LEEDS has announced it has completed its acquisition by the 49ers Enterprises and the sports legends – taking Wrexham as its lead.
Swimmer Michael Phelps, who won 23 Olympic gold medals, and golf superstar Jordan Spieth are among the names involved in the acquisition.
49ers president Paraag Marathe is promoted from Leeds vice-chairman to chairman and is targeting an immediate return to the Premier League.
The American corporation – the business arm of the NFL team San Francisco 49ers – has gradually increased its investments in the Elland Road Club since 2018.
Marathe said: “This is an important moment for Leeds United and we are already working hard.
“This transition is a necessary reset to set a new course for the club.
“We have already appointed a highly regarded first team manager with a track record and are confident Leeds will field a competitive squad to challenge for promotion next season.”
“It is a privilege to carry this torch as I know we have a responsibility to ensure this club makes our staff, players, fans and the communities of Leeds and Yorkshire proud.”
Marathe takes over from Andrea Radrizzani, who has been the majority owner of Leeds since 2017.
Angus Kinnear, the club’s CEO, will remain in place and oversee day-to-day operations.
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Michael Schwimer, owner of Minority Leeds, tweeted that he was “thrilled” to announce the “athletes working with @BigLeagueAdv to invest in @LUFC”.
He named Phelps, golfers Spieth and Justin Thomas, basketball players Larry Nance and TJ McConnell and free agent Myles Jack, and ice hockey couple Erik Johnson and Gabriel Landeskog.
It follows Wrexham’s transformation – and return to the EFL – after Hollywood stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney took over in February 2021.