Leeds United and San Francisco 49ers co-owners ‘sell minority stake of 104-year-old EFL Championship club to Seattle Kraken investors’

20 November 2023 0 By Total Football News
  • 49ers Enterprises bought out Andrea Radrizzani  to fully take over Leeds United
  • Ackerley Partners, a private holding company, invests in several Seattle sports
  • DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news

Leeds United FC owners, 49ers Enterprises, have sold a minority stake of the 104-year-old club to Seattle Kraken investors, Chris and Ted Ackerley. 

Forty-Niners Enterprises, which also own the San Francisco-based NFL team, sold part of Leeds to Ackerley Partners and are considering another investor as the club pushes for a Premier League promotion. 

According to a statement seen by Bloomberg, Ackerley Partners made the transaction over the summer. The aim of the new partnership is to provide strategic capital to expand Leeds’ football and commercial operations.

An unnamed source reported that another minority stake in the club is up for grabs.

A spokesperson for the 49ers and Leeds United declined further comment.  

Ted (M) and Chris (R) Ackerley belong to a family of investors in the Seattle sports market

Ted (M) and Chris (R) Ackerley belong to a family of investors in the Seattle sports market

Jed York and wife Denise DeBartolo York completed a full takeover of Leeds United in 2023

Jed York and wife Denise DeBartolo York completed a full takeover of Leeds United in 2023

Leeds United was relegated last season after three straight campaigns in the Premier League

Leeds United was relegated last season after three straight campaigns in the Premier League

Ackerley Partners is a private holding company for the Ackerley family who have long been role players in the Seattle sports market. Chris and Ted Ackerley are listed as minority owners in the Kraken, who joined the NHL in 2021. Their late mother, Ginger Ackerley, founded the Seattle Storm and formerly owned the Supersonics franchise.  

Ackerley Partners’ part ownership means Leeds will benefit from it’s investors’ participation. Investing athletes include Cliff Avril, James Dayson, David Forst, Cameron Hewes, Jed Kaplan, Alex Smith, Malcolm Smith, and Brady Quinn.

Meanwhile, 49ers Enterprises is spearheaded by billionaire businesswoman Denise DeBartolo York and her husband Jed York. Daughter of former Pittsburgh Penguins owner, Edward DeBartolo, Denise became the head of the 49ers in 1999.

49ers Enterprises bought a minority share of Leeds in 2018. In June of 2023, the Yorks completed a full takeover of the club after buying out Italian businessman Andrea Radrizzani. 

Leeds is currently in third place in the UK’s Championship league. With the top two teams guaranteed promotion to the top flight, Leeds will compete against the fourth, fifth and sixth team to punch their ticket. 

Leeds’ last promotion came in 2019. They spent their next three campaigns in the Premier League before getting relegated again last season.