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49ers increase ownership stake in Leeds United

Roger Bennett sits down with San Francisco 49ers EVP of football operations and Leeds United director Paraag Marathe to discuss the intersection between soccer and football and how the 49ers became interested in Leeds.

The San Francisco 49ers have increased their ownership stake in Leeds United, as they now have a 37 percent stake in the Premier League club.

[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ]

Leeds owner and chairman, Andrea Radrizzani, sold 15 percent of the club to 49ers Enterprises in 2018 and the NFL franchise have now become the main minority owner.

Paraag Marathe, who is the President of the 49ers and current Leeds United board member, has become the vice chairman of Leeds as part of the investment.

“We are delighted to welcome further investment into our club from 49ers Enterprises and I am confident that this latest partnership will help Leeds United continue to grow and develop into the team our supporters deserve,” Radrizzani said. “I have always been open to bringing partners on this journey with me, as long as these actions can benefit the long-term strategy of the club. Paraag and the team at 49ers Enterprises are uniquely positioned to collaborate with myself, Angus Kinnear, Victor Orta and our management team to help us achieve our goals.”

Why are the San Francisco 49ers investing in Leeds?

Marathe -- who previously told our own Roger Bennett about his vision for Leeds United and how he became a minority owner in the club -- is delighted to be playing a bigger role in the day-to-day running of the Elland Road side.

“Our 49ers Enterprises team has always shared Andrea’s vision for constructing a powerful and winning club in the most competitive football league in the world, and the experience of the last three seasons has been more exhilarating than we could have ever imagined,” Marathe said.

“The hard work and bold leadership demonstrated by Andrea and his talented team has restored Leeds United’s rightful place in the Premier League and we look forward to playing an even bigger role in supporting their efforts to climb the table this year and into the future.”

Out of the current 20 Premier League clubs, six are majority owner by American investors, while Leeds and Aston Villa have a hefty chunk of their ownership group led by U.S. companies.

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