According to The Athletic, the club’s minority shareholder 49ers Enterprises, was key to the signing of Georginio Rutter.
Rutter joined from Hoffenheim for a record fee, which is reportedly around £35million if all add-ons are met. The Frenchman’s signing broke the previous club record of £27million for Rodrigo Moreno in 2020.
David Ornstein says the 49ers were the driving force behind the deal:
“Discussions over the cost of Rutter were unexpectedly complex, running over several days last week. Hoffenheim held out for a high price but the proposed deal also led to discussions about how the move would be funded at Elland Road — and, at shareholder level, who would pick up the bill.” he wrote in his Athletic column.
Ornstein also explained why the 49ers got involved in the transfer: “The proactive role of 49ers Enterprises in supporting the bid for Rutter and agreeing to meet future payments for him is another firm indication of a change of ownership coming. Leeds, like most clubs, structure payments to run over a new signing’s contract — Rutter’s runs to 2028 — and it looks likely that the responsibility of meeting many of those instalments will fall to 49ers Enterprises.”
Leeds are owned by chairman Andrea Radrizzani, with 49ers Enterprises, controlling more than 40 per cent of the club. According to The Athletic, the 49ers have an option to acquire Leeds from Radrizzani, which runs to January 2024.