Cellino gets go-ahead for Leeds takeover
Massimo Cellino's controversial takeover of Leeds United will finally go ahead after the Football League accepted an independent QC's decision to allow the Italian to become a director at the Championship club
The league's governing body originally blocked the deal after deeming Cellino to have failed their owners' and directors' test, but that was overturned on appeal on Saturday.
The Football League then considered appealing that ruling, but after a board meeting on Thursday it was decided not to stand in the way of Cellino, who sparked controversy when he sacked Leeds manager Brian McDermott earlier this season before reinstating him days later.
A spokesman said: "At its meeting in London today, the board of directors of the Football League considered the outcome of the recent appeal by Massimo Cellino under the owners' and directors' test.
"In making its original decision, the board took the view that Mr Cellino's recent conviction in Sardinia was for an act that 'would reasonably be considered to be dishonest' and that he was therefore subject to a disqualifying condition.
"In the current absence of detailed reasons for the conviction from the Sardinian Court and having taken into account the principles of Italian law, an independent QC reached a different conclusion. On this basis, Massimo Cellino is cleared to be a director of Leeds United."
Cellino, 57, will now take up a place on the Leeds board, two months after his Miami-based company ESL first agreed a deal to purchase 75 percent of the club's shares.
The tycoon, who also owns Italian Serie A club Cagliari, was initially barred from purchasing the club by the Football League due to his conviction for a tax offence in a court in Sardinia last month.
The offence related to the non-payment of import duties on his yacht and resulted in a fine of 600,000 euros (�500,800) and the confiscation of the boat.
Cellino's lawyers argued that because he had appealed against his tax conviction -- a process that could take nine months -- he was considered not guilty under Italian law.