Massimo Cellino to challenge Football League ruling on Leeds United takeover

Leeds ownership hopeful Massimo Cellino

Leeds ownership hopeful Massimo Cellino

First published in Sport by

Massimo Cellino will lodge an appeal against the Football League’s decision to block his proposed £25million takeover of Leeds, his UK lawyers have confirmed.

The Football League announced their decision to disqualify Cellino from becoming a director of the club on Monday but the Italian’s London-based lawyers Mishcon de Reya will challenge the ruling.

Cellino’s conviction last week for a tax offence in Italy constituted “a disqualifying condition under (the League’s) owners’ and directors’ test”.

Current Leeds owner GFH Capital exchanged contracts to sell 75 per cent of the club’s shares to Cellino’s company Eleonora Sport on February 7.

Cagliari owner Cellino has 14 days to appeal against the Football League decision and a spokesperson for Mishcon de Reya said: “We are preparing an appeal on behalf of Mr Cellino but shall not be commenting further at this stage.”

GFH Capital confirmed on Monday that they are still in talks with the Football League and Eleonora Sport in a bid “to find a solution that is suitable to all parties”.

Cellino has bankrolled Leeds for the last two months and fans fear the Championship club could slide into administration if a new owner is not found soon.

Leeds managing director David Haigh has previously insisted there is “no chance” of the club going into administration.

Cellino was found guilty and fined £500,800 in a Sardinia court last week for failing to pay import duty on a luxury yacht.

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