Leeds United, recently relegated, is making a strong push to return to the Premier League. To help achieve this goal, the club has sold a minority stake to Ackerley Partners, a Seattle-based holding company and venture capital firm. This holding company also has a minority stake in the NHL’s Kraken.
The new capital made from the sale will be used to improve both the commercial and football operations of the club. The American presence in the club has grown already with 49ers Enterprises, the strategic investment arm of the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers, taking over the club in July. They have already begun making changes to the club board and are considering bringing in another new investor.
The Ackerley Partners company is led by brothers Ted and Chris Ackerley. Their late father, Barry Ackerley, owned the Seattle SuperSonics from 1983-2001 and co-founded the WNBA’s Seattle Storm.
Currently, Leeds is performing well, sitting in third place in the EFL Championship with wins in six of its last seven matches. Promotion back to the Premier League would significantly increase the clubs sponsorship and broadcast income, with annual media revenue being projected to be more than $125 million per club.
Leeds United is part of three recently relegated clubs preparing to sue Everton, as Everton is facing significant Premier League penalties for violations of profitability and financial sustainability rules.