Cellino banned as Leeds name Evans new boss on farcical day at Elland Road

Published: Tuesday 20th October 2015 by The News Editor

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Steve Evans will be unveiled as Leeds’ latest head coach today with question marks over who the Scot will actually answer to at Elland Road.

Two minutes separated Leeds’ confirmation that Evans was the sacked Uwe Rosler’s replacement and the Football League’s announcement that United president Massimo Cellino had been banned for a second time for failing its Owners’ and Directors’ test.

Even by Leeds’ chaotic standards it was a ridiculous twist, with Cellino having earlier seen off a fifth manager in 17 months in the shape of Rosler, sacking him for playing football he described as “country music” and not the “heavy rock” he had prescribed.

It soon became clear that Evans – the outspoken 52-year-old who left Rotherham last month – was Cellino’s next man, and by way of affection the Italian told the Yorkshire Evening Post that Evans was a “motherf*****”.

It was expected that Cellino – a man rarely far of controversy – would flank him at today’s Elland Road press conference, but a statement from the Football League soon changed any plans.

It read: ”At its recent meeting, the board of the Football League considered the position of Leeds United president, Massimo Cellino, under its Owners’ and Directors’ test.

”In June, Mr Cellino was found guilty by a court in Sardinia of an offence under Italian tax legislation relating to the non-payment of VAT on the importation of a Land Rover vehicle. This resulted in a fine of E40,000 and the confiscation of the vehicle in question.

”Having considered detailed legal advice and the court’s reasoned judgement, as supplied by Mr Cellino, the board determined that the decision of the Italian court constitutes a disqualifying condition under the Owners’ and Directors’ test.

”Mr Cellino has until October 28 to appeal against the board’s decision. Any such appeal would be heard by an independent panel.”

The League has yet to confirm the length of Cellino’s ban, but it is understood it will end in June next year – 12 months from the date of his conviction. Cellino is to appeal the decision.

Cellino served his previous Football League ban from December last year until May, having been found guilty in the same Italian court of failing to pay VAT on a yacht.

Cellino has three further criminal cases against him still outstanding in Italy. He has been charged with failing to pay tax on another yacht, with embezzlement in relation to the development of Cagliari’s IS Arenas stadium and a tax case relating to former Cagliari players.

Press Association Sport understands Cellino was informed by the League of his latest disqualification last Wednesday (October 14). In the days that followed he decided to cut the club’s away ticket allocations and sacked Rosler.

The German departed Leeds after only 12 games in charge. He signed a two-year deal in May to replace the sacked Neil Redfearn, himself installed earlier this month as Evans’ replacement at Rotherham.

Previous Leeds managers Brian McDermott, David Hockaday and Darko Milanic have all been sacked by Cellino.

Evans said he had to pinch himself when contacted by Leeds and at first thought somebody was playing a joke.

Evans, who steered Rotherham to back-to-back promotions, has been handed an initial contract until the end of the season.

”There’s very few times I’m lost for words. I’m very humble,” Evans said.

”Where it goes, we’ll see. I need to win some football matches.

”It’s a massive task. There’s some great men there, great managers, with great football knowledge, who have not been able to get this club winning football matches.”

Published: Tuesday 20th October 2015 by The News Editor

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