The Lowdown: £400m+
The 49ers Enterprises currently hold a 44% stake in Yorkshire after Andrea Radrizzani initially sold them a 10% stake of the club back in 2018.
A full takeover has been on the cards, though, with the 49ers having the option to take full control from the Italian in a deal worth in excess of £400m. The American giants have until January 2024 to exercise that agreement, although there has been talk they are accelerating their bid.
The Latest: Maguire’s comments
Maguire, who contributes for Sky Sports, was talking to Football Insider regarding the 49ers and a possible 2023 takeover. He said that ‘domestic issues’, such as an ‘outside chance of relegation’, could be ‘impacting the likelihood of a 2023 deal’.
“The 49ers have a good relationship with Andrea Radrizzani.
“They’re still getting their feet under the table at the club with Paraag Marathe and his involvement.
“But remember, American investors are also facing higher interest charges and some other challenges back home in the US.
“I think the focus would be on domestic issues before necessarily making a full acquisition of Leeds United.
“It could be that if results are good when the Premier League comes back, they could feel more positive about doing that deal.
“There’s always the outside chance of relegation, and that is impacting the likelihood of a 2023 deal.”
The Verdict: True…
The 49ers are under no pressure to take full control over the next six months, so the sensible decision would be to wait and ensure the Whites are a Premier League side for the 2023/24 season.
Leeds have flirted with the bottom three already this season and are just two points off the drop zone, and with the likes of Manchester City and Newcastle United to face upon their return to action, you could argue that there’s a chance they could be in the relegation zone at some point in the New Year.
Hopefully, Jesse Marsch’s side continue to pick up points and avoid another relegation battle, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if the 49ers delayed a deal until May.