Red Bull to buy minority stake in Sheffield Wednesday rivals - agreed deal 'extremely lucrative'

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Soft drinks manufacturers and global sporting powerhouse Red Bull have agreed a deal to purchase a minority stake in one of Sheffield Wednesday’s major rivals, according to reports.

The deal - which is said to be ‘extremely lucrative in Championship terms’, will also see Red Bull become the shirt sponsors of Leeds United, whose defeat in last weekend’s play-off final will see them compete alongside Wednesday in the Championship once again next season.

It is the latest example of outside investment for Premier League hopefuls Leeds, who are owned by 49ers Enterprises, a private equity shoot-off of NFL giants San Francisco 49ers. The group bought the Elland Road club outright from Italian businessman Andrea Radrizzani last summer and have taken in investment from a host of celebrity names including golfers Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas, Academy Award winning actor Russell Crowe, Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps and more recently actor Will Ferrell.

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The story suggests talks between Red Bull and Leeds have been ongoing for some time and that a deal was agreed. It has since been officially announced by Leeds, with comments from a Red Bull spokesperson affirming the group’s ambition to return the club to the Premier League.

“I am thrilled that Red Bull is joining us to build a bright future for Leeds United and shares our deep respect for this truly special club,” said Leeds chairman Paraag Marathe. “As Chairman, our consortium of investment partners will be invaluable to me as we approach this important moment for the club, now and into the future. Red Bull’s addition is a historic milestone that will further empower the club to reach its full competitive potential.”

Earlier this week Marathe denied the strength of reports into Leeds’ need to sell players this summer to make up a hole in their Profit and Sustainability obligations. Red Bull hold a powerful stable of football clubs throughout the world with clubs in Germany, Ghana, Brazil, Austria and the US. Wednesday manager Danny Röhl and backroom staff Henrik Pedersen and Sascha Lense have come through the Red Bull system in their careers.