US politician ‘involved’ in Leeds takeover bid as 49ers discuss deal
The 49ers will still complete the takeover of Leeds United if they are relegated but only after a “minor adjustment” in the fee. According to The Athletic, a US political figure is also involved in the takeover bid, though the deal is hanging in the balance due to the prospect of relegation.
The 49ers Enterprise – the group that owns the San Francisco 49ers – reportedly want to make sure Leeds United stay in the Premier League this season before committing to a full takeover on their current terms, with a deal already in place for them to become the majority shareholder in 2024 worth close to £500million.
The NFL giants hold an option to buy out Andrea Radrizzani, the majority owner, and they are ready to commit to the takeover should Leeds remain in the top flight of English football.
The report states that the 49ers currently own a minority share in the club and have played their part in the progress made under owner Andrea Radrizzani. However, they are aware that relegation would substantially alter the valuation of the club and have held talks about buying the club for a cheaper price should they go down.
The report also claims that the consortium is made up of 10 parties each ready to commit between £20m and £70m to the buy-out, with the likes of Peter Lowy – son of Australian billionaire Frank Lowy – and a US political figure with Washington links potentially being involved in the takeover.
Leeds currently sit just one point above the relegation zone in 17th place at the business end of the season, with the prospect of playing in the Championship looming over the Yorkshire club.
Leeds United’s current ownership structure has been under increased scrutiny in recent months. Radrizzani has faced criticism from some sections of the fanbase after the Jesse Marsch project came crashing down.
However, the potential takeover by the 49ers could provide the club with a significant financial boost and allow them to compete more effectively in the transfer market going forwards.
The 49ers Enterprises have not ruled out taking over at Elland Road even if Leeds were relegated this season. Finance expert Kieran Maguire recently spoke Football Insider about the details behind Leeds United’s takeover plans.
He said: “The potential acquisition of Leeds United by the 49ers Enterprises will not be dependent upon the division, there might just be a minor adjustment in fee. But the 49ers are looking at this as a long-term strategic investment.
“They’ll be looking for a return on that investment and their calculations will have been based on Leeds United being in the Premier League.
“It’s likely that there will be some form of lock-in between the two parties because they have been in negotiation for a long period of time and therefore Andrea Radrizzani will want to make sure that there’s a limited amount of risk.
“The 49ers will reflect on Leeds’ present position and an adjustment would have been made on a percentage basis for the likelihood of relegation and the expected length of time in the Championship.”
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