Leeds United owner Andrea Radrizzani aims to make club 'challenger' to Premier League's top six

Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani says club are planning for a major renovation of Elland Road if they retain their Premier League status over the coming three years; 49ers Enterprises has increased its minority stake in Leeds from 15% to 37%

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Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani reacts to the increased investment made by the NFL's San Francisco 49ers in the club.

Leeds United are in the first phase of making the club "relevant" globally again and a “challenger” to the Premier League’s top six, says owner Andrea Radrizzani.

NFL franchise San Francisco 49ers have increased their minority stake in Leeds from 15 per cent to 37 per cent, which Radrizzani believes will help the Yorkshire club "polish a famous football brand".

Radrizzani says the club are planning for a major renovation of Elland Road and the opening of a brand-new training centre within 10 minutes walk of the stadium, if they remain in the Premier League over the next three years.

"This investment is important but it is not really close enough for what we need in the wish list," Radrizzani told Sky Sports News.

Leeds United players huddle before match vs Brighton
Image: Leeds United will plan for a major renovation of their Elland Road stadium, says Radrizzani

"The club is in the first phase of a rebuilding exercise that comes first with the priority of staying in the Premier League.

"If we are able to stay in the Premier League for two to three years, then this club can have the concrete ambition to position [itself] just next to the top six.

"On and off the pitch we want to be an outsider, a challenger. We are restructuring and polishing an old brand - a famous football brand."

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He added: "This club, this city deserves to be relevant in football."

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Radrizzani, who took a controlling stake in Leeds in 2017, said in a news conference the new backing from 49ers Enterprises - the investment arm of NFL side - was more than the reported £50m.

"We have put Leeds back on the map of the world but there is so much to do to close the gap in terms of revenue and brand exposure compared to the big clubs," Radrizzani said.

Paraag Marathe, president of 49ers Enterprises, has been appointed as Leeds' vice chairman as part of the new investment deal.

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San Francisco 49ers president Paraag Marathe says he is happy to continue their journey with Leeds United after increasing their investment in the club.

"When we first got involved two and half years ago it was because of our belief in Andrea's vision and our continued belief in his vision and leadership as well as our belief in the strong bones of this club and the potential of this club," Marathe said.

"As we have learned more we realise there is so much more potential than we even thought originally."

Leeds invested over £100m in the transfer market following their return to the Premier League after a 16-year absence and Radrizzani said the club intend to wait for the summer transfer window before making further signings.

"We prefer to focus probably on the summer transfer [window] when we need to make another step forward to reinforce the squad," he said.

"We know that coming from the Championship we are not perfect and we need to improve again.

"We have a very good communication with Victor Orta [director of football] and Marcelo Bielsa."

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