The San Fransisco 49ers could be looking to take full control of Leeds United after a major claim emerged this week…
According to Yorkshire Evening Post journalist Graham Smyth, who delivered a fresh verdict on the situation around the boardroom at Elland Road. He wrote:
“Less than a year after that last increase, the 49ers have bought a little more of the pie. This time, there was little fanfare.
“[Andrea] Radrizzani’s partners appear content to tuck their feet a little further under the table quietly, but it does feel like their involvement is only leading towards one thing – full control.
“Why else would they have traversed the Atlantic in the first place? Why else would they have invested to this degree, undertaken so many fact-finding missions, explored how they could augment and develop Elland Road and brought Peter Lowy, billionaire Westfield heir, to the table with them?”
Indeed, this certainly does appear to be the case as similar comments in recent weeks and months point towards something happening.
For example, on Thursday morning [11th November], finance expert Kieran Maguire highlighted that the Whites were having a busy morning at Companies House.
“Looks as if [the] club is changing its constitution in relation to the transfer of shares between investors,” he tweeted.
Whilst the Italian supremo has always hinted at increasing the value of the club, just last week he reiterated their ambition at the Web Summit (via the YEP):
“Now we are partnered with 49ers, this is fundamentally very important because it will be very difficult to stay in the Premier League, but if we stay in it this year I think we can go much more than last year and go into the top six – start to renovate the stadium and continue to grow the value of this club.”
However, making that happen will be a tough task as Radrizzani cannot afford to go alone in such plans.
“I don’t think Radrizzani has those resources himself whereas the 49ers are more likely to be able to tap into American markets for that so you can see the logic of what they’ve done,” Maguire further explained to the ‘Price of Football’ podcast this week.
It seems that if Leeds want to continue to grow both on and off the pitch, then the 49ers involvement will need to increase and as Smyth alludes to, the group themselves may want to take full control in the near future – expanding their investment this month is certainly another foot in the right direction to achieving that.
United’s season so far hasn’t gone to plan with the side occupying 15th place, just three points above the relegation zone, but this huge development should provide some excitement amongst the fanbase.
We’ve seen Newcastle United taken over by wealthy backers, so Leeds’ chances of breaking into the top six consistently will be seriously dented without their own great strides off the pitch.
The 49ers group can very much provide that, so if Smyth’s words ring true, it could be a very exciting future ahead in Yorkshire.
AND in other news, Leeds United suffer fresh injury blow this international break…