Massimo Cellino has won his appeal to become the new owner of Leeds United Football Club.
The Italian businessman, who lives in Miami, was initially denied the takeover of Leeds after The Football League turned down his attempt to buy the club. Cellino, who said that the club would go bankrupt if he wasn’t allowed to become the owner of LUFC, won his appeal.
According to a statement by Leeds United, “The approval will see Eleonora Sport take a 75% stakeholding in the club while former majority shareholders GFH Capital and investors will retain 25%.
“Completion of the acquisition will see Massimo Cellino take up the position as President of Leeds United, and he will head up a new-look board.”
The Football League had initially ruled that Cellino’s conviction in Italy for failing to pay import taxes on a yacht was a disqualifying condition under the fit and proper person test that owners must pass. However, after the appeal, Cellino has now received approval to complete the purchase of a majority stake in Leeds United.
The Football League had ruled that Cellino’s conviction in Italy for failing to pay import taxes on a yacht he purchased in the United States was ‘a disqualifying condition’ under the test directors must pass.
Cellino’s appointment as owner of the club now puts Brian McDermott’s future at the club in jeopardy as Cellino has his own ideas of who should run the club, and has criticized McDermott for spending too much time moaning and not enough time coaching.