Phil Hay: Victor Orta exit from Leeds United on the cards if 49ers complete takeover
Angus Kinnear and Victor Orta might find themselves slowly phased out of Leeds United “if or when” 49ers Enterprises complete full takeover of Leeds United, according to The Athletic journalist Phil Hay.
The Athletic reported in December 2021 that the 49ers, who currently own 44 per cent of the Yorkshire club, have the option to trigger a full takeover by January 2024.
It is understood that the deal in place is worth over £400million.
If Paraag Marathe’s 49ers do buy Andrea Radrizzani out of Elland Road, it throws up a question of what would happen to CEO Kinnear and director of football Orta.
Hay predicts they’ll stay on in some capacity – but are unlikely to be in the long-term vision of the potential new owners.
“If or when 49ers Enterprises buy out Radrizzani, a transitional period is likely,” said Hay on The Athletic website.
“The expectation is that Angus Kinnear would stay on as CEO, at least in the short term, and potentially Victor Orta, too.
“Orta, like Radrizzani, has said a few times that he plans to remain at Leeds until the club have made it into Europe.
“But generally, changes of ownership tend to mean a changing of the guard at executive level, so it’s difficult to give a definite answer.
“What we can say is that over the summer there has been no move by 49ers Enterprises to increase its minority shareholding of 44 per cent. The group holds an option to take majority control before 2024, but that hasn’t been activated yet.”
You can imagine that if Marathe becomes the next Leeds United chairman and the 49ers do complete a full takeover of the club that he’d replace Orta and Kinnear with men he knows better.
It’s just what new owners do.
But, as Hay says, it wouldn’t be a quickfire turnaround and it would be done gradually to ensure that there isn’t too much chaos going on behind the scenes at Elland Road.
Leeds have had good continuity since Radrizzani bought the club fully in 2017.
Orta has been director of football since then and Marcelo Bielsa spent a large part of that spell as manager with Jesse Marsch seeming as though he’s going to be handed a lot of time too.
Marsch’s start as Leeds manager has seen him avoid relegation – just – and have a decent start to the new 2022/23 Premier League season.
He’s also been allowed to sign fellow Americans Brenden Aaronson and Tyler Adams.
It wouldn’t be a shock if the 49ers have had some kind of role in the arrivals of Marsch, Aaronson and Adams – which have all come within nine months of them increasing their stake at the club to 44 per cent.
In other Leeds United news, Gary Neville has suggested this £400million-plus development at Elland Road is bad for English football.