Football League disqualifies Massimo Cellino from owning Leeds United

Elland Road East Stand

The ban is subject to any potential appeal within 14 days from Cellino.

Massimo Cellino has been disqualified from owning Leeds United by the Football League board.

It relates to Cellino being previously found guilty of an offence under Italian tax legislation relating to non-payment of import duties, and it reveals the Italian has breached a condition which prevents him from owning a football club under their Owners' and Directors' Test.

The Football League appointed an independent QC, Tim Kerr, to investigate Cellino, who reached the following conclusion: “Mr Cellino has satisfied me that on the facts before me, what he was convicted of was not conduct which would reasonably be considered to be dishonest.

"If the reasoned ruling of the court in Cagliari discloses that the conduct of Mr Cellino was such that it would reasonably be considered to be dishonest, he would become subject to a Disqualifying Condition.”

A statement from the Football League read: "At its meeting last week, the Board considered the reasoned Judgment of the Italian Court against Mr. Cellino, having successfully applied to the Italian Courts for its full disclosure. The Board considered detailed legal advice and agreed unanimously (with the exception of its Chief Executive, Shaun Harvey, who did not take part in the debate or vote having declared an interest*) that Mr. Cellino is subject to a disqualifying condition under the terms of the Test."

The verdict leaves many question marks over a club whose future was uncertain to begin with, but with more turbulence in the coming weeks likely, Neil Redfearn will do well to keep his players focussed on the job at hand on the field.

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