Noel Whelan has insisted any additional investment from the San Francisco 49ers will be used on new signings at Leeds United.
The former Leeds striker and boyhood fan at Elland Road, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, believes interesting developments stateside could only mean increased transfer funds for the Whites.
The business arm of the NFL franchise, 49ers Enterprises, have filed the paperwork to open a new venture capital fund under the title ‘Leeds II’ amid reports they are planning to increase their financial stake at Elland Road.
The billionaire-backed group used a fund called ‘Leeds I’ to purchase their existing stake, believes to be around 12 per cent, in 2018 which also saw 49ers president Paraag Marathe joine the board of directors.
Whelan has admitted finances are a delicate subject amid the Covid-19 crisis but suggested investment from abroad would be used for signings.
Whelan told Football Insider: “I love the way the way they came up with the name, they must have thought really long and hard about that – ‘Leeds I’ and ‘Leeds II’. A lot of brainstorming going on there.
“It’s all about investment, we’ve done really well so far in the Premier League against some really good clubs, we’re in a healthy position coming into the stage of Christmas which we know is important for every club during that time.
“That’ll give you an idea of what you’re fighting for, where you’re going to be but I think, come January, we need some investment, we need some help, that’s for sure, especially with the Covid situation as well, it’s hit every club financially so money needs to be pumped back into the club.
“I do believe that the money that’s going to be coming from the San Francisco 49ers will be for investment on the field.”
Italian business Andrea Radrizzani is the chairman and owner of Leeds United, having taken over from Massimo Cellino in 2017.
The Whites spent nearly £100million on new signings over the summer, window, with the likes of Rodrigo, Raphinha, Diego Llorente and Robin Koch all joining the Whites.