Increased San Francisco 49ers' stake opens doors to whole new world for Leeds United - Dom Matteo

HUGE BRAND: San Francisco 49ers fans cheer at the 16th hole during the final round of golf's Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale in Arizona of February last year. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images.HUGE BRAND: San Francisco 49ers fans cheer at the 16th hole during the final round of golf's Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale in Arizona of February last year. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images.
HUGE BRAND: San Francisco 49ers fans cheer at the 16th hole during the final round of golf's Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale in Arizona of February last year. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images.
IT’S brilliant that the San Francisco 49ers have increased their stake in Leeds United to 37 per cent.

As well as the fresh investment, it’s about the brand too as we all know about the San Francisco 49ers and I think Leeds and the 49ers will work brilliantly alongside each other.

We can learn a lot from what they do.

Leeds United is such a brilliant brand, as is the San Francisco 49ers, and we have got to look at how they do stuff.

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How do they sell shirts and how do they create such a franchise? Can we do something similar? And can we get Leeds United around the globe? That has got to be the goal to improve the club and to get more funds in.

More funds then means better players so we need to improve the brand and get it bouncing.

Even things like going into a souvenir shop and buying a shirt are things that need to be at the top of the game for the club to be the brand it wants to be.

Bringing the San Francisco 49ers more alongside the club will only help Leeds United grow and that’s what it’s all about as, once we can start signing even better players, then everybody gains from that. It’s like a massive signing really and shrewd investment as well.

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Leeds is more of a growing brand whereas the 49ers are right up there so we are going to learn a lot from them and, hopefully, we can show what we can bring too.

Leeds are a big brand too but, let’s be honest, in America are Leeds massive? Probably not but I am sure we can grow it through the 49ers and other sources.

When you look around the world there are people like David Beckham who has set up his franchise over in America and a lot of people will be looking into this kind of stuff because it’s massive.

Football-wise, I think it is going to take years to build up to challenge for anything major. But the great thing with all these companies in America is that they know how to run a brand.

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They know how to work that situation and how to get the best out of it and get the money and get the brand firing on all cylinders.

That’s what it’s all about as I still think there is a lot of work to be done on that side of it with Leeds.

I have been at Liverpool and seen their set-ups and, when you go to a mall in Thailand or anywhere, all you see are Liverpool shirts.

I’m not saying we are quite there yet but we have got to be looking at that aspect of the club and how we can drag it forward.

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I would love to work for the club and be pushing for stuff like that, going to places around the world and pushing the brand - the New York Whites in America and all this kind of stuff.

I would love to go and speak with these people myself personally and get the brand bigger.

There is so much improvement needed with that but, because of Covid, it’s difficult to get out and about and talk about Leeds United which is something I am really passionate about.

We have to be thinking that way.

I have met chairman Andrea Radrizzani a few times and I think he is ambitious.

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He has already been involved in the sporting world with the companies he has had and I think he is a good networker.

He has made a very shrewd signing here with the 49ers. I think he does a lot of good business that we don’t see and very clever business too.

Leeds have also spent £300,000 on putting in a new hybrid pitch bought from Tottenham this week and relations must be good with Leeds to get that.

It was the right thing to do as the pitch was getting that bad with the amount of rain we had and now it’s just about whether this pitch settles.

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It’s a different surface to what Leeds have had before and Liverpool have a similar one at Anfield. It’s very quick which might help Leeds if they can get it settled in nice and quickly.

Hopefully they can get back to playing that nice, attractive, fast football. But sometimes you can play other teams who then look at a nice new pitch thinking that might help them as well!

You have to be a little bit careful about that and that slight change can sometimes throw you off a little bit but, overall with the way Leeds play, it should definitely help them.

The pitch obviously affected Leeds in the 1-0 defeat to Brighton. There was not the same fluidity that we are used to seeing from Leeds with players looking to get on the ball.

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Saying that, I think you then have to look at that as a player and a group and see that the pitch isn’t that great so sometimes get rid of the ball earlier and maybe hit the ball into the channels.

I know it’s not the Marcelo Bielsa way but sometimes you have to play a way which suits the game you are playing.

Because of the weather as well, I would always say get it down the channels, especially with the pace we have as well because there is pace in the team.

Everyone thinks putting a ball down the channels is a bad ball but it’s one of the best balls in football and still is to this day.

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*Dominic Matteo's column is in association with Data Facilities.

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Thank you Laura Collins

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