Russell Westbrook joins Leeds United’s star-studded ownership group


Los Angeles Clippers point guard Russell Westbrook is the latest elite athlete to announce his investment in Leeds United with the San Francisco 49ers ownership group, 49ers Enterprises.

Westbrook isn’t the only NBA player with ties to the club, either. Larry Nance Jr. and TJ McConnell announced their joining as minority partners in June.

Also the golfers Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas said Sky Sports announced on Wednesday that they will become minority owners of the English football club, which has been relegated from the Premier League to the second-tier Championship for next season.

Spieth said fellow PGA Tour player Rickie Fowler decided against investing after Leeds were relegated.

A message left at the 49ers on Wednesday was not immediately returned.

“The relegation wasn’t ideal,” Spieth said, “but we’ve teamed up with the 49ers group to buy a bigger stake and work with them because they make things as successful as they do everywhere they go have touched.”

“We thought it would be a cool opportunity. It’s a big city, a historic club, a great venue on Elland Road and once we looked at it we realized it could be really exciting.”

The 49ers ownership group first invested in Leeds in 2018, increasing its stake to 44% at the end of 2021. Leeds did not disclose the selling price for the remaining 56%, but British media reported £170m ($214m).

Spieth and Thomas are longtime friends. Spieth is a three-time major champion and Thomas has two major titles. Both are due for this week’s Scottish Open and next week’s British Open at the Royal Liverpool in the UK.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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