Sheffield United Football Club has responded to claims made yesterday by Kevin McCabe’s Scarborough Group over the closure of the Copthore Hotel at Bramall Lane.

The sale of the Copthorne follows the September 2019 High Court ruling that McCabe sell his 50 per cent stake and all of his assets in the club–including the hotel–to Prince Abdullah.

The Scarborough Group claimed that the closure of the hotel was unavoidable as the football club was insisting that the purchase could only go ahead as a sale of a property with“vacant possession”.

The group said this means that the property must be emptied of furniture and equipment,and its management by Millenium Hotels and Resorts must cease,before the purchase could go ahead.

Sheffield United have since denied the claims made by the Scarborough Group,and said that the decision to close the hotel was entirely down to the current owners.

A spokesperson for the club said:“The terms on which the hotel is to be sold were negotiated and drawn up by Scarborough and its lawyers in 2013.These specifically require a property sale with vacant possession rather than a sale of the business.

“A business sale was previously discussed by SUFC but reasonable commercial terms could not be agreed with Scarborough.

“SUFC has made no demands that furniture and equipment be removed.To the contrary,that was a decision taken unilaterally by Scarborough.Indeed,“SUFC has expressed its concerns to Scarborough about the nature of the contents that are being withdrawn from the Hotel ahead of ownership transferring to SUFC.”

Sheffield United’s first team players,management and staff were scheduled to utilise 150 room nights at the Copthorne Hotel from the June 15 to July 2.

However the Scarborough Group said that because they were removing the furniture from the property and closing the hotel,this could no longer happen.

Staff at the hotel have spoken of their anger over the closure,which cuts short their furlough pay which they had been told they would receive as long as the government scheme lasted.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website.While I have your attention,I also have an important request to make of you.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers-and consequently the revenue we receive-we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.

Subscribe to The Star website and enjoy unlimited access to local news and information online and on our app.With a digital subscription,you can read more than 5 articles,see fewer ads,enjoy faster load times,and get access to exclusive newsletters and content.

Visit https://www.thestar.co.uk/subscriptions now to sign up.

Our journalism costs money and we rely on advertising,print and digital revenues to help to support them.By supporting us,we are able to support you in providing trusted,fact-checked content for this website.