Massimo Cellino’s proposed acquisition of Leeds United is again being cast into doubt, this time over reports of his impending tax trial in Italy.
Cellino, 57, denies illegally dodging paying €400,000 import duty on a luxury yacht.
It all sounds a bit familiar, I could swear I’ve heard the phrase ‘tax dodging’ associated with Leeds United before. Hmm…
Well, the case is due to be heard on 18th March, just days after the next meeting of the Football League, where many have previously thought a decision on Cellino through the ‘Owners and Directors Test’ would be made. This now seems somewhat unlikely. Oh dear, here we go again.
If the Cagliari owner is convicted, the League would almost certainly bar him from completing his purchase of 75% of GFH’s stake in the club.
Under the Football League’s rules and regulations, anyone with unspent convictions or dishonesty offences is not allowed to buy a majority stake in a club.
This obviously looks bad for the Cellino family and the Whites, but Edoardo Cellino was quoted on Facebook as saying this was all speculation, and in some parts, nothing more than “lies”.
Edoardo Cellino: “So many lies, so many questions…… The real truth is that we are still here, that’s my answer”.
A fan on Twitter, @superwhites100, messaged @_damnedunited, saying:
“hes just messaged me about his dads boat issues and said nothing will come of it and there’s so much crap being written”, again adding to the speculation in the Cellino’s favour.
If one thing is for sure, this takeover saga will drag on and on, just like all the others, but with two high-profile signings such as Jack Butland and Connor Wickham, money has suddenly appeared from somewhere. We don’t seem bothered as to where it’s come from, just that we have it is something to the happy about.
And with talk of another loan signing coming in to the club, it looks a lot better at Leeds now than it did this time last month, just days after the that infamous weekend (you know the one I mean).