Leeds United could see the takeover from 49ers Enterprises concluded within the next few months, with it thought to be preferable that they are in charge during the summer, according to CBS Sports journalist Ben Jacobs.
The Lowdown: Leeds takeover
Current Whites owner Andrea Radrizzani has been the majority shareholder at Elland Road since 2017 and may look to relinquish control of the club six years on.
Under the Italian, Leeds returned to the Premier League for the first time since 2004 when they won the Championship in 2020 with Marcelo Bielsa at the helm.
But it seems the club are set to move onto its next chapter, with The Times reporting in November that 49ers Enterprises are set to take over in West Yorkshire.
The Latest: Imminent takeover?
The Athletic more recently reported that a £400m takeover by the San Francisco 49ers-related investment group could come to fruition by January 2024, with the option to purchase the club in full.
But speaking to GiveMeSport in light of this, CBS reporter Jacobs stated his belief that full control may happen soon to allow for a full maiden season at the reins of the club.
He said: “Radrizzani has made no secret of a proposed sale. He’s been the majority shareholder since 2017 and 49ers Enterprises have always held an option to buy Leeds United in January 2024.
“Therefore, progressing towards the summer shouldn’t be seen as a surprise, because if you’re going to take over a football club and you plan to activate an option that exists in January 2024, it’s more preferable as a new majority owner to come in during the off-season and have a full season than joining mid-season.
“It’s no real surprise to me that if they always planned, strategically, on taking that option in January 2024, if the summer is deemed to be more preferable by all parties because it’s perhaps a more stable way of handing over the ownership.
“That’s why I think things are moving towards a summer resolution, in all likelihood, regardless of whether Leeds stay up or go down.”
The Verdict: 49ers impact
The full takeover of the 49ers Enterprises would be an exciting situation for Leeds, with improved finances allowing a bigger budget and ultimately resulting in a higher calibre of players available – provided they make the right decisions in the transfer market.
Radrizzani has so far been able to keep Leeds afloat in the top flight, with a nail-biting final day last season the closest they’ve come to the drop so far.
But with Jesse Marsch’s side potentially in bother again this year – only a point separates them from the relegation zone – larger investment could be required to sustain and eventually propel the Whites up the table.
With current interest in Azzedine Ounahi maybe slipping through their fingers – amid reports in Italy reporting the Serie A leaders’ interest potentially dwarfing Leeds’ attempts – there would be hope that fresh owners could flex more muscles than Radrizzani and wrap up deals such as this one earlier and more effectively.