The owner of Leeds United, Massimo Cellino, has been banned from the Football League. His ban takes form of both ownership and Director of Football Operations. Cellino faces his ban after a conviction of tax evasion in his homeland of Italy. The ban will take place immediately (starting October 14th), until June 2016. This ironically follows Cellino’s removal of Leeds boss, Uwe Rösler and appointing former Rotherham United skipper, Steve Evans. Rösler is the fifth manager removed from Leeds since Cellino bought the club just 18 months ago.
The ban became news to Cellino on October 14th and he has been given notice that he may appeal the ban, but he only has 14 days to do so; that expiration date will be on October 28th. Cellino was found guilty in June of this year by a judge in Cagliari after he did not make payments on a Range Rover. He was also previously convicted for failure to pay almost £305,000 on a yacht that he bought in Cagliari in 2012.
After Cellino managed to overturn the ruling on his yacht, he was given Leeds United roughly a month later. The Italian is still facing three other convictions at this point in time. According to some reports found in Italy, Cellino is facing conviction on not paying taxes from a different yacht, irregularities in construction of a stadium while he owned the Serie A club, Cagliari, and also tax owed on two players that were brought into Cagliari while he was the owner of the club.
The Football League is aware of every conviction he faces which is why the ban has taken place so suddenly. Cellino and the rest of Leeds United will have to wait and see what happens to the 59-year-old over the course of 8 months to see whether or not he will actually come back as the Leeds United owner. A Leeds United “trust” group has already voiced their opinion on the matter; calling for Cellino to sell his stakes in the club, immediately.