New Leeds United board member named as Paraag Marathe becomes chairman after Friday 49ers announcement - Phil Hay
Collin Meador is to join the Leeds United board as new chairman Paraag Marathe takes over from Andrea Radrizzani, Phil Hay reports.
After the club finally announced the sale from the Italian to 49ers Enterprises on Friday night (9 June) the club is now set for changes in the boardroom, but CEO Angus Kinnear will remain in position.
The new owners want a “larger senior management team” at the club, following two chaotic seasons that ultimately culminated in relegation from the Premier League, and with up to five new directors set to be named senior 49ers Enterprises man Meador is the first to emerge.
He writes in The Athletic: “Marathe and Meador will spend time in England but are expected to be predominantly U.S.-based. As a result, 49ers Enterprises will retain existing Leeds CEO Angus Kinnear to oversee day-to-day operations, ultimately answering to Marathe.
“Kinnear was heavily involved in bringing the complicated buy-out of Radrizzani to a successful conclusion and is seen as an asset by the Americans, irrespective of the decline in the club’s performance over the past two seasons.
“One thing 49ers Enterprises is clear about is the need for a larger senior management team at Elland Road.”
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Leeds United fans will be hoping that now the 49ers have finally taken full control of the club, the style of ownership that has characterised two consecutive relegation battles will change.
Numerous managers have come and gone in that time, most notably iconic Argentine Marcelo Bielsa, while various players have been signed to varying levels of success.
But the candidates for the manager’s job that were missed and the high-profile transfer targets that never arrived were as telling as those that did, and amid Radrizzani’s preoccupation with his Sampdoria takeover overshadowing his departure as owner there was a clear need for change.
The proof will be in practice once Marathe and company start to make key moves, but after fan fury turned against the board with increasing regularity on the way back to the Championship this is the chance for a new start.
Kinnear’s position may rankle with some supporters due to his prominence in the Radrizzani reign, but he is clearly valued by the new chairman and in the past few weeks it seemed he was left trying to steer the ship at Elland Road almost on his own while the ownership conundrum rumbled on.
The first decision that must be made is to appoint a new manager, and with the CEO having been working to sound out candidates in the background he should finally have the green light to move forward with offers.
If Marathe, Peter Lowy, Meador and the as-yet unnamed new directors can provide some stability as part of a clear plan to move forward it will be a major improvement on the limbo of the past fortnight, and arguably months before that.
In other Leeds United news, a 40-year-old from a rival club is seen as a “serious contender” to take over as manager.