Russell Westbrook joins star-studded Leeds United ownership group

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

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

Golfers Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas also told Sky Sports on Wednesday that they’re set to become minority owners of the English soccer club, which was 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 was relegated.

A message left with the 49ers on Wednesday wasn’t immediately returned.

“Relegation wasn’t ideal,” Spieth said, “but we got involved with the 49ers group about purchasing a larger share and getting in with them doing things so successfully as they do everywhere they’ve touched.

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

The 49ers’ ownership group first invested in Leeds in 2018 and increased its share to 44% in late 2021. Leeds didn’t specify the sale price for the remaining 56% but British media reported it to be 170 million pounds ($214 million).

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

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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