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  1. ITV Report

Former Leeds owner Massimo Cellino banned and fined for breaking agents rules

Cellino sold his remaining shares in Leeds earlier this year. Photo: PA

Former Leeds owner Massimo Cellino has been banned for 12 months and fined £100,000 by the Football Association for breaking rules on football agents during his time at the club.

Cellino, now owner of Serie B side Brescia, twice appealed against the FA's sanctions after being found guilty of breaching regulations over the sale of former Leeds striker Ross McCormack in 2014.

Striker McCormack was sold by Leeds to Fulham for an undisclosed fee, believed to be £11million.

"Former Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino has been suspended from all football activity for a period of 12 months and has been fined £100,000 by an FA Rule K Tribunal sitting as an Appeal Board," the FA said in a statement.

"These sanctions arise from breaches of the FA's Football Agent Regulations relating to the transfer of Ross McCormack from Leeds to Fulham on July 8, 2014.

"Cellino's case was first heard before a Regulatory Commission in December 2016, which found him guilty of bringing the game into disrepute, banned him for 18 months and fined him £250,000.

"Cellino appealed against that decision and his case was heard by an FA Appeal Board in January 2017, which upheld the decision of the Regulatory Commission on liability but reduced the ban to 12 months and the fine to £100,000.

"Cellino challenged this decision by way of an FA Rule K Arbitration on grounds which included an allegation of apparent bias, on the basis that one member of the Appeal Board had been a member of the FA Council.

"The FA disputed that contention but agreed to compromise the proceedings on the basis that Cellino's appeal would be heard again by the Arbitration Tribunal, sitting as an FA Appeal Board.

"That hearing took place on July 27, 2017. The Tribunal upheld the previous findings of the Regulatory Commission and imposed the sanctions set out above."

Cellino, who owned Cagliari before completing a takeover of Leeds in 2014, sold a 50 per cent stake in the Yorkshire club in January this year to fellow Italian Andrea Radrizzani, who bought the remaining shares in May.

Cellino's three years as owner of Leeds were beset with controversy. He was banned three times in total by England's football authorities and the club had seven managers during his reign.