Cellino: I feel ashamed

Massimo Cellino has revealed his upset at learning he had been barred from completing his takeover of Leeds United.

Last Updated: 25/03/14 at 06:20 Post Comment

Massimo Cellino: Ashamed at failure of his Leeds takeover

Massimo Cellino: Ashamed at failure of his Leeds takeover

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Cellino declared himself 'ashamed' and said he was ready to 'jump from the window' after the Football League confirmed he had failed their owners' and directors' test in the wake of his tax offence conviction in Italy.

The announcement put the skids on his Eleonora Sport company completing the 75 per cent purchase it agreed at the start of February from current owners Gulf Finance House Capital.

GFH Capital remain interested in the project if Cellino is successful in an appeal, which must be launched in the next 14 days, but he appeared less than positive in an interview with the Guardian on Monday evening.

He said: "I'm not a dishonest man. If they say I did this, I am stupid. Why would I do something like this? Because I am a fool - I am stupid.

"There's different justice in Italy. I prefer the English way, but I am in Italy unfortunately. I pay millions and millions at clubs and they [the courts] say I tried to screw them over for a small amount. It's stupid. I could pay that tomorrow.

"I am not a dishonest crook. If I made a mistake, it was not on purpose. I'm shocked, I'm very shocked. I feel like I will disappear. I am so ashamed of myself, you have no idea. It's not about the money at the moment.

"I didn't try and do anything bad to Leeds, to anyone - I just wanted to do something good. I'm so shocked that I feel like I will jump from the window right now. I feel so ashamed.

"Why did they take two months to wait for the decision of the Italian court? I could have delayed the trial for one or two years if I had wanted."

A statement from the Football League read: "At its meeting yesterday evening (Sunday), the Board of The Football League considered the eligibility of Massimo Cellino under its Owners' and Directors' Test.

"The Board considered detailed legal advice with regard to the application of its regulations within the context of a decision made under Italian law.

"Mr Cellino was recently found guilty beyond reasonable doubt by a Court in Sardinia of an offence under Italian tax legislation relating to the non-payment of import duties on a boat. This resulted in a fine of €600,000, an order for the payment of trial costs and the confiscation of the boat in question.

"Having fully considered the matter, the Board agreed unanimously that the decision of the Italian Court does constitute a disqualifying condition under its Owners' and Directors' Test.

"The relevant disqualifying condition being that Massimo Cellino has been convicted of an offence involving acts that would reasonably be considered to be dishonest.

"In line with Football League regulations, Massimo Cellino is entitled to appeal against the Board's decision within 14 days. In such circumstances, The League would seek to expedite the process to deliver certainty to all parties in the shortest possible timeframe."

Leeds responded by saying they are "disappointed" by the decision.

"The club and its shareholders are disappointed at the decision of the Football League not to approve Massimo Cellino as a director of Leeds United FC.

"However, the Board and Executive Management of the club, will continue discussions with the Football League and Eleonora Sport to find a solution that is suitable to all parties.

"Our shareholders continue to support the club directly or through additional investments as has always been the case.

"We would like to reassure the fans of the continuity of our great club."

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

W

ell that really inspires me with confidence. No point in training, deciding on a coherent formation, or playing players in their best positions, let's just hope we get lucky.

mumbo_jimbo
Van Gaal: Luck is key

I

believe this is because for sepp Christmas is a 7 day feast finishing on the 25th

hiya
Blatter calls for early final

F

alcao really needs to shine now. Apparently according to the stats, he scores more when played up front alone. I wonder if Van Gaal will actually apply a formation to get the best out of him though.

anthracyte
Van Persie lay-off expected

Footer 365

Liverpool's Europa League exit a boost to top-four chances ahead of Manchester City showdown, says Jamie Carragher

Jamie Carragher looks ahead to Liverpool v Manchester City and reckons the Reds might find it easier to bounce back.

Arsenal announce £11m profit and £138.8m cash reserve

Arsenal have returned robust financial results, with turnover increased to £148.5m and an overall profit before tax of £11.1m.

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal eyes 'luck'

Louis van Gaal claims the most important factor in Manchester United's pursuit of a top-four place is 'luck'.

Mail Box

Are Tottenham Right To Redevelop?

It's a really good Friday afternoon Mailbox, with thoughts on Spurs' ground development, the Europa league (leave it alone) and one man running for a very good cause...

Rodgers Is More Of A Paisley Than A Rafa

Most Liverpool fans in the Mailbox are claiming to be pleased to see the back of the Europa League. Plus merging the Europa and Champions League, and winter WC...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company