Financial backers of NFL franchise San Francisco 49ers increase Leeds United ownership stake

The financial backers of NFL franchise the San Francisco 49ers have increased their stake in Leeds United to 44 per cent.

Andrea Radrizzani continues to maintain a majority shareholding through Aser Ventures with 56 per cent ownership of the Whites.

49ers Enterprises first bought into the club in 2018 with an initial stake of around 15 per cent, before upping their investment and control in January of this year. It was announced then that they owned 37 per cent of the Premier League club and Paraag Marathe, president of 49ers Enterprises became vice-chairman.

Leeds CEO Angus Kinnear says the minority owners are actively involved in the day to day running of Elland Road operations and both ownership parties are 'unequivocally committed' to the club.

"We are delighted to see Aser Ventures strengthen their partnership with 49ers Enterprises who have clearly been impressed by the quality of the project," he said.

“Aser Ventures and Chairman Andrea Radrizzani remain unequivocally committed to the club, whilst all those involved with the 49ers are actively working with our management team on a daily basis to help to drive us forward, putting us in a strong position to achieve our goals in the coming years.”

Both Radrizzani and Marathe have talked previously about the potential to return the club to European football, with an Elland Road redevelopment including an increased capacity also in their plans. Earlier this week Radrizzani reiterated the ambition, speaking at Web Summit: "Now we are partnered with 49ers, this is fundamentally very important because it will be very difficult to stay in the Premier League, but if we stay in it this year I think we can go much more than last year and go into the top six.

"Start to renovate the stadium and continue to grow the value of this club.

INCREASED STAKE - Paraag Marathe of the San Francisco 49ers is vice chairman of Leeds United. The 49ers' financial backers have increased their stake in the Premier League club. Pic: Getty

"All my life I have been seen as an underdog, people didn't give me credit. It happened with Leeds United, people said it would crash, he has never done football before, he will lose money. Aser invested about £100million in buying and rebuilding the club from the Championship. We are now in the Premier League, we have a lot of international, not only in the first team.

"We have completely turned around the club and the value is now probably four times higher. It was a good investment, a great bet and a good challenge. We always come with rationale, people think I am crazy but there is always a rationale because we know with the right people and the right management and a right plan, give the time to flourish the project we could achieve the right result. That's what we did."