By Mark Smith

16th Jan, 2023 | 8:01am

David Ornstein has insisted that the 49ers Enterprises were key to Leeds United completing their club-record transfer of Georginio Rutter over the weekend.

The Athletic journalist has reported that talks over the Frenchman were complex, and it is now likely that the 49ers will meet numerous instalments of future payments throughout his five-and-a-half-year contract.

Talks over the American consortium taking full control at Elland Road are said to have intensified recently, with this latest news on Rutter only supports that.

Writing in his latest column for The Athletic on Monday 16 January, Ornstein shared the latest news surrounding the 49ers and their growing influence at Elland Road.

“It is a mark of the machinations in Leeds United’s boardroom that 49ers Enterprises, the club’s minority shareholder, was influential in pushing through their record signing of Georginio Rutter,” he wrote.

“Discussions over the cost of Rutter were unexpectedly complex, running over several days last week. Hoffenheim held out for a high price but the proposed deal also led to discussions about how the move would be funded at Elland Road — and, at shareholder level, who would pick up the bill.

“Talks about the proposed transition have been intense recently and figures involved in the deal expect a sale to go through by the summer at the latest.

“The proactive role of 49ers Enterprises in supporting the bid for Rutter and agreeing to meet future payments for him is another firm indication of a change of ownership coming. Leeds, like most clubs, structure payments to run over a new signing’s contract — Rutter’s runs to 2028 — and it looks likely that the responsibility of meeting many of those instalments will fall to 49ers Enterprises.”


Andrea Radrizzani and Paraag Marathe have always been close throughout this whole transition period, and this is just another example of them being on the same page.

Leeds smashed their club record for Rutter, but won’t pay it all at once, with numerous instalments coming throughout his contract at Elland Road.

If the deal is worth more than £30million as suggested, Leeds and the 49ers could be paying up to £6million each year, so it was critical that the 49ers agreed to the deal.

Ornstein sharing that the 49ers were influential to push the deal through proves that they more than agreed to this, and were the driving force behind it once Rutter had been identified.

The future is bright at Elland Road, and with that ownership change now likely coming in the summer, we could be ready to expect more big-money moves such as this one.

Here we go, a new era is coming.

In other Leeds United news, the Whites are now seeking their third signing of the month with a European contract rebel in their sights