So, there is a giant clue as to who the new ownership with a minority stake in Leeds United might be.
The San Francisco 49ers, one of the most successful teams in NFL history, published a story announcing a “strategic partnership” with Leeds and a minority ownership stake in the club.
However, while the headline still exists on the homepage, the link is dead.
There had been wild speculation about a new owner, who was possibly an American, buying a minority stake in the club, at it appears now there might be a “face” to the owner, or in this case, a team.
The stake that was sold was rumoured to be for 10% interest in the club for £9 million, with the new investment going straight towards the transfer and/or player wage budget.
The San Francisco 49ers are one of the most successful franchises in NFL history, having won five Super Bowls. They play their home games at the new, state-of-the-art Levi Stadium, which is locaed, confusingly, in Santa Clara, California, just outside of San Francisco. The Bay Area, where San Francisco is located, is home to San Jose, Oakland, and Silicon Valley and is one of the biggest metropolitan areas in the United States.
As for what Americans call “soccer” the metro area is home to the San Jose Earthquakes of MLS. Also calling the Bay Area home are the Golden State Warriors of the NBA, the Oakland A’s and San Francisco Giants of Major League Baseball, and the San Jose Sharks of the NHL.
The other NFL team in the area, the Oakland Raiders, are set to depart the Bay Area for Las Vegas in a few years, leaving the 49ers as the sole representative of the NFL in Northern California.
What does this all mean for Leeds? Time will tell, but at the very least, a new owner with deep pockets and links to one of the most popular sports teams in the US in one of the hottest markets in the United States has apparently joined the fold at Leeds.