Leeds: Fresh claim emerges on 49ers 'influence' at Elland Road

Leeds United’s head coach appointment of Jesse Marsch has shown the influence of 49ers Enterprises is growing behind-the-scenes at Elland Road, according to journalist Pete O’Rourke.

Marsch was unveiled as the Whites’ boss at the end of last month, succeeding Marcelo Bielsa just 24 hours after the Argentinian’s sacking.

What’s the latest news involving Leeds and 49ers Enterprises?

Shortly before the turn of the year, The Athletic revealed that the investment arm of NFL franchise San Francisco 49ers has a deal in place to buy Leeds for in excess of £400million.

The report suggests the Whites will be under new ownership within the next two years as 49ers Enterprises will gain 100 per cent control of the Premier League club by January 2024.

Leeds’ link-up with the United States-based group first came to the fore in May 2018, when it emerged they had become minority shareholders.

The investment has increased significantly since, with 49ers Enterprises’ stake going up to 37 per cent close to 14 months ago and the alteration saw Paraag Marathe, the group’s president, become Leeds’ vice-chairman.

San Francisco 49ers’ investment arm now own 44 per cent of the shares in Leeds, following further negotiations last November, meaning current chairman Andrea Radrizzani’s control has fallen to 56 per cent.

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What has Pete O’Rourke said about the situation?

O’Rourke believes Marsch’s switch to Leeds shows 49ers Enterprises are gradually having more of a say in the key decisions at Elland Road.

Transfer guru Fabrizio Romano has also suggested the Whites will return for Red Bull Salzburg’s United States international Brenden Aaronson in the summer after failing to prise him away from the Austrian Bundesliga outfit during the January window.

O’Rourke feels Marsch’s appointment and constant links to Aaronson are telling when it comes to 49ers Enterprises.

The journalist told GIVEMESPORT: “I think it definitely points to there being more influence from this investment from the 49ers with the American angle they seem to be going down and Jesse Marsch coming in as head coach on a long-term contract as well.”

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Are there likely to be any changes behind-the-scenes?

Insider sources have told LeedsRadar that chief executive Angus Kinnear is set to walk away from the Yorkshire giants by resigning at the end of the season.

But that would not come as a result of 49ers Enterprises preparing to take full control of the Whites as The Athletic correspondent Phil Hay has previously revealed the American group want to keep Kinnear at Elland Road.

Kinnear headed to Leeds after opting to leave his role at West Ham United in 2017.

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