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Clare Burnett

Member Article

Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino loses appeal against Football League’s verdict

Massimo Cellino, owner of Leeds United, has lost his appeal against the Football League’s decision to disqualify him from owning the club.

He was disqualified in December after the League obtained documents from an Italian court, which had found Cellino guilty of tax evasion for the second time.

The Italian entrepreneur is prohibited from having anything to do with the running of the club until 10 April as his conviction will be deemed to be spent.

The Professional Conduct Committee set up by the Football League to hear Cellino’s appeal against the decision ruled that the verdict of the Italian court was for an act involving dishonesty, which is a disqualifying condition under its owners’ and directors’ test.

The Football League said in a statement: “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.”

Leeds have released a statement to say that they are “surprised and disappointed” by the verdict and will “continue taking legal advice”.

The statement said: “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.

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.”

The club are currently under a transfer embargo for breaching Financial Fair Play rules, meaning they can not pay any transfer fees for players in the current window.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Clare Burnett .

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