The San Francisco 49ers ownership group now fully controls Leeds United.
Leeds team owner Andrea Radrizzani agreed to sell his majority stake in the English football club to 49ers Enterprises on Friday night, the club announced. Radrizzani owned about 56% of the organization.
49ers Enterprises have reportedly agreed to buy Leeds for a valuation of around $213million, a number that has dropped significantly after Leeds were relegated out of the Premier League earlier this year. Had the club remained in the top flight, according to The Athletic, the valuation would have been closer to around $500m.
Radrizzani has been Leeds’ majority shareholder since 2017. He has since bought a majority stake in Italian club Sampdoria.
New minority owners in the 49ers ownership group include New Orleans Pelicans forward Larry Nance Jr. and Indiana Pacers guard TJ McConnell.
49ers Enterprises chairman Paraag Marathe is set to take over as chairman of Leeds, according to The Athletic. Marathe has been vice-president since 2011. Angus Kinnear is expected to remain as the team’s general manager. Full ownership of the Elland Road stadium is also expected to transfer to the 49ers Enterprises group.
49ers Enterprises first joined Leeds as a shareholder in 2018. It increased its share of the club to just over 30% in 2020, then more recently to 44%.
The San Francisco 49ers are owned almost entirely by Denise and John York, and their son, Jed, is the team’s CEO. The York family launched 49ers Enterprises as an investment arm to expand its reach outside of the NFL. The two teams are still very separate.
Leeds are just the latest club to belong to an American NFL-linked group. The Glazer family, owners of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, are now working to sell Manchester United. Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan owns Fulham FC. Stan Kroenke, owner of the Los Angeles Rams and Denver Nuggets, also owns Arsenal FC.