Report: Leeds future uncertain as Cellino found guilty of tax evasion

Leeds United East Stand

It is being reported that prospective Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino has been found guilty of tax evasion in Italy.

The Leeds United takeover saga has taken yet another twist with reports suggesting that Italian entrepreneur Massimo Cellino has been found guilty of tax evasion.

Cellino is bidding to take a controlling share of Leeds but his efforts have been hit by a number of complications.

The latest obstacle could prove decisive with reports in Italy stating that Cellino has been found guilty of non-payment of import duty worth £300,000 on a luxury yacht he purchased in 2010.

Cellino is now expected to fail the Football League's Owners and Directors Test which will prevent him taking over Leeds.

The test forbids people with unspent convictions for dishonesty offences taking control of clubs in the Football League.

Sardinian newspaper L'Unione Sarda reports that Cellino has been ordered to pay a fine of around £500,000 and that the yacht in question has been confiscated.

The paper explains that the yacht was bought in the USA and brought to Italy without taxes being paid.

The fine of £500,000 was a lot less than the sum requested by Andrea Massidda who brought the case against Cellino who wanted close to £1m to be paid.

Cellino's lawyer Giovanni Cocco has labelled the sentence 'unjust' and announced plans to appeal, but it leaves Cellino's hopes of buying Leeds in crisis. 

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch