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Impending takeover by 49ers Enterprises looms closer for Leeds United

The 49ers are set to put their takeover plans in motion...

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Leeds United v Arsenal FC - Premier League
The Leeds board watch over their match against Arsenal at Elland Road.
Photo by Alex Dodd - CameraSport via Getty Images

49ers Enterprises, the investing arm connected to the San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League and minority owners of Leeds United, have obtained the investment necessary for a full takeover of the club, per The Times. Andrea Radrizzani sold 10 per cent of Leeds to 49ers Enterprises in 2018 and that fraction has continued to rise to 44 per cent today.

The 49ers have the option to complete a full takeover of the club in January 2024, but there have been reports for a while discussing a likely move prior to that and it seems that the move is just about ready for completion.

According to the Times’ report, the most likely scenario is that 49ers Enterprises will act at the end of this season, waiting to see how the 22/23 campaign ends and how that might change the purchase price. The report referenced US banking sources which described the efforts in recent weeks that 49ers Enterprises have undertaken to secure investment. A source with insider knowledge of the situation was quoted in the article saying the necessary finance has been “put in place” and the American group was “getting their ducks in a row”.

The timing of these efforts has also possibly been helped along by the decline of the pound and the relative strength of the dollar. Many have commented on the impact these changes may have on the world of football, including a recent article in CBS Sports which outlined how these recent developments have increased the chance for American Investment in English football. The ownership of Manchester United is a prime example of businesses taking advantage of cheap finance to purchase football clubs. In December 2021, The Athletic reported that the deal to acquire Leeds United could be worth as much as £475 million.