Leeds United: 49ers Enterprises keen to ‘push through’ full takeover after key involvement in Georginio Rutter deal
The Athletic report that the investment arm of NFL franchise San Francisco 49ers played a key role in the club record signing of Georginio Rutter. The deal is estimated to rise to a potential £35m if relevant add ons are met.
The report by the Athletic further states that the 49ers have agreed to make future instalments of the deal, which indicates the commitment from the American investors to Leeds. The 49ers are understood to have an option to complete a full takeover of Leeds from majority owner Andrea Radrizzani by January 2024.
Leeds United's ownership structure has been the subject of numerous changes since 49ers Enterprises first bought a stake in the club. Radrizzani remains the majority shareholder at Elland Road but an increased stake from 49ers Enterprises, the investment arm of NFL club San Francisco 49ers, has seen the balance tilt somewhat.
In late 2021, 49ers Enterprises increased their minority stake in Leeds to 44 per cent. Radrizzani bought Leeds for £45 million in 2017 and has since taken the club from the Championship back into the Premier League.
49ers Enterprises purchased an initial stake in Leeds in 2018 before increasing their investment and control in January 2021 as it was announced that they had upped their ownership to 37 per cent while president of 49ers Enterprises, Paraag Marathe, became vice-chairman.
Following the most recent increase just over 12 months ago, Leeds chief executive Angus Kinnear said both parties "remain unequivocally committed to the club". The cost of the 49ers most recent increase in ownership was undisclosed.