• Football

Cellino to become new Leeds owner after winning appeal

ESPN staff
April 5, 2014
Massimo Cellino was convicted of tax evasion in his home country © PA Photos

Massimo Cellino has won his appeal against the Football League blocking his takeover of Leeds United.

The Italian had been disqualified by the Football League from becoming an owner or director of the club last month after he was convicted of tax evasion back in his home country.

The legal representatives of Cellino argued that he had appealed against the conviction and remains innocent in Italian law. However, the Football League claimed Cellino would be barred from taking any such control at Leeds due to the conviction.

But Cellino has won his appeal after QC Tim Kerr ruled that the 57-year-old should not have been prevented in taking over the club at Elland Road, and Cellino is now clear to complete his takeover.

"I am very, very happy. This is justice, finally. I will come to England on Monday and get to work straight away," Cellino told The Sun.

A spokesman from the Football League said: "We are disappointed at the outcome of the appeal hearing, however we would like to thank the independent QC for his diligence in reviewing this decision.

"This was never about individual personalities, but instead was a matter in which we were obliged to uphold the integrity of our regulations having considered the issue in detail with our advisors."

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