begins by taking about whether the relationship between the two men amounted to a quasi-partnership. They say it was but Gledhill says it wasn’t. Now challenging Gledhill’s assertion that lengthy contracts negate the importance of good faith #sufc #twitterblades
Downes and the judge taking about to what extent relational contracts include an implied obligation of god faith. I might be wrong but this seems to me the very core of he case. The judge’s answer on this could well decide the case #sufc #twitterblades
Downes says it is a classic case of a relational contract and the implied obligation of GOOD faith was there expressly to cover the eventualities that were not envisaged by the original contract #sufc #twitterblades
Downes now attacking UTB’s attempt to take the moral high ground when it comes to the share scheme. They say they were trapped and had no choice but to do what they did but that is not borne out by the facts of the case #sufc #twitterblades
Downes says if that was true then they should have disclosed what they were doing but they didn’t #sufc #twitterblades
Downes says the price SUL paid was too low because it was based on a mistake that Mr Giansiracusa took advantage of. Says the judge should rule that the conscience of Mr Giansiracusa and UTB should be judged in the case and deemed to be in bad faith #sufc #twitterblades
Downes says that while SUL understood the call option process was risky, no one foresaw that UTB would evade the property options in the way they did #sufc #twitterblades
Downes: ‘The balance of injustice strongly favours our side in this case. If they win they are going to get 50% of a premier league club for a song. If we win they will still be compensated at fair market value’ #sufc #twitterblades
Downes says UTB’s share scheme led to delay, litigation, legal costs and SUL having to continue funding the club. None of that was anticipated or priced in to the offer they made in December 2017, he says #sufc #twitterblades
Downes now taking about the bribery allegations and says they claim that Prince Abdullah brought the company into disrepute by procuring the loan. Says they don’t need to bring in Saudi law into it at all #sufc #twitterblades
After being questioned by the judge on the point about bribery he is making, Downes says the foreign law point that Gledhill made is a ‘complete red herring’ #sufc #twitterblades
Downes now - finally he says 🙏- turning to the question of witnesses and their non-appearance. Says it is obvious that Mr Hawasli should have been called #sufc #twitterblades
Fortunately that is it and there is now a brief period of legal discussion about the importance of Saudi law to the case. Judge asks both sides to clarify their positions on it with him in writing #sufc #twitterblades
And with that - six weeks after it started - the case has been adjourned for the judge to consider his verdict. He says he has ‘a lot to think about’ and that his ruling will definitely not come in the next two weeks #sufc #twitterblades
I’ll post a round up of today’s proceedings to thestar.co.uk later which will also be in tomorrow’s print edition as well. And someone will be back here for the verdict, whenever it comes. Thanks for following. Dan. #sufc #twitterblades
My report from the final day of the Blades trial at the High Court.

Missing some Tweet in this thread?
You can try to force a refresh.

Like this thread? Get email updates or save it to PDF!

Subscribe to Dan Hayes
Profile picture

Get real-time email alerts when new unrolls are available from this author!

This content may be removed anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Follow Us on Twitter!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!