THE owners of NFL team San Francisco 49ers are making a bid to increase their stake in Leeds United after their promotion.
The Whites returned to the Premier League after a 16-year wait, when they won the Championship last month.
Leeds United celebrate lifting the Championship trophy as they return to the Premier League for the first time since 2004
Now, the owners of the 49ers – who have had a ten per cent stake in the club since 2018 – want to buy more of the Elland Road club.
The New York Times claim Leeds’ majority owner, Andrea Radrizzani, is in talks with chiefs of the NFL club as they look to step up their investment.
Paraag Marathe, an executive for the 49ers – who reached the Super Bowl this year – said: “It’s something that we are absolutely hoping to do.
“The journey isn’t concluded. It’s just beginning.
“It obviously had fallen on hard times under multiple ownership groups.
“But the brand equity is still there, the fans, and the amount of people that care about that club.
“We just knew that not only do they belong in the Premier League, but if they got to the Premier League, that the sky’s the limit.”
It will continue the American takeover of the Premier League.
Champions Liverpool are owned by the Boston-based Fenway Sports Group, who also own the Boston Red Sox.
Manchester United‘s owners, the Glazer family, are Americans who own the Tampa Bay Buccaneers NFL team.
Arsenal are backed by LA Rams owner Stan Kroenke.
Fulham, who face Brentford in the Championship play-off final on Tuesday, are owned by Jacksonville Jaguars’ chief Shahid Khan.
Aston Villa previously had an American owner.
Radrizzani has been in talks with Qatar as he seeks investment to make Leeds a force in the Premier League.
Argentine boss Marcelo Bielsa secured promotion in his second season at the club.
The 49ers’ owners became involved in Leeds around the time of Bielsa’s appointment.
A giant of the game in the late 60s and early 70s, Leeds last won the top flight in 1992, the year before the inception of the Premier League.
The San Francisco-based investors have been regular visitors to Elland Road over the last two years.
Marathe and Jed York, the 49ers’ chief executive, had visited the city every six weeks up until the coronavirus lockdown.
Leeds have been linked with a series of stars including Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani since their promotion.
Radrizzani is desperate to secure fresh invesntment.
A return to Elland Road for Spurs defender Danny Rose has also been talked about.
By: Alan Scott
Title: NFL team San Francisco 49ers want to increase stake in promoted Leeds after reaching Super Bowl last season
Sourced From: www.thesun.co.uk/sport/football/premierleague/12286084/nfl-49ers-increase-stake-leeds/
Published Date: Sat, 01 Aug 2020 07:58:13 +0000