Massimo Cellino’s Leeds United takeover is not yet complete, but the Italian already has his eyes set on Elland Road.
Drama has been rife surrounding the Sardinian entrepreneur’s bid to acquire majority ownership of the Championship outfit – though it appears the club will soon be under his command.
Supporters were incensed when manager Brian McDermott was supposedly sacked by Cellino, only to be reinstated, the Together Leeds consortium reportedly looking to partner with Sport Capital to rival his efforts.
However, on Friday Chairman Salah Nooruddin and GFH Capital Managing Director Hisham Alrayes confirmed contracts had been exchanged for a 75 per cent sale to Cellino’s Eleanora Sport Ltd – pending approval from the Football League.
Despite the 57-year-old’s criminal background in Italy, reports have suggested that he will pass the Football League’s ‘fit and proper person test’, assuming full control of the outfit by next week.
And Cellino – who has already facilitated a number of transfers between his soon to be sold Cagliari side and Leeds – has revealed his first major act will be to buy back Elland Road.
“I do not think there will be problems, I managed a club for 22 years,” he told the Financial Times. “I have a lot of experience.
“On Thursday, I’ll go to the bank and buy our stadium; I have the funds to by Leeds and to manage the club, which has great potential.
“I want to see the team facing Manchester United and the best.”
Leeds’ home ground is currently under the ownership of British Virgin Islands-based firm Teak Commercial Limited, who purchased Elland Road from businessman Jacob Adler – buyer of the stadium when the club sold it in 2004 for much-needed capital.
United are understood to have established a buy-back option upon the initial sale, however, somewhere in the region of £15m.
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