Would-be Sheffield United owner Dozy Mmobuosi has addressed misconceptions about his airline company after accusing fingers were pointed at him.
Prince Abdullah has decided to relinquish his ownership of the club and sell it to the Nigerian billionaire. Mmobuosi is now the subject of the EFL’s Owners’ and Directors’ Test.
Investigations into Mmobuosi’s dealings began after he emerged as the man to take over proceedings at Bramall Lane.
There were investigations into his background and company, Tingo. Rumours circulated that he owned an airline. He set it up just before the COVID-19 pandemic, but it has never operated a commercial flight.
However, Mmobuosi explained how the pandemic forced him to divert his resources as global travel halted.
The statement read (via The Star): “Mr Dozy Mmobuosi has long held ambitions to make investments in the aviation sector driven by his belief that the aviation sector in Africa requires investment to develop and meet the demand of a rapidly expanding population.”
“In 2019, he established Tingo Airlines Ltd (UK) with the goal of acquiring a license and operating flights between Europe and Africa.
“However, due to the outbreak of COVID-19 in early 2020, Mr Mmobuosi redirected resources towards Tingo Mobile to develop Nwassa and Tingo Pay. Tingo Airlines Ltd (UK) is in the process of being dissolved.
“Following the disruption to the global aviation sector Mr Mmobuosi and Omni-Blu Aviation Limited, a fast-growing airline incorporated in Nigeria to provide regular, customised and specialised air transportation services entered into a Joint Venture and Mutual Cooperation Agreement (JVMC) in 2020.
“They incorporated in Nigeria, a Joint Venture Company (JVCo) called Omni-Tingo Aviation Services Limited as the commercial vehicle through which their mutual aspirations would be administered.
“The JVMC flights are to be operated under Omni-Blu Aviation licences [the technical partners under the JVCo] with Mr Mmobuosi’s Family Office providing the requisite funding resources for aircraft leasing and acquisitions towards their common objective.
“Whilst the Coronavirus (COVID-19) years of 2020 and 2021 slowed down the pace for their full launch, the Omni-Tingo JVCo have made significant progress since it resumed its project implementation plan; having completed the purchase of a Sirkosky S-76C++ Helicopter in November 2022: and currently completing a transaction for the purchase of a Challenger 605 Business Jet in the USA.
“The JVCo is also currently in active negotiations for the lease of several regional jets to commence domestic and regional flight operations in Nigeria and across the region.”
Mmobuosi has still not commented on his plans to buy the Sheffield-based club, despite talks accelerating for him to take over.
He is not a household name in football circles but has connections to a group active in establishing football club links.
Mmobuosi also has links to a failed attempt to buy West Ham United in 2021. PAI Capital tried to take over the Hammers two years ago, and Chris Cleverly was one of the crucial players in the deal.
Cleverly is the cousin of UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly and the president of Mmobuosi’s Tingo Inc. It is unclear whether Cleverly or PAI Capital are involved in this deal to purchase the Blades.
James Woods is another close associate of Mmobuosi’s and helped him launch The Dozy Mmobuosi Foundation in 2021.
Woods is part of Rainbow Sports, a global sports management and investment company that runs two professional football clubs.
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