Marathe-led 49ers Enterprises United new boss


49ers take over Leeds United Image: Leeds United AFC East Stand, Chris Heaton, CC BY-SA 2.0

On July 17th, the Championship team Leeds United Football Club (UK) announced that the English Football League (EFL) has approved the sale of the club to the 49ers Enterprises, paving the way for the immediate transition of ownership.

‘LEEDS UNITED FOOTBALL CLUB’ stated that Paraag Marathe, previously Vice-Chairman and Board Member of the club, will take over as the Leeds United Chairman. In this role, Marathe will oversee all aspects of the club, including football and business operations, and drive the strategy to fight for promotion back to the Premier League in the 2023-2024 seasons.

The Leeds United Football Club is a professional football club based in Leeds, West Yorkshire in England (UK). The club play their home matches at Elland Road and compete in the Championship, the second tier of the English football league system.

The 37,890-capacity Elland Road is a football stadium in Beeston, Leeds, West Yorkshire, England (UK), which has been the home of the Championship club Leeds United since the club’s formation in 1919. The stadium is the 14th largest football stadium in England.

Santa Clara, California (US)-based the 49ers Enterprises is the investment arm of the National Football League (NFL) franchise San Francisco 49ers and the consortium taking charge of Leeds consists of around 10 major investors, with numerous smaller parties also committed in a more minor capacity.

The 49ers Enterprises is the strategic arm of the San Francisco 49ers focused on investments in teams, leagues and other sports properties. The 49er Enterprises is the full owner of the Leeds United Football Club. The group is led by President Paraag Marathe and was formed to expand the excellence of the 49ers into other ventures and to capitalize on the brand’s respected reputation across the sports world. The work of 49ers Enterprises is informed by the team’s industry-leading expertise in sporting operations, as well as marketing, sponsorships, merchandizing, retail, and business development.

‘LEEDS UNITED FOOTBALL CLUB’ further stated that Marathe takes over from Andrea Radrizzani, who has been the majority owner of Leeds United since 2017. Angus Kinnear, the head honcho of Leeds United and a Board Member, will remain in his current position, and continue to direct the club’s day-to-day operations. Rudy Cline-Thomas, Founder and Managing Partner of MASTRY (a multiasset class investment platform that counts world-class institutions, head honchos and athletes as limited partners), will join the Board as the Co-Owner and Vice-Chairman of the club.

Maintained Marathe, “This is an important moment for Leeds United and we are already hard at work. This transition is a necessary reset to chart a new course for the club. We have already appointed a highly-respected First Team Manager with a track record of success, and we are confident Leeds will field a competitive squad to contend for promotion next season. It’s a privilege to carry this torch as I know we have a responsibility to ensure this club makes our staff, players, supporters, and the Leeds and Yorkshire communities proud.”

Added Cline-Thomas, “With my family hailing from Leeds, it’s an honor to be able to uplift this incredible community. This is more than just an opportunity, it’s a personal mission. The chance to reinvigorate the cherished Leeds culture, to create a platform that attracts the world’s finest players and build a truly global brand that celebrates diversity, is a prospect that thrills me.”

The 49ers Enterprises, led by Marathe and the San Francisco 49ers top honcho Jed York, has steadily supported and increased its investment in Leeds United over the past five years. Moving forward, the group will look to enhance all aspects of the club both on and off the pitch. Marathe, Kinnear and the club recently announced the appointment of Daniel Farke as the First Team Manager. The club’s leadership has also been laying the groundwork to build a successful squad by retaining key players from last season’s team as well as bringing in new talent.

Commented Kinnear, “The 49ers Enterprises is bringing fresh leadership, management and a commitment to investment, which I’m confident will meet our ambition to compete for promotion and remain in the top flight as an established Premier League club. I know Paraag, Rudy and 49ers Enterprises will keep supporters central to their plans during their custodianship and I am excited to work in realizing the true potential of this great club.”

Remarked Radrizzani, “It has been an honor to guide Leeds United over the last six years and to spend so much time with the best fan base in the world. The 49ers Enterprises have been fantastic partners for years and I’m confident they will take Leeds to the next level.”

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