Phil Hay has insisted there is still confidence about the 49ers’ Leeds United takeover despite the threat of relegation.
The Lowdown: Takeover still on the agenda
There has been ongoing talk about the 49ers and when they will eventually increase their stake in Leeds to become majority shareholders of the club, but there appears to be no concrete answer despite an apparent option for 49ers Enterprises to take over by January 2024.
This may well come down to the fact that Leeds’ top-flight future was uncertain until pretty much the last kick of the previous campaign when they beat Brentford away from home – and this term looks like it may follow the same path.
So the 49ers may not be keen on throwing a load of money at a club that could soon drop down into the Championship and lose a lot of value, which has led to discussions over what happens if the worst was to occur come May.
The Latest: 49ers still on course to become majority owners
According to Hay, there appears to be nothing to worry about amid the ongoing process of the 49ers purchasing Leeds United outright.
Speaking on The Phil Hay Show, he said: “One of the big points of discussion, certainly recently and at the moment has been, what happens if the club go down; what happens if the club are relegated?
“I think there’s confidence at Elland Road that they will stay up and the feeling that they will be okay in the end. But clearly, a club that are valued at around about £500bn in the Premier League are not worth anything like £500bn in the EFL.
“So there would need to be – certainly in 49ers Enterprises’ eyes – some form of contingency for what happens, if, come May, Leeds are no longer a Premier League club, if they are back in the Championship.
“So that, as we understand it, has been one of the key points of discussion.”
The Verdict: Appears to be a matter of time
With Leeds splashing out heavily in the summer transfer window as well as this month, it may well suggest that the 49ers are still committed to a future purchase of the club, and may perhaps be able to take on the burden of bigger transfer fees such as the one shelled out for Georginio Rutter.
However, that may all go up in the air if Leeds fail to turn around their shocking run of form, which has seen them win just three of their last 19 games, as that is nothing more than relegation form and they’re only outside of the bottom three because of how poor other sides around them have been thus far.
Jesse Marsch will know there’s pressure from Andrea Radrizzani and his prospective successors to results to pick up, as his mismanagement could well be the difference between a £500bn takeover and one that is a fraction of that price with Leeds in the Championship.