Leeds United’s long-awaited takeover by 49ers Enterprises is complete as the club’s sale has now been approved by the English Football League (EFL).
Leeds’ purchase by the 49ers brings to an end chairman Andrea Radrizzani’s period of ownership, following his buyout of former owner Massimo Cellino in 2017 which made him majority shareholder.
The deal between Radrizzani and 49ers Enterprises concerning the American consortium’s takeover of the West Yorkshire club was publicly announced in June, but effectively found itself in limbo awaiting ratification by the EFL.
Now, approval from the football league’s governing body has arrived, and will see Paraag Marathe – current president of 49ers Enterprises and former vice chairman of Leeds – replace Radrizzani in the club chairman role.
Rudy Cline-Thomas, a prominent member of the consortium fronted by the 49ers, will join the Leeds board as co-owner and vice-chairman.
Angus Kinnear – who was CEO during Radrizzani’s time at the club – will remain in his current position despite the change in ownership.
Speaking in a club statement announcing the takeover, Marathe said: “This is an important moment for Leeds United and we are already hard at work.
“We have already appointed a highly-respected first team manager with a track record of success, and we are confident Leeds will field a competitive squad to contend for promotion next season. It’s a privilege to carry this torch as I know we have a responsibility to ensure this club makes our staff, players, supporters, and the Leeds and Yorkshire communities proud.”
The sale of Leeds itself is reported to be in the region of £170m, a significant depreciation following the club’s relegation from the Premier League last season. Were the Whites able to hold onto their top-flight status ahead of this summer, the club would have been sold at a value of around £500m.
The Elland Road faithful will hope that official confirmation of the 49ers takeover, along with the recent appointment of new manager Daniel Farke, will usher in a new era for Leeds both on and off the pitch as they seek to reclaim their place in the Premier League at the first time of asking.