The Leeds owner says he only learned of the debt a few months ago.
The Daily Mail reported details of Leeds' debt to GFH and, subsequently, Bates if they earn promotion back in February 2014. Still, Cellino insists he only learned of the details around half a year ago.
But that will not discourage him from aspiring to reach the Premier League, the Italian insists.
Cellino told the Mirror: "There’s a deal that if we win promotion to the Premier League we must pay £5m to the old creditors. I only found out about this five or six months ago.
"There is also a debt from GFH to Ken Bates of a promotion bonus of £1.2m, guaranteed by Leeds. But that does not stop me wishing to be in the Premier League. If I could, I would go into the Premier League tomorrow.
"But what I won’t do is run up lots of debts in the hope of winning promotion to the Premier League to pay them off."
The Premier League seems a distant dream right now, of course, purely because any side that has ever earned promotion hasn't gone through four or so coaches in a season.
The man who succeeds the sacked Uwe Rosler, meanwhile, is a man who knows how to achieve promotion from League One - but not the Championship itself.
Indeed, the Leeds job will be a whole new challenge for Steve Evans. And, even if he rises to it, there are no guarantees he will be rewarded or kept in the role.
But the good (and bad) news is there will plenty more headlines at Elland Road in the coming months...