Cellino ready to stand down


Published: Thursday 11th December 2014 by The News Editor

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Leeds president Massimo Cellino has confirmed he will comply with the Football League’s ruling to disqualify him as owner of the club.

Cellino is to appeal against the League’s decision to ban him after it ruled he had failed its ‘owners’ and directors’ test’, but the 58-year-old Italian has told his fellow directors he will stand down from the board to safeguard the club against possible further sanctions.

“I’m prepared to resign if it’s what I have to do,” Cellino told the Yorkshire Evening Post.

“I said to the other directors that I don’t want to bring any problems on the club so if I have to resign in 28 days and then wait to finish my appeal, I will.

“I’m fighting this and we think we will win so after the appeal I will be back.

“But I don’t want to give the League a reason to punish the club. So if I have to go then I’ll go.”

The League ruled Cellino must sever all ties with the club by December 29 and has until December 15 to lodge an appeal.

The former Cagliari owner was convicted in Italy of failing to pay import duty on his yacht in March and successfully appealed against the League’s decision to block his takeover of the club in April.

The League has since received further evidence from the court in Sardinia, which confirmed Cellino had acted dishonestly, and subsequently deemed the Italian to be unfit to remain as owner.

Cellino will be able to resume as club owner on March 18 next year when his conviction is spent under UK law.

Under League rules a range of sanctions could have been imposed on the club had Cellino refused to abide by its decision, with the ultimate penalty being the withdrawal of the club’s Football League membership.

The League has confirmed Cellino’s appeal will be heard before the December 29 deadline.

It remains unclear who will oversee the day-to-day running of the club in Cellino’s absence.

Press Association Sport understands Leeds must install a new management structure at Elland Road to satisfy the league that Cellino has no financial or executive influence on the club during his disqualification period.

Published: Thursday 11th December 2014 by The News Editor

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