Edward J. DeBartolo, who has holdings in three race tracks and is a developer of shopping centers, expects to complete the purchase of the San Francisco 49ers by the end of this week.

DeBartolo plans to purhase about 90 percent of the stock for approximately $17 million.

Hugh F. Culverhouse, president of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the National Football League and tax attorney in Jacksonville, Fla., is representing DeBartolo in his bid for the 49ers.

Culverhouse said yesterday he recommended DeBartolo when Joe Thomos, former general manager of the Baltimore Colts, sought a buyer for the 49ers who would include Thomas in the organization.

DeBartolo expressed an interest in buying Tampa Bay franchise before Culverhouse, but did not make a formal application to the NFL according to league commissioner Pete Rozelle. If purchase terms are agreed upon for the 49ers, DeBartolo then must make formal application to be approved.

Thomas hopes to be general manager of the 49ers, even though Lou Spadia has three years to go on a contract as president-general manager of the club and is a 5 per cent stockholder.

The 49ers are operated by Spadia and the widows of founder Anthony J. (Tony) Morabito andhis brother, Victor P. Morabito, as general partners and nine limited partners.

The founder's widow, now Mrs. J. Raymond Fox, owns 30 per cent of he stock; Mrs. Victor Morabito 25 per cent; Albert J. Ruffo 10 per cent, and the rest 5 per cent each, including Frankie Albert, onetime 49ers' quarterback, and Franklin Mieuli, president of the Golden State Warriors of the National Basketball Association.

Mrs. Fox has expressed a desire to sell her stock, but Mrs. Morobito is expected to stay in the organization by keeping about per cent.

Culverhouse described DeBartolo as the largest shopping center developer in the world.

A spokesman for the Thistledown race track in Cleveland said that besides being president of it, DeBartolo aalso owns the Louisiana Downs track and has anterest in the Balmoral track in Crete, Ill.

A source close to the situation said the club was almost sold twice last year, Mieuli insisted on exercising a right to match offers from outside the organization and put a group together to purchase majority control, but it fell through.

Wayne Valley, who formerly owned about 15 per cent of the Oakland Raiders but sold his stock after-differences with 16 per cent stockholder and general manager partner Al Davis, also thought he had a deal before it fell through.

Valley said yesterday he offered $12 million for 100 per cent of the stock last year and half negotiated a deal with everyone but Mieuli. "He [WORD ILLEGIBLE] Valley reportedly would have kept Spadia as general manager for at least 10 years.

Spadia rose in the organization from waterboy. He became general manager after founder Morabito died in 1964 and was named president prior to the 1967 season.

Besides his own interest in acquiring the club, DeBartolo was reported by Culverhouse as sayng he views it as a future enterprise for a 29-year-old son.

cised his pre-emptive right to buy th clb," Valley said, "and I bowed out.

"He and Mayor (Joseph Alioto and others tried to put a deal together out could not raise enough money and it fell apart, in December, I never made an offer since or showed any interest.