Elland Road

Next Game

Leeds v Wigan

Friday, 26 December 2014, 15:00

Sky Bet Ch'ship

The City Ground

Last Game

N Forest 1 - 1 Leeds

Saturday, 20 December 2014, 17:15

Sky Bet Ch'ship

Cellino outlines Prem target

New Leeds owner Massimo Cellino has promised to steer the club back to the Barclays Premier League in two years' time.

Last Updated: 08/04/14 at 20:55 Post Comment

Massimo Cellino: Has Premier League ambitions for Leeds United

Massimo Cellino: Has Premier League ambitions for Leeds United

Cellino made a successful appeal against the Football League's decision to block his takeover of the Sky Bet Championship club after being convicted of tax evasion last month in a Sardinia court.

The Football League ruled that Cellino had failed their owners' and directors' test but an independent lawyer, Tim Kerr QC, overturned that decision.

The Cagliari owner, whose company Eleonora Sport exchanged contracts with Gulf Finance House Capital on February 7 to buy 75 per cent of the club's shares, told the Sun on Sunday: "I don't want to make promises I can't keep and I admit it will be difficult to get promotion next season. But in 2015-16 we will earn our way back to the Premier League, which is where Leeds belong.

"A lot of work needs to be done on the squad. We need new players. In the summer, we will buy some players. I want to focus on English and international players."

GFH Capital and Cellino had been in dispute over who was responsible for the players' wages.

Bahrain-based investment firm GFH Capital, who bought the club from Ken Bates in December 2012, claimed Cellino was responsible for funding the club's running costs under the terms of the deal.

There were fears that Leeds could slip into administration if Cellino's appeal failed but the Italian will now settle outstanding wages and repurchase Elland Road and the club's Thorp Arch training complex.

Cellino, who met the club's running costs for January and February, added: "Next week I will go to the bank and buy back Elland Road and Thorp Arch. And on Monday I will pay all the wages."

Leeds responded to Cellino's appeal victory on Saturday by announcing that GFH Capital would retain 25 per cent of the club, that Cellino would become club president and that managing director David Haigh would become chief executive officer.

But Cellino clearly sees no role for Haigh going forward, telling the paper: "David has to go. I have had too much of him."

Mike Farnan, head of local consortium Together Leeds, said on Saturday the group would meet next week for talks on a joint approach for taking the club forwards.

But Cellino was less forthcoming and would only say: "I promised I will talk to them and that is what I will do."

Cellino's disqualification under the League's owners' and directors' test 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.

The 57-year-old's lawyers successfully argued that, because Cellino had appealed against his tax conviction, he is considered not guilty under Italian law. That appeal process could take up to nine months.

The League expressed its disappointment at the ruling and said it would "consider the findings of the appeal".

It is uncertain whether the League will launch its own appeal.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

really enjoyed this. Thanks F365 for another year of work avoidance - happy Christmas.

megabrow (cufc)
Our Person Of The Year: Alan Pardew

I

m no Sam Fan and this article sums him up beautifully. I always like to imagine that when he watches anything on TV and hears clapping, he stands up and aknowledges the applause, thinking its for him!

cozens
Football Managers On TV: Sam Allardyce

N

ah, Fergie is just having another pop at Rooney. He just wants to put him down whenever he gets a chance. Rooney is by far the best English player. Carrick is not far behind, mind. However, by elevating Carrick like that, Sir is having a dig at Wayne. Fergie is well-known for mind games like that. Good to see he's still feisty.

timbo
Van Gaal will thrive - Ferguson

Footer 365

Premier League: QPR look for result against Arsenal, Rio Ferdinand in selection contention

QPR boss Harry Redknapp says Rio Ferdinand could be back in the team as the squad is rotated through the festive period.

Premier League: Nemanja Matic says Chelsea can win quadruple

Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic insists the Blues can win the quadruple this season.

Premier League: Ronald Koeman facing selection crisis ahead of Southampton's match against Everton

Harrison Reed's impressive display against Everton has given Ronald Koeman a selection dilemma.

Mail Box

Van Gaal's Half-Term Report Card...

One Man United fan isn't happy with the rate the team is progressing under Louis van Gaal, while the mailbox also wishes Liverpool fans a Merry Mid-Table Christmas...

Hang On, Rafa's Success Is No Fluke...

The afternoon mailbox kicks the morning mailbox's arse after claims that Rafa Benitez has fluked his success. Plus, big talk about Liverpool's progress and lots more...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property