Andrea Radrizzani selling a slice of his stake in Leeds United is an idea that has been bound around for quite some time now with rumours of both QSI and the San Francisco 49ers investing in the club circulating for what seems like an eternity.
Phil Hay reported last month that the QSI deal looks unlikely at the moment and that people at the club believe further investment from the 49ers is more likely, and unsurprisingly, reports have emerged this weekend to that effect.
On the surface, QSI look like the more appealing option, considering the unrivalled wealth of the Qatari group, but when you look at the sporting pedigree of the 49ers it’s hard to say that they wouldn’t be the perfect group to take the club forward.
The US-based investors, of course, have a footing in sport already, running a San Francisco based NFL outfit, but the success they’ve garnered over in the States shows that they could be exactly what Leeds need at the moment.
United are going through a transition period after being promoted, and the 49ers group certainly know how to handle that, helping the Californa-based outfit through their move into the Levi’s Stadium while still bringing success on the field.
They made the Super Bowl this year after winning their conference final, and they’ve managed to become a success through a series of shrewd business moves with John Lynch winning the 2019 award for Executive of the Year in the NFL, add into that a reported net worth of $3.5bn and you have a recipe for success.
Leeds have plans of expanding Elland Road to a 50,000 capacity ground, and with the 49ers knowing how to market and manage a sports team to perfection, they could be exactly what the club need during this time.
United may need something of a corporate facelift as they head back into the Premier League for the first time in 16 years, as a lot has changed since 2004. They have just struck a big deal with Adidas, and with the connections their investors already have in the sporting world through their NFL franchise, they could help them find a few more deals of that ilk.
From a business standpoint having a team as savvy as the 49ers on board surely won’t do United any harm, and perhaps it’s favourable to the QSI deal that was previously rumoured.