San Francisco 49ers owners offered to help Leeds United with funds to sign Charles De Ketelaere - Phil Hay
San Francisco 49ers owners offered to help Leeds financially in their bid to sign Charles De Ketelaere this summer, according to Phil Hay.
The Whites chased the signing of the Belgium international for much of the summer, offering £34m [90min, 23 July] to Club Brugge only for the player to opt for AC Milan instead.
But after admitting Leeds offered money they didn’t have to get the deal done [The Athletic, 30 August], Hay now says that the 49ers helping out and taking any money they put in off a final price should they try to take full control of the club further down the line.
During a Q&A on The Athletic website [14 September], Hay shared the news when answering a fan question.
“Kettlechips, read Charles De Ketelaere, was Leeds’ big transfer target in the recent window,” he said
“What Pete is asking is whether shareholder investment to fund that deal would have led to a transfer in equity that made 49ers Enterprises majority owner at Elland Road.
“It was one option for all concerned but another was that any money put in by 49ers Enterprises now came off the price of buying Leeds from Radrizzani further down the line.
“Radrizzani still seems and sounds very determined to retain majority control.”
The influence of the 49ers is certainly growing at Elland Road and it seems to be an inevitability that they will try to buy Andreas Radrizzani out sooner rather than later.
Radz offering cash that he doesn’t have is a worrying thing for fans, especially considering the path the club went down almost 20 years ago during that dark period in the club’s history.
Ultimately a deal didn’t happen and the club didn’t put themselves into a bad position financially, but if the club want to move on from relegation battles and start pushing up the table towards European football in the future they will need further investment.
The 49ers offering to help tells you that their eyes are on the club’s long term future as they want to be a part of it, and that could be exciting.
Radrizzani won’t want to let get any time soon or easily, but it’s certainly something to keep an eye on going forward in future transfer windows.
In other Leeds news, the club could reignite their £30m+ interest in one South American ace come January