Will Leeds change name to Red Bull Leeds? What we know as surprise deal announced | Football | Sport

Red Bull have purchased a minority stake in Leeds United after sealing an investment which sees the energy drinks firm join the club’s ownership group. The company is already involved in football with a number of teams across the world, including RB Leipzig, Red Bull Salzburg and the New York Red Bulls, among their stable of clubs.

It was announced on Thursday that Leeds had agreed a deal with Red Bull following successful talks with majority owners 49ers Enterprises. The global drinks brand will also sponsor their shirts from next season onwards, replacing boiler firm Boxt as the club’s principal partner.

Red Bull have a history of rebranding teams in their multi-club group but there is nothing to suggest that Leeds will change their name to reflect the company’s new investment. According to The Athletic, the Whites have made it clear that changing the club’s name, shirt colour or stadium name will not be open to discussion under any circumstances.

It is also said that Red Bull will not be given a seat on Leeds’ board as part of their share acquisition, meaning they will not have a decisive say on club matters. The 49ers’ fund is made up of numerous parties and individuals, with the 49ers retaining full control and other investors committed to differing levels financially.

Upon the deal being announced, Leeds chairman Paraag Marathe said: “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.

“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.”

Red Bull chief Oliver Mintzlaff added: “We are delighted to be an important element and partner of Leeds United, a club that is certainly one of the biggest in England and has a rich and successful history.

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

The agreement that will see Red Bull sponsor Leeds’ shirts next season is said to represent a ‘significant increase’ on the value of the club’s previous contract with Boxt. The drinks firm were heavily linked with an equity purchase back in 2014 when Leeds were owned by Massimo Cellino, but no investment was forthcoming at that stage.

Leeds will remain in the Championship next season after failing to secure an immediate return to the Premier League via the play-offs. They were beaten by Southampton in last weekend’s final at Wembley, with the Saints joining Leicester City and Ipswich Town in gaining promotion to English football’s top tier.

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