Friday, February 23

Nigerian billionaire Dozy Mmobuosi ‘close’ to taking over Sheffield United

Bramall Lane ground
Sheffield United are second in the Championship, five points behind leaders Burnley

A takeover of English Championship club Sheffield United by Nigerian billionaire Dozy Mmobuosi is at an advanced stage.

The Championship promotion contenders’ owner Prince Abdullah has been in talks with Mmobuosi, the founder and Group Chief Executive Officer of Tingo Inc, the parent company of Tingo Mobile.

Talks with the Nigerian, who is worth $7.6bn (£6.2bn) take place eight months after American businessman Henry Mauriss failed in a bid to take over the Yorkshire club.

The process of buying the Bramall Lane club is at “an advanced stage”, according to sources close to Mmobuosi, who is also the founder of Africa’s leading Agri-Fintech company and digital platform, Nwassa.

Nwassa, Tingo Mobile’s digital agri-marketplace platform provides farmers with weather forecasts, information on markets, and the ability to make payments via Tingo Pay.

Should the 43-year-old African tech entrepreneur pass the English Football League’s owners’ and directors’ test, it will pave the way to buy the Blades for $108m (£90m), a move that would help lift the recent transfer embargo by settling the club’s debts.

An advocate for technological advancement in Africa and beyond, Mmobuosi describes himself as an author and technology entrepreneur on his Twitter feed.

Keen to own a club in the United Kingdom, he has strongly funded scouting schemes, training programs, and talent management for Nigeria’s top-tier side Nasarawa United.

Using his ‘Dozy Mmobuosi Foundation’, he bankrolled an inaugural ‘Super Cup Tournament’ for clubs in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL), which saw Shooting Stars of Ibadan emerge winners in December 2022.

Egypt leads African ownership in England

There have been some notable African names in charge of clubs in the English football system.

Egyptian Nassif Sawiris is president and joint owner of Premier League side Aston Villa, while Moroccan businessman Abdallah Lemsagam was the chairman and owner of Oldham Athletic, now in the fifth tier, from 2018 to 2022.

South Africa-born Garry Otto is the joint owner of the English fourth-tier club Sutton United.

Egypt-born Assem Allam, who passed away in December, bought Hull City in 2010 and oversaw two promotions to the Premier League, an FA Cup final appearance, and a League One title over 12 years.

Another Egyptian, Mohamed Al-Fayed purchased Fulham for a reported £30m in 1997 and provided the funds which helped the London club rise from the third tier of English football to the top flight and into Europe.

Source: BBC