The San Francisco 49ers ownership group is now in full control of Leeds United.
Leeds team owner Andrea Radrizzani agreed to sell his majority stake in the English soccer club to 49ers Enterprises last month, the club announced on June 9. The sale was officially approved by the English Football League on Monday.
49ers Enterprises reportedly committed to buy Leeds at an evaluation of about $213 million, a number that dropped significantly after Leeds was relegated out of the Premier League earlier this year. Had the club remained in the top flight, per The Athletic, the valuation would have been closer to about $500 million.
Radrizzani has been the majority shareholder of Leeds since 2017, and owned about 56% of the organization. He has since purchased a controlling stake in Italian club Sampdoria.
Among the new minority owners in the 49ers ownership group are New Orleans Pelicans forward Larry Nance Jr., Indiana Pacers guard T.J. McConnell, Los Angeles Clippers guard Russell Westbrook and golfers Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas.
49ers Enterprises president Paraag Marathe took over as Leeds chairman. Marathe has served as the vice-chairman since 2011. Angus Kinnear is expected to remain as Leeds’ chief executive. Full ownership of Elland Road stadium is expected to pass to the 49ers Enterprises group, too.
49ers Enterprises first joined Leeds as a shareholder in 2018. It increased its share of the club to just more than 30% in 2020 and then most 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 much separate.
Leeds marks just the latest club to be owned by an American group with ties to the NFL. The Glazer family, which owns the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, is now working to sell Manchester United. Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan owns Fulham FC. Los Angeles Rams and Denver Nuggets owner Stan Kroenke owns Arsenal FC.