Tuesday March 18 2014
Cellino convicted of tax evasion

Massimo Cellino’s attempts to take over Leeds United look to have hit another barrier after being found guilty of tax evasion in Italy.

The Cagliari owner and President has been paying the bills at Elland Road for the past few weeks as he attempts to push through a purchase of 75 per cent shares in the Championship side.

However, the Guardian lead reports today that his process may be hit by a tax evasion conviction handed down in Italy this week.

A court in Cagliari has fined Cellino €600,000 for evading import duty on a luxury yacht, which as part of the sentence has also been confiscated.

Cellino has denied the charge throughout the case and his lawyer Giovanni Cocco has outlined that an appeal will be lodged: “This verdict is absolutely unjust and we will appeal.”

The Miami-based entrepreneur’s bid for Leeds is seen as at risk because the Football League’s ‘fit and proper persons’ rules prohibit people with unspent convictions for ‘dishonesty offences’ from being directors, 30 per cent owners or exercising control over clubs.

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