A Malaysian businessman is emerging as a key stakeholder of Sheffield United, one of Britain’s oldest football clubs.
He is in the final stages of sealing a deal with Sheffield United chairman Kevin McCabe and chief executive officer Trevor Birch that will see millions of pounds flowing into the Championship One club.
Birch told The Star that the club was finalising the deal.
He added that the Malaysian would be making a significant in­­vestment in the club.
Birch even took time away from the club’s friendly against Argenti­nian side Estudiantes on Aug 1 to discuss the deal in Malaysia.
“We want to be serious contenders for promotion to the English Premier League next season and with his involvement, we can see an even brighter future ahead,” he said here yesterday.
Birch, a Liverpool player in the 1970s, was the Chelsea CEO who put together the RM706mil (£140 million) Roman Abramovich takeover in 2003.
It is understood that talks between United and their potential Malay­sian partner have been going on for some time and a conclusion will be reached “in a matter of a few months”.
According to sources, the Malay­sian businessman is expected to visit United next week.
The new possible tie-up will make the club’s first Championship One match this Sunday an “all-Malaysian affair” as United will be facing Cardiff City, owned by Berjaya tycoon Tan Sri Vincent Tan.
“What’s interesting about his (the Malaysian) involvement is that he is investing in a club that is rich in heritage and, more importantly, with strong financial credentials,” said Birch.
United is also known as “The Blades” due to the city’s worldwide reputation for steel production.