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Leeds United: Red Bull take minority stake in Championship club

Leeds United have announced that Red Bull have taken a minority ownership stake in the club as well as taking over as their front-of-shirt sponsor.

Red Bull currently owns RB Leipzig in Germany’s Bundesliga, Austrian side Red Bull Salzburg, MLS side New York Red Bulls as well as Red Bull Bragantino in Brazil.

They have also invested in ice hockey, extreme sports, motorsports and two teams in Formula 1, with Red Bull Racing currently holding both the drivers’ and constructors’ titles in the sport.

“Red Bull’s addition is a historic milestone that will further empower the club to reach its full competitive potential,” chairman Paraag Marathe said., external

The club have been owned by 49ers Enterprises – the investment arm of NFL franchise the San Francisco 49ers – since last summer, when they completed a £170m takeover deal.

Actors Russell Crowe and Will Ferrell both own stakes in the club while their shareholders also include a number of US sports stars, including golfers Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas.

Unlike the other clubs in Red Bull’s stable of football teams, however, the name and logo of Leeds United will remain unchanged, the club said.

“The ambition to bring Leeds United back to the Premier League and establish themselves in the best football league in the world fits very well with Red Bull,” said the company’s CEO of corporate projects and investments, Oliver Mintzlaff.

“We look forward to the partnership and are optimistic and energized about the future.”

Red Bull’s investment comes after Marathe told BBC Radio Leeds that he refused to rule out player sales in the aftermath of their Championship play-off final defeat by Southampton on Sunday.

“We have the funds we need to do what we need, but there will need to be some trade-offs because of [profit and sustainability rules],” Marathe said.

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