Leeds Fans United say that Massimo Cellino has pulled out of a deal to sell the club to them. The deal, which would have been funded by a four tier investment plan spread among fans, was expected to be completed within three months.
In a statement, the group said although the deal had fallen through, it showed 'Leeds fans have a desire for fan ownership.'
Leeds Fans Utd has just been informed by the lawyers of Massimo Cellino that he no longer wishes to sell to Leeds fans. Our insistence on him confirming his verbal offer of exclusivity in a legally binding agreement has forced transparency on his motives. It is much better that we identify this insincerity now before we spend our shareholders money.
The Chief Executive of the group, Dylan Thwaites, had previously said he expected Cellino to sign an exclusivity agreement, and that he had 'no reason to believe' the deal would not go through. He also said he found Cellino "straight forward" in his business dealings.
Speaking to ITV Calendar on Monday night, Thwaites said he hoped the deal could be put together in three months, and that supporters were 'ready to roll' with the plans.
Prior to the deal being struck with Leeds Fans United, there had been rumours of interest from former Southampton chairman, Nicola Cortese, and also from the 'Together Leeds' consortium, headed by businessman, Mike Farnham. However, last week Farnham denied he was behind any new, rival bids, and had given his backing to Leeds Fans United.
On the pitch, Leeds won their first home game of the season, and their first win under new coach, Steve Evans, with a 1-0 victory over Cardiff, courtesy of a stunning strike from Alex Mowatt.