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49ers “open” to increasing stake in Leeds United

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The National Football League’s San Francisco 49ers are looking to increase their stake in newly-promoted Premier League club Leeds United.

Leeds majority owner Andrea Radrizzani sold a reported 10-per-cent stake in the club to 49ers Enterprises, the investment entity behind the San Francisco 49ers, for £11m ($14m) in 2018.

Radrizzani has recently said he is open to additional external investment to help fund Leeds’ Premier League push, including possibly Qatar Sports Investments.

“We’re exploring the possibility of maybe becoming even bigger partners. It is something that we’re open to,” Paraag Marathe, the 49ers Enterprises president who sits on the Leeds United board of directors, told SportBusiness. “Hopefully it works out if he’s [Radrizzani] looking for more and we’re open to more than maybe we should try something.”

The news was first reported by the New York Times.

Leeds recently signed a long-term kit supply deal with global sportswear brand Adidas. The deal will run for five years from the start of the 2020-21 season and will involve the brand supplying the match kit and training wear across all the club’s teams.

Leeds has indicated it is a record-breaking kit supply contract for the club in financial terms.