Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino has been instructed to resign from the Championship club following a disqualification from the Football League. The Italian entrepreneur has been found guilty of tax evasion and examples of further dishonesty by an Italian judge, crimes that have caused him to fail the ‘owners and directors’ test’ which the FL impose on any owner looking to take control of a club.
The fifty eight year old will be able to return to Leeds United in March following his conviction and statements of support have been put out by ambassadors of the football club. Despite some instability caused by managerial changes, Cellino has been a financial heaven send for the West Yorkshire club who are now cleared of debt – a huge relief for the club who, seven months ago, before the Italian’s take over were rumoured to be losing around one million pounds a month.
Together with their supporters branches, Leeds United, whom the investment backer Gulf Finance House still maintain 25 per cent control of, have claimed that the club will not be sold on the basis that it risks destabilisation. Cellino maintains his innocence and has committed himself to Leeds in the form of a further twenty million pound investment.
Though he plans to appeal the decision made by the Football League in the fourteen days he has to do so, Cellino has asserted that he will not spend a huge amount of money on lawyers, ‘This club in the last five years has spent more money on lawyers than players.’
Leeds are currently 15th in the Championship table, having taken 23 points from 19 games.
Image courtesy of bbc.co.uk