According to reports from The Athletic, the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers have announced that they have increased their ownership stake in Leeds United to 37%.
In 2018, the 49ers purchased 10% ownership of Leeds. After several months of discussions, and following Leeds’ promotion to the Premier League, they have now increased their shareholding.
According to the New York Times, Paraag Marathe, the 49ers executive who has held a seat on the Leeds United board since San Francisco’s initial investment in 2018, has been appointed as Leeds’ new vice-chairman.
Andrea Radrizzani, the club-owner, will remain the majority shareholder at the Yorkshire club. Both the clubs did not disclose the financial details, but it would represent a significant premium on the amount the 49ers spent in 2018.
In July, Radrizani, who made an initial investment of £100 million at Leeds, predicted that the club’s valuation would exceed over £500m in the next three years.
Over the past year, Radrizzani openly talked about selling off more of his ownership stake in Leeds. Marathe has wished to increase 49ers’ investment in Leeds in the future.
Many Leeds fans are thrilled with the latest news reported by The Athletic’s Phil Hay. Here are some of the selected tweets:
— Andy Dent (@Thedentsmaster) January 25, 2021
This is massive news that’s something like a 25% increase 😀👍#lufc
— CM (@mou19645) January 25, 2021
— Charlie🦠 (@LufcCharlie) January 25, 2021
— Lee Thompson (@lufcThommo) January 25, 2021
Very big chunk that
— Albert (@Albertlufc) January 25, 2021
Can we afford De Paul now?
— Steve Wainwright💙 (@sa_wainwright) January 25, 2021
That pays for the pitch
— Michael (@wmo1190) January 25, 2021
Leeds are heading in the right direction under the leadership of Radrizzani (off-pitch) and Marcelo Bielsa (on-pitch) as they returned to the Premiership after a long absence of 16 years.
Despite the inconsistency in results, the Whites are expected to stay up this season.
Radrizzani wants Leeds to make gradual progress, and once again become a Premier League powerhouse in years to come. The increase in ownership from 49ers indicate they are building a strong foundation for the future.
While financial details are not disclosed, one can expect that it will be a big investment and that Bielsa will be given more funds in the transfer market.