Andrea Radrizzani agrees £170m deal to sell club to 49ers

Last updated : 10 June 2023 By .

Leeds United chairman Andrea Radrizzani has agreed a £170m deal to sell his stake in the relegated club to co-owners 49ers Enterprises.

The investment arm of the San Francisco 49ers purchased a 15% stake in Leeds in 2018 and increased that to 44% in 2021.

Italian Radrizzani bought Leeds outright for £45m in 2017, but his stake has dropped to 56% since then.

Managerless Leeds were relegated from the Premier League on the final day and are preparing for the Championship.

The previous agreement, which depended on their top-flight survival, was worth about £400m - but negotiations restarted following their drop to the second tier.

A club statement read: "Leeds United can confirm an agreement has been reached between Aser Ventures and 49ers Enterprises for the purchase of the club.

"Both parties continue to work through the details, and further updates will be provided soon. All of our focus remains on a quick return to the Premier League."

After relegation was confirmed, the Leeds United Supporters Club released a statement saying Radrizzani was "no longer an appropriate person to own Leeds United".

"His behaviour is appalling and he risks never being welcome at our club again," it added."The sooner he goes the better and we look forward to the 49ers Enterprises offer being accepted. The only way he can begin to salvage his reputation is through an immediate sale of the club and the stadium."

Radrizzani was popular with Leeds fans initially, with manager Marcelo Bielsa taking them back into the Premier League. But the relationship soured after he sacked the Argentine, and he did not attend their final game, a defeat by Tottenham which sealed their relegation while fans chanted for him to leave.

His Aser Holding Company recently bought a stake in Italian side Sampdoria.

This news has been expected since Sampdoria confirmed Radrizzani had taken a stake in the club, which had just been relegated to Serie B.

The brutal truth is that Radrizzani, charismatic as he is, lacks the funds to really shove Leeds up the Premier League in the way the 49ers have.

It was hoped they could escape again this term but, ultimately, they just were not good enough and not even interim boss Sam Allardyce could save them.

However, while no-one would choose to get relegated because of the uncertainty it brings, under the circumstances it does not need to be a disaster.

Allardyce has gone, just as director of football Victor Orta went before him. Recruitment-wise, Leeds are starting with a clean slate.

What they are not starting with in the Championship is a level playing field. Given the parachute payments and their enormous fan base, quite frankly, it would reflect very badly if Leeds did not go straight back up.

The same could be said about Leicester and Southampton, putting the real pressure on the two clubs who went down in 2021-22 and did not come straight back - Norwich and Watford.

There are structural issues to address around Elland Road, which will be expensive to modernise but badly needs it. However, on the pitch, this deal has to be good for the club.