Cellino must wait to hear verdict

  • Last Updated: March 31 2014, 18:58 BST

Massimo Cellino must wait a little longer before learning whether his appeal against the Football League board's decision to block his £25million takeover of Leeds has been successful.

Massimo Cellino: Appeal judgement reserved
Massimo Cellino: Appeal judgement reserved

The League disqualified Cellino, 57, from becoming owner or a director of the club last week following his recent conviction in a Sardinia court for tax evasion.

Cellino's legal representatives in London, Mishcon de Reya, lodged a formal appeal on Thursday on the grounds that the Italian businessman has appealed against that conviction and remains innocent in Italian law until the appeals process is completed.

The League claim Cellino's conviction bars him from taking control at Elland Road under its owners' and directors' test.

An independent QC heard both sides of the argument in London on Monday and requires more time to consider the case further.

A brief Football League statement read: "Massimo Cellino's appeal under The Football League's Owners' and Directors' Test has now concluded with the Independent QC reserving his judgment."

The independent QC's ruling could have serious ramifications for Leeds, who were unable to pay the players' wages in full on Friday.

Manager Brian McDermott, his backroom staff and players agreed to defer 50 per cent of their March salary until after the appeal had been heard.

Current owner Gulf Finance House Capital and Cellino are in dispute over who is responsible for the players' wages.

Bahrain-based investment firm GFH Capital claim Cellino is responsible for funding the club's running costs under the terms of the deal to sell him 75 per cent of the club's shares.

Contracts between GFH Capital and Cellino's company, Eleonora Sport, were exchanged on February 7, while the Italian is understood to have already invested around £10million in the club.

But Cellino refused to make further funds available last week following the League's refusal to allow his takeover and fans now fear the club is heading towards administration.


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