Football League dismiss Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino's appeal against disqualification

Leeds United East Stand

The Football League have released a statement dismissing an appeal against the Italian's disqualification to own the club.

Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino has lost his appeal over a ruling which disqualifies him owning a Football League club.

Cellino was initially disqualified over being found guilty of Italian tax legislation prior to taking control at Elland Road, relating to non-payment of import duties.

In a statement the Football League suggests the Leeds owner committed a dishonest act which is a disqualifying condition when it comes to the owners and directors test that is undertaken by the league's governing body. He is disqualified as a 'relevant person'.

Cellino and Leeds United also face a charge from the Football League for 'failing to supply the Italian Court judgment to The Football League when it first became available.'

The Football League released a statement on their website, which included comments from a spokesman: "The Football League's sole objective throughout this process has been to ensure that our regulations, as democratically approved by our member clubs, are complied with. These regulations uphold principles relating to club ownership that are widely recognised to be in the interests of the game and have the support of the other football authorities, the Government and football supporters generally.”

It represents another chapter in what is a saga when it comes to the Cellino ownership with the club seemingly constantly in the spotlight for what is going on off the field.

The Professional Conduct Committe states in its judgement: “We consider that the judge’s findings of fact and her description of Mr. Cellino’s state of mind based on them, is of conduct which would reasonably be considered to be dishonest. We therefore conclude that Mr.Cellino has been convicted of an offence involving a ‘Dishonest Act’ within the meaning of the rules, and that he is accordingly subject to a ‘Disqualifying Condition’."

Leeds United said they were 'surprised and disappointed' by the appeal being rejected, releasing this statement on their website:

"Mr Cellino would like to thank the fans, sponsors and members of the wider footballing community that have given him overwhelming support, not just since the disqualifying order was issued but since he arrived at the club.

"We are surprised and disappointed by the verdict, however we are continuing to take legal advice.

"We will release further statements in due course."

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch