The newly relegated Leeds United is looking to return to the Premier League with the help of an unexpected source from the United States. The team has sold a minority stake in the club to Ackerley Partners, a Seattle-based holding company and venture capital firm that also owns a minority stake in the NHL’s Kraken. The new capital will be used to enhance both the commercial and football operations of the club.
This move represents another step in the Americanization of English clubs, as 49ers Enterprises, the strategic investment arm of NFL’s San Francisco 49ers, completed its long-planned takeover of Leeds in July. 49ers Enterprises has been overhauling the club’s functions, swiftly remaking the club’s board of directors and is considering whether to bring in another new investor.
Ackerley Partners is led by brothers Ted and Chris Ackerley. Their father, Barry Ackerley, owned the Seattle SuperSonics from 1983-2001 and co-founded the WNBA’s Seattle Storm. Leeds’ hopes for promotion are holding firm as they are currently in third place in the EFL Championship, one point above the cut line, with wins in six out of their last seven matches.
If Leeds is promoted back to