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Football League Vetoes Leeds Takeover

Mon 24th Mar 2014 | Clubs Ownership

The Football League have disqualified Leeds United’s prospective owner, Massimo Cellino after he was found guilty of tax evasion.

Cellino heads the group Eleonora Sports which purchased a 75% stake in the Championship club subject to Football League approval.

That approval has now been vetoed following his conviction by an Italian court for tax evasion. A statement released by the Football League read:

“At its meeting yesterday evening, the Board of The Football League considered the eligibility of Massimo Cellino under its Owners' and Directors' Test.

“The Board considered detailed legal advice with regard to the application of its regulations within the context of a decision made under Italian law.

“Mr. Cellino was recently found guilty beyond reasonable doubt by a Court in Sardinia of an offence under Italian tax legislation relating to the non-payment of import duties on a boat. This resulted in a fine of €600,000, an order for the payment of trial costs and the confiscation of the boat in question.

“Having fully considered the matter, the Board agreed unanimously that the decision of the Italian Court does constitute a disqualifying condition under its Owners' and Directors' Test.

“The relevant disqualifying condition being that Massimo Cellino has been convicted of an offence involving acts that would reasonably be considered to be dishonest.

“In line with Football League regulations, Massimo Cellino is entitled to appeal against the Board's decision within 14 days. In such circumstances, The League would seek to expedite the process to deliver certainty to all parties in the shortest possible timeframe.”

The decision document - please click here for more information

Image: Action Images / Craig Brough

Posted by: Aaron Gourley 

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