Leeds United, a team that has recently been relegated from the Premier League, is working hard to return to the top with the help of an unexpected source from the United States. The team is currently competing in the EFL Championship and 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 move represents another step in the Americanization of the English club, as 49ers Enterprises, the strategic investment arm of NFL’s San Francisco 49ers, completed its long-planned takeover of the club 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 the team is currently in third place in the EFL Championship, one point above the cut line, with wins in six of its last seven matches.
If Leeds is promoted back to