Rickie Fowler has explained why he did not join fellow players Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas in taking a stake in Leeds United and says he is still open to investing in a Premier League football club.
The American was recently linked with a minority stake in Leeds but backed out of a potential deal following their relegation from the top flight.
Spieth and Thomas have since invested in the Elland Road outfit after buying shares in new owners 49ers Enterprises and Fowler was branded a “coward” by some fans at The Open on Friday for his decision.
“It’s all done now,” the 34-year-old said after completing his third round at The Open on Saturday.
“Hopefully everything will work out with JT and Jordan involved. My finance team just didn’t necessarily advise on it, so we decided not to go forward with it.
“It doesn’t change my interest at all. There may be some other opportunities out there.
“Football — (or, as we call it, soccer — obviously isn’t that big in the United States, but many of us who don’t follow it as deeply as everyone here appreciate the sport at the highest level.
“When opportunities like this arise, I’d like to be a part of something. We’ll see what the future holds.”
Asked if he had a particular favorite team, Fowler said: “I don’t, but if there’s some kind of financial involvement, I’m sure they’ll have a lot of support from me. I can be bought!”
Fowler moved to one under par at Royal Liverpool on Saturday by shooting a four-under-par 67 on a wet morning.
49ers Enterprises completes acquisition of Andrea Radrizzani
Leeds United announced this week that the EFL approved the sale of the club to US investment group 49ers Enterprises.
Andrea Radrizzani, chairman and majority shareholder since 2017, agreed to sell his controlling stake last month, with the deal valuing the club at around £170m.
49ers Enterprises, which owns the NFL franchise San Francisco 49ers, has steadily increased its stake in Leeds since becoming a minority shareholder in 2018.
Analysis: Recruiting activity begins now after the 49ers complete their takeover
Sky Sports News reporter Tim Thornton:
“49ers Enterprises have been involved with Leeds for five years now, but now, with full control, it means they can go to work.
“That has already happened over the last few weeks with the appointment of Daniel Farke, but now that’s finished, recruitment can start and there’s going to be a lot of changes in that department – a whole restructure of it.
“We are looking forward to the arrival of Gretar Steinsson, the former director of performance at Tottenham, to work alongside Nicky Hammond, who has started recruiting in the summer.
“We expect the signings to start – Ethan Ampadu on loan from Chelsea, this deal could be completed later today.
“It’s an exciting journey for the club and now it’s about putting things in the right order to get the club back on track in the Premier League.
“Leeds fans will forever be grateful to Radrizzani for bringing in Bielsa and the style of football and success that followed.
“He deserves credit for that, when he came to the club he looked very different to what he does now and he made a lot of positive changes here but recently it hasn’t gone well.
“There has been criticism around the recruitment of Victor Orta and some of the decisions that have been made over the last 12 months have not worked and it has tarnished his time at Leeds.
“It might be a scenario where in a few years the fans will look back on his time and there will be some fondness, but as things stand now he hasn’t gone away as the most popular owner.”
Radrizzani: ‘My best wasn’t that good’ after manager’s mistakes and transfers
As he bid farewell to Leeds, outgoing owner Radrizzani agreed to speak to him Sky Sports News in an exclusive interview about his time at Elland Road, covering topics including:
- His best decision to appoint Marcelo Bielsa – and the difficulty of sacking him
- Why Jesse Marsch was brought in to play in the same style as Bielsa – and how it never happened
- Why keeping Marsch until after the World Cup in Qatar was a huge mistake
- How Leeds should have been more careful with signings and bought more experienced players
- Why Sam Allardyce could have kept Leeds going for longer
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