The Lowdown: The £400m+ option
49ers Enterprises have been involved with the Whites since 2018 after purchasing a 10 per cent stake from Radrizzani. That has since risen to 44 per cent, with the NFL Franchise-owning group reaching an agreement with Radrizzani over a future 100 per cent takeover.
Reports last December revealed that the 49ers have until January 2024 to activate the complete takeover worth in excess of £400m.
Leeds flirted with relegation last season which could have put a stop to any possible deal, however, as we know, a third season of Premier League football was guaranteed on a dramatic final day at Brentford.
The Latest: Hay’s update
Talking in a Q&A for The Athletic on Wednesday, Hay provided an update on the 49ers, revealing that there has been no signs of movement during recent months to take full control of the club.
He also made claims on the futures of CEO Angus Kinnear and director of football Victor Orta, should a takeover materialise.
“If or when 49ers Enterprises buy out Radrizzani, a transitional period is likely. The expectation is that Angus Kinnear would stay on as CEO, at least in the short term, and potentially Victor Orta, too. Orta, like Radrizzani, has said a few times that he plans to remain at Leeds until the club have made it into Europe. But generally, changes of ownership tend to mean a changing of the guard at executive level, so it’s difficult to give a definite answer.
“What we can say is that over the summer there has been no move by 49ers Enterprises to increase its minority shareholding of 44 per cent. The group holds an option to take majority control before 2024, but that hasn’t been activated yet.”
The Verdict: This season crucial?
You’d expect that the 49ers group would have walked away from their deal in place for full control of Leeds if the club suffered relegation last season.
Therefore, the current campaign under Jesse Marsch could be vital in regards to a potential takeover. A solid season under the American could possibly persuade the NFL franchise to exercise their option in 2023, where there would be just six months remaining on their agreement with Radrizzani.
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