San Francisco 49ers chief outlines his Champions League vision for Leeds

San Francisco 49ers’ chief Paraag Marathe wants to increase their stake in Leeds and help propel them back to the Champions League.

The NFL franchise bought 10 per cent of Leeds Andrea Radrizzani in 2018 for around £10million and Marathe says they are keen to increase their shareholding now United are back in the Premier League.

Marathe, who is president of the 49ers Enterprises, already has a seat on the Leeds board and says he wants a more hands-on role at Elland Road.

“Now that we have matriculated up to the Premier League, now the name of the game is not just hanging on by the seat of our pants, but now we want to stay,” he said.

“And that’s why as the 49ers we want to be more involved, and hoping to be more involved and hoping to be an even bigger partner to Andrea, both financially, but also in all the other aspects on and off the pitch.”

Radrizzani is open to more investment and Leeds have borrowed £30million to help fund their £100million spurge in the transfer window.

Radrizzani’s initial goal is to establish Leeds back in the top flight and Marathe claims they should be consistently challenging for silverware and qualifying for the Champions League by the end of the decade.

“Leeds competing for Champions League and competing for one of those top spots year in and year out,” he said when asked where he sees the club in 10 years’ time. “Not by fluke, but by annual sustained competitive success.

“Obviously the ball bounces in a certain way and so whether you win it year in and year out, there’s some luck involved.

“But putting yourself in a position to be competitive where you have the chance to win it, that’s what matters.”

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