It has been reported by Bloomberg that 49ers Enterprises have sold a minority stake in Leeds United to a part-owner of the Seattle Kraken, a professional Ice Hockey team in the National Hockey League.
The report also suggests that they are looking for another investor as the club aims for promotion back to the Premier League following last season’s relegation.
It seems that Ackerley Partners, which is a private company acting for the Ackerley family, which owns a part of the Kraken NHL team, have invested in Leeds. Bloomberg has seen a statement that leads to the new investor being willing to expand the football and commercial operations at the club, with strategic capital.
49ers Enterprises own the San Francisco 49ers, one of the biggest names in the National Football League (NFL) and they assumed complete control of the Yorkshire side in July this year when they completed a buyout from Andrea Radrizzani.
There is now a minority stake available, and there is a potential investor in talks who at this time wishes to remain private. Therefore any sale will not be guaranteed. Given the success of both the NFL and NHL sides that are now involved at Leeds, and of course their own good form, United are an attractive prospect.
A return to the top flight will bring huge income back into the club, with its own broadcast deals, and commercial opportunities, making EFL Championship teams good targets for takeover and investment. Obviously, any investor will be checked given the current climate of finances in football.
Money moves around quickly, and investors’ interest in sports is certainly reaching new levels. This could be a case of being excited that more money is coming in but also a proceed with caution warning. There is no reason to suggest anything underhand is at play, but with the riches that come by way of promotion, if too much money comes spilling into the playing squad to reach the promised land, then eyebrows could be raised.