By Sam Stone

12th May, 2022 | 9:45pm

Beren Cross: Leeds United relegation is not part of the 49ers' plans and future investment could depend on it

LeedsLive journalist Beren Cross has suggested that relegation from the Premier League will certainly not have been in the 49ers’ investment plans at Leeds United.

Jesse Marsch’s side currently sit in the bottom three, level on points with Burnley who sit in 17th place.

Leeds have suffered three defeats in a row, as the prospect of relegation becomes a real possibility.

49ers president Paraag Marathe was in attendance for Leeds’ defeat to Chelsea and Cross highlighted how any future investment depends on their view of the club.

In his latest article for Leeds Live, Cross wrote: “Future strategy on how the NFL franchise does or does not invest further in United is driven by Marathe and his colleagues.

“Slipping out of the Premier League less than two years after the Championship trophy was lifted at Elland Road was evidently not a part of their five-year plan in this relationship.

Cross added: “Whether Leeds survive or go down, Marathe and the 49ers must play an important role in learning lessons from an abject 21/22.”

Unimaginable

For Leeds to return to the second-tier so quickly after they left is unimaginable for most fans of the Whites.

Leeds toiled and suffered in the EFL for years to then stay in the Premier League once they returned.

However, the 49ers must understand the implications that relegation to the Championship could cause for Leeds and their long-term ambitions as a club.

As Cross alluded to, relegation would never have been considered by the owners after their first season back in the top flight.

If Leeds can somehow avoid relegation, then their American investment could still fulfil their “five-year” plan ambitions.

Relegation would bring the Whites back to square one.

An Immediate return to the Premier League is something that Leeds fans know is no forgone conclusion.

Falling into the Championship would see transfer targets reassessed, potentially a new way of playing and maybe even a new manager.

It’s a huge couple of weeks for Leeds United.

In other Leeds United news, a first-team regular has turned down a new Elland Road contract and will sign it only under one condition.