Jed York

How 49ers-owned Leeds United can secure Premier League promotion

NBC Universal, Inc.

Three months after Super Bowl LVIII, Jed York and 49ers Enterprises find themselves facing another high-stakes, winner-take-all game.

English soccer club Leeds United -- which is owned by 49ers Enterprises -- is set to square off against Southampton F.C. in the EFL Championship play-off final next Sunday at Wembley Stadium. The winner earns promotion to the top-flight Premier League, while the loser remains in the second-tier EFL Championship next season.

York and 49ers Enterprises acquired a majority stake in the English soccer club in June 2023, appointing San Francisco's executive vice president of football operations Paraag Marathe as the Chairman at Leeds.

Marathe has overseen a succesful and swift turnaround since taking over last summer, with a chance for an exceptional debut season finale if they secure promotion with a win over Southampton.

The EFL Championship is the second-tier of English soccer, featuring 24 teams, with three earning the highly coveted Premier League promotion each season. The top two teams in point total at the end of the 46 matchweek season earn automatic promotion to their Premier League, while the third through sixth place teams face off in a playoff styled elimination tournament.

Leeds narrowly missed out on an automatic bid, finishing on 96 points in third place behind only Ipswich Town (96 points) and Leicester City (97) in the Championship table during the 2023-24 season.

That placed Leeds in the four-team EFL play-off along with Southampton F.C. and West Brom Albion F.C. and Norwich City. Leeds faced off with Norwich City in the semi-final, battling to a 0-0 draw before securing a spot in the final with a 4-0 win on Thursday.

Both Leeds and Southampton were in the Premier League during the 2022-23 season before being relegated to the Championship, with both clubs well aware of the stakes of Sunday's match.

Aside from the prestige that comes with playing in the Premier League, promotion also brings significant financial reward, which could prove pivotal for a team aiming to make the next step as a competive club.

While it won't takeaway the sting of another brutal Super Bowl defeat, a Leeds win on Sunday can offer a much-needed morale boost for York and 49ers Enterprises.

Download and follow the 49ers Talk Podcast

Contact Us