In response to public statements being circulated by the Scarborough Group, Sheffield United Football Club regrets that it must update the statement it released on 20th January 2020 regarding the in principle agreement previously reached between the Club and the Scarborough Group over the transfer to the Club of the freehold of Bramall Lane (together with the long leasehold interests in the Copthorne Hotel and Enterprise Centre), plus Shirecliffe Academy, the Junior Development Centre at Crookes (the "Properties") and certain parcels of land (the "Kop Sites") within the "Bramall Lane footprint" from Sheffield United Limited ("SUL") and the Scarborough Group (the "Scarborough Companies"), entities controlled by Mr Kevin McCabe.
In short, this deal will no longer proceed as the Scarborough Companies wanted more money and more concessions from the Club than they agreed initially. As a result, the Club has no alternative but to resort to arbitration under the Property Call Option Agreements to determine the purchase prices for the Properties and to ensure that the Properties are transferred to the Club. It also appears that the Scarborough Companies have withdrawn their offer to sell the Kop Sites to the Club.
The Club will take all necessary steps to ensure that Bramall Lane remains the long-term home of SUFC. We will also vigorously defend any claims put forward by SUL, including the outrageous suggestion put forward in the litigation that the price that SUL wants the Club to pay for the Stadium should be on the assumption that SUFC leaves Bramall Lane with the site being developed for residential housing.
Two immediate consequences of the Scarborough Group's decision are that (i) the Club only has the right to purchase the hotel leasehold, not the hotel business and hence, we may be compelled to close the hotel until we find an operator and (ii) the Club will need to postpone plans to remove the support poles which currently obstruct views in the Kop. If the Scarborough Group follows through on threats not to sell the Kop Sites and instead develops the Kop Sites, access to the Kop may also be restricted. The Scarborough Companies have signalled an intention to build high density apartments in the areas behind the Kop and the John Street stand. The Club intends to object to any development which interferes with our fans' access to the stadium.