As revealed by David Ornstein of The Athletic, Leeds United are set for a full takeover by the 49ers in the next two years. The NFL team already own 44%, and, with the option of buy the rest by January 2024 for a total price of over £400 million, it may not be long before we see new owners at Elland Road. If it does happen, Andrea Radrizzani could reportedly keep a small stake.
If you cast your minds back to 2017, Radrizzani bought Leeds United for £45 million, before returning them to the promised land of the Premier League and increasing their worth to the major figure that we see today. The Italian owner originally sold 10% to the 49ers in 2018, but that percentage has shot up to 44%, and looks like rising to 100% by 2024.
Takeovers in football can go either way. Either it works to perfection, and clubs are taken up a level, or they suffer the most heartbreaking of downfalls. And Leeds know all about option number two. It wasn’t so long ago that the Yorkshire club saw five different owners in five years, in a period of time that also included administration and relegation to League One.
Whilst in the comforts of the top flight, those at Leeds will be desperately hoping for a smooth sailing takeover both during and after it goes through – should it happen at all.