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Redfearn: Cellino is great for Leeds

Leeds head coach Neil Redfearn is confident Massimo Cellino's legal fight with the Football League will end in the club owner's favour.

Redfearn confident in Cellino's leadership Credit: Press Association

Cellino is still in talks with his lawyers but has said he will appeal against the League's decision to disqualify him under its 'owners' and directors' test'.

The League announced its decision on Monday after receiving further evidence from the court in Sardinia, which convicted Cellino of tax evasion in March. The Italian has until December 15 to lodge his appeal.

Leeds said in a statement in response to the League's ruling that the decision would destabilise the club, but Redfearn said this week's events had had little effect in the players as they prepared for Saturday's Sky Bet Championship game at Ipswich.

No I don't think so, I know Massimo's here for the long haul. He's absolutely fantastic for this football club. I'm buying right into what he wants to do, right the way from when I was in charge of the academy and where he said he wanted to take the club and we're still on that path. He's got to take great credit for that. Whatever issues there are, I'm sure they'll be sorted out.

– Neil Redfearn
Redfearn: We're very fortunate to have an owner who's football daft. Credit: Press Association

When asked if the uncertainty over Cellino's future made life difficult for the players and his staff, Redfearn replied:

No. We're in this process of building, he wants to build a side that can go and compete and play in the Premier League. He wants to take the club back to where it belongs and I'm pleased to be part of this process.

We come up here to Thorp Arch and lose ourselves in training and what we do through the week. We can't affect anything else that goes on. We're mindful of guarding the players against everything else, but that takes care of itself anyway. I'm confident it will go in the right direction for us. But the players are focussed. We've got a young group and what you get with young players is enthusiasm about their training. They look forward to training as much as they love playing, so they're great to work with.

– Neil Redfearn

The League ruled Cellino can return to the club on March 18 when his conviction for failing to pay import duty on his yacht expires under UK law.

I'm pretty sure it will get sorted out. I'm positive about that. We're very fortunate to have an owner who's football daft. He loves his football. He loves his club and he's trying to take it in the right direction. My job is to make sure the players are focussed and switched on and with a game-plan for Saturday.Everything he's done has been in the best interests of Leeds United Football Club. He's desperately trying to get it on track and wants it to do well. That's all I've seen since I've been here and long may it continue.

– Neil Redfearn


United fans call for stability after Football League bans Cellino

A Leeds fans group has urged the Football League and club president Massimo Cellino "not to engage in endless legal struggles" after the Italian was disqualified from being owner.

United fans call for stability after Football League bans Cellino Credit: Press Association

The League announced on Monday that Cellino has failed its 'Owners and Directors' Test' after finally obtaining the full written report from the Italian judge who convicted him of tax evasion in March.

Judge Sandra Lepore concluded Cellino had acted dishonestly when failing to pay import duty on his yacht and the League has ruled Cellino must resign from his position immediately. He has 14 days to lodge an appeal.

The 58-year-old will be entitled to return to the club on March 18 next year when the conviction is spent under UK law.

Leeds United Supporters Trust said in a statement:

In light of the decision of the Football League (on Monday) to disqualify Massimo Cellino and the public response of Leeds United, the Leeds United Supporters Trust calls on both the Football League and Massimo Cellino to act in the best interests of the club and its supporters and not to engage in endless legal struggles that ultimately benefit no-one. For too long, football administrators and owners have failed to consider the consequences of their actions on loyal Leeds United supporters. Our members are frustrated that uncertainty has yet again been introduced to Leeds United and the resulting instability that creates for both the club's business operations and its supporters. This lack of consideration needs to end and the best interests of Leeds United and the integrity of the Championship need to be protected. The League has also asked an independent disciplinary commission to consider whether Cellino and/or Leeds further breached League regulations by not disclosing relevant information in a timely manner. We call for any independent disciplinary commission that is established to finish its business in the shortest possible timescale. The Massimo Cellino "fit and proper person" issue has been dragged out for more than nine months, it is imperative it does not drag on endlessly. Supporters from numerous clubs have long been aware that the (fit and proper persons' test) FPPT has been a process unfit for purpose for some time, (these) events only go to re-enforce that notion. The Trust believes we are in uncharted waters and therefore asks that both sides bring clarity and honesty to their public statements and consider the supporters' need for a stable club at all times.

– Leeds United Supporters' Trust

The League initially attempted to block Cellino's takeover of Leeds after his tax conviction in April, but the Italian successfully appealed.

Cellino must resign immediately say Football League

The Football League has said that Cellino must resign immediately and has 14 days to lodge an appeal.

Massimo Cellino Credit: Tony Marshall/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Should the decision to disqualify Cellino be upheld, the sanction applies until March 18 of next year when under UK law the conviction is deemed to be spent.

The Football League said in a statement: "At a meeting last week, the board considered the reasoned judgement of the Italian court against Mr Cellino having successfully applied to the Italian courts for its full disclosure.

The board considered detailed legal advice and agreed unanimously that Mr Cellino is subject to a disqualifying condition under terms of the Owners' and Directors' Test."


Sports blogger says Cellino is 'very disappointed' with news

Cellino could be forced to sell club after Football League announcement

Leeds owner Massimo Cellino could be forced to sell the club after the Football League announced the Italian has failed its Owners' and Directors' Test.

Massimo Cellino Credit: Clive Gee/EMPICS Sport

Cellino successfully appealed against the League's decision to block his takeover of Leeds in April, but after receiving the detailed evidence from the Italian court that convicted him of tax evasion, the governing body has ruled the 58-year-old is not fit to continue as the club's president.

The League's board of directors agreed unanimously at a meeting last week, after finally receiving the Italian judge's written report on Cellino's conviction for failing to pay tax on his yacht, that Cellino is "subject to a disqualifying condition under the terms of the Test".

The League confirmed that Cellino is entitled to appeal in the next 14 days.

Derby win pleases Redfearn

Leeds head coach Neil Redfearn was delighted with his side's performance as two goals from Mirco Antenucci saw Leeds beat top-of-the-table Derby at Elland Road.

Mirco Antenucci scored two goals for Leeds Credit: Press Association

The former academy boss has been overseeing a steady improvement in fortunes after the ill-fated reigns of David Hockaday and Darko Milanic.

"I thought we were excellent, they are a top side, you can see that," Redfearn said. "They caused us problems and it was a great game with two sides trying to play football. The finishing was out of the top drawer.

"To me this is part of the progression. I think we have been playing well and have played well in games and not got what we've deserved. Today we did and the more we put these performances in the better we will get."

Aside from two-goal Antenucci, Redfearn had praise for teenage midfielders Lewis Cook and Alex Mowatt, who orchestrated the Leeds aggressive display that McClaren noted.

"They are getting better and better, getting more experience and getting their feet under the table," he said.

"We came on to them and it shocked them. They played well but we were better."

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