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Leeds United chairman statement on Cellino

Massimo Cellino has made a decision to separately, and in his own name, challenge the Football League’s decision on the Appeal Hearing of January 15 to reject his appeal and challenge its correctness in law. Subsequent to the Appeal Hearing on January 15, he has abided by the FL rulings on disqualification and has also disposed of any personal ‘interests’ in Eleonora Immobiliare S.P.A and Eleonora Sport Ltd (the majority shareholder of LUFC).

Massimo Cellino is taking this independent action so that LUFC is seen to be fully compliant with the Football League Rules and thus help the football club avoid any sanctions. LUFC are optimistic as to the outcome of the Disciplinary Panel Hearing and of the Rule K Hearing.

– Andrew Umbers, Leeds United Chairman

Cellino: "I'm not returning to Leeds in April"

Leeds owner Massimo Cellino has announced he will not return to the club when his Football League ban ends in April.

Credit: Press Association

Instead, the Italian, who was disqualified in January from having anything to do with the running of the Sky Bet Championship outfit until April 10, will fight to clear his name as an independent citizen.

At the time, the 58-year-old indicated he intended to return to Elland Road when his disqualification period ended.

I have considered in the best interests of the club to postpone any release of my true thoughts and conclusion in relation to the 79 days disqualification verdict of the Football League and it was for not unsettling the harmony of the team in a period of key league tournament matches that I have measured to reveal my decision only today, because the qualification for the 2016 Championship is by now achieved.

For the reason above said, at first I suggested that my intention was to resume in April the office of President of Leeds United Football Club after expiration of the disqualification term.

I will not do so and I had actually decided not to do so in January already, soon after the confirmation by the Football League of its verdict.

I wish to point out that I have immediately complied with all the requests of the Football League and, for such purposes, I instructed my consultants to arrange for all required actions in order to ensure my prompt exit from any management responsibility in the club. After a due process, I have also sold – with a clear harm to my interests – a minority stake in the club, so that in no way I could be prevented from freely acting as an independent citizen and individual before any authority.

My decision has developed because I have realised that about one year ago I had been admitted as President of the club when the latter was very close to insolvency. Only after my restructuring activities and the material funding by the new corporate member I found myself expelled from the club on the basis of interpretation and immediate application of an Italian measure that, although in Italy is ineffective and subject to reasonable cancellation, the Football League has elected to enforce under its own rules.

Moreover, while I am already ousted, the Football League is now pursuing a new claim against me based on circumstances that do not belong to me and have already been clarified and heavily stigmatized by my lawyers.

All of the above leads me to reconfirm the decision already reached in January so that I may be free of defending myself as any normal citizen, and I will not hesitate to do so before any authority because of my honesty, my commitment and due care to the club for which I have already invested one year of hard work. This is what I am called for also honouring a team that I have loved and for all the support and attachment I have received from fans, players, employees, contractors and professionals who have been close to me and I wish to thank once again.

– Massimo Cellino

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Featherstone sign Remy Marginet on permanent deal

France international Remy Marginet has been signed on a permanent contract by Featherstone after a trial at the Championship club.

France international Remy Marginet has been signed on a permanent contract by Featherstone Credit: Press Association

The half-back, who scored the match-clinching drop goal in Rovers' 13-6 win at Doncaster, will stay with the club for the rest of the 2015 season subject to clearance from the French Rugby League Federation.

Remy has been really impressive in his trial period at the club and I'm pleased to say that he wanted to make the switch on a permanent basis. He needs to get to grips with some of our plays but he will be a useful addition to our squad for 2015

– Andy Hay, Featherstone coach

Premier league rejects Hull City Council's £20m KC stadium expansion bid

Hull City Council has said that its request for funding to expand KC Stadium has been rejected by the Premier League.

Council bid for stadium expansion rejected Credit: Press Association

It has emerged that the Council went behind the backs of City's owners, the Allam family, who also control the stadium's management company.

There has reportedly been a complete breakdown in the relationship between the two parties since the council rejected the Allams' plan for a new sports village in 2011.

In a statement Hull City Council said:

Hull City Council agrees with the Allams that the capacity of the KC Stadium needs to be increased and, in a show of support, wrote to the Premier League to explore if funding might be available to achieve this.

Regrettably, this isn’t the case

– Hull City Council

Invitation to take a walk with rugby legend

Rugby legend Jamie Peacock Credit: PA

Leeds Rhinos legend Jamie Peacock is encouraging fans to either run or walk this year's 10k Run with the Rhinos. The former England captain, who retires this year from playing Rugby League, will be walking with his family on July 12th and hopes others will join them.

Peacock will team up at today's launch with Mike Tomlinson who is CEO of Run For All Ltd and a trustee of the Jane Tomlinson Appeal, the charity set up by his late wife who started the initiative to raise money for good causes.

The Run with the Rhinos is inclusive for people of all abilities, whether they are competitive runners or social walkers and they will be able to join the likes of Ronnie the Rhino, former Leeds Rhinos players Keith Senior and Barrie McDermott and Harry Potter star Matthew Lewis, who will once again represent the official charity of Leeds Rhinos.

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Police thank Middlesbrough and Leeds fans

Cleveland Police have thanked home and away fans following today’s Middlesbrough vs Leeds fixture.

Officers on the ground say they enjoyed a vibrant and positive atmosphere, which was in keeping with the 'family friendly approach' taken by police and Middlesbrough Football Club.

There were two arrests during the game and one after the final whistle, including a 39-year-old who man was arrested in connection with an offence involving a flare being lighted. All three remain in custody.

Superintendent Mark Thornton said: “The majority of fans have been fantastic today and have worked with us to ensure that the match goes ahead safely and that the focus was on football, not disorder.

“We police football based on the intelligence we receive, and our response today was proportionate. I’m extremely proud of all involved, especially officers on the ground who have been engaging with fans from early this morning.

“I would like to thank Middlesbrough Football Club for their ongoing support, and Leeds United Football Club and fans for their co-operation.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger spent the day with officers to see the scale and scope of the policing operation around today’s match.

He said: “From the briefing at 8am this morning and throughout the day I have been really impressed with the level of skill, dedication and meticulous planning that our officers put into operations of this nature.

“A huge amount of work goes on behind the scenes, just to keep the streets of Cleveland safe. It’s testament to our officers, with support from Middlesbrough Football Club, who have made sure that today’s game passed without serious incident.”

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Ross 'The Boss' makes bid for European bantamweight title in home city

Sheffield boxer, Ross Burkinshaw, steps into the ring in his home city tonight (Saturday February 21, 2015).

Ross 'The Boss' makes a bid for European bantamweight title Credit: ITV Yorkshire

The twenty-eight-year-old former soldier was expecting to defend the Commonwealth title he won last September. But last week he was told he would be fighting for the European bantamweight title instead.

Bruce hails Phelan impact

Hull manager Steve Bruce has hailed the impact of his new assistant Mike Phelan.

Since the former Manchester United number two arrived at the KC Stadium, the Tigers have not lost, holding champions Manchester City to a draw and beating Aston Villa 2-0.

Bruce is hoping that trend can continue this afternoon against West Brom.

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