It’s been a whirlwind of a week for Leeds United fans, as the English soccer club was relegated from the Premier League amid uncertainty over the future ownership of the team.
It’s been no secret that Leeds majority owner Andrea Radrizzani has been in talks with minority shareholder 49ers Enterprises, also the ownership group of the San Francisco 49ers, about taking full control of the soccer club.
With Leeds moving down to the Championship, any deal would need to be reworked according to a lower valuation of the club. Leeds had once been valued at more than $500 million.
This week, Radrizzani secured a takeover bid for Italian club Sampdoria, which itself was relegated from Serie A after a poor season. Many have assumed Radrizzani would move on from Leeds and focus on his new club.
Adding another wrinkle to the process, The Athletic reports Radrizzani offered to use Leeds’ Elland Road stadium as collateral for a $32.6 million loan to help finance the Sampdoria purchase.
Radrizzani owns Elland Road, but the 49ers group — which owns 44% of Leeds — was apparently unaware of the stadium being used as collateral, which could complicate matters.
The next steps in the sale process will be determining a new valuation and a decision from the 49ers group as to whether it still wants to move forward with a takeover deal.