- Radrizzani says Leeds will need more investment following promotion
- NFL’s 49ers currently own 10% stake in English soccer side
- PSG owners QSI previously linked with investment in Yorkshire club
Andrea Radrizzani, the majority owner of Leeds United, says he expects the National Football League’s (NFL) San Francisco 49ers to increase their involvement in the English soccer club following their promotion to the Premier League.
Speaking on a Zoom press conference after Leeds secured a return to English soccer’s top flight for the first time in 16 years, Radrizzani said the Yorkshire club will need more investment to be competitive in the competition.
The Italian businessman, who is also the chairman and founder of multinational broadcaster Eleven Sports, said the initial investment would come from his holding company Aser, but revealed that additional support could eventually be provided by the 49ers, who paid a reported UK£10 million (US$12.6 million) for a ten per cent stake in the club in 2018.
“People have said I would sell in the Premier League, but I have always said I would sell probably if I couldn’t achieve the Premier League,” Radrizzani said.
“But in this case I would love to stay ten years, maybe more, 20, I’m still young. I don’t have any rush. I’m enjoying it.
“[The 49ers] have done a good deal investing in the club with me because they see their investment already worth probably 3.5 times higher in terms of value of what they put [in].
“They are obviously good friends, a good partner and I think they could bring more value in the management of the club in the Premier League than what has been done until now.
“I expect them to help us more, step up and potentially in the future years in the Premier League in club management, particularly the stadium and merchandise.”
Radrizzani said there were no current plans for QSI to invest in Leeds, but did not rule it out in the future.
“We have a very good friendship,” he said. “We have been talking, but to be honest we haven’t reached any concrete point of any negotiation.
“But we are really good friends and if they want seriously to come, they can always find my door open for a discussion, but at this moment there’s nothing.”
Leeds have also revealed that they will be sporting the logo of a new kit supplier when they return to the Premier League by confirming that their current technical partnership with Italian sportswear brand Kappa will end at the conclusion of the 2019/20 season.
The club said the identity of their new kit supplier will be revealed ‘in due course’, although it was reported in January that German brand Adidas was in line to replace Kappa from the 2020/21 campaign.
Leeds’ promotion from the Championship was confirmed on 17th July when West Bromwich Albion lost 2-1 at Huddersfield Town.