Football League Need to be Wary of “Vendetta” Accusations – by Rob Atkinson


The collected intelligentsia of the Football League

The collected intelligentsia of the Football League

So, Massimo Cellino is in.  He has won the right to have ratified his 75% purchase of Leeds United and he is now effectively the owner of the club.  It’s been a long, long road and quite a twisty turny one to boot.  Along the way, matters have descended into low farce on frankly far too many occasions, with certain parties open to ridicule verging on laughing-stock territory.  But now it’s all over – we move on, right?

Well, maybe not.  The gentleman who decided in Cellino’s favour today, Tim Kerr QC, did so strictly on the evidence before him.  He resisted invitations to decide the instant matter against Cellino pending possible imputations of dishonesty when the fuller “reasoned” judgement of the Italian court is handed down within three months or so.  But he did acknowledge that, should such imputations be made, then at that time Cellino would fall within the scope of disqualification.  What we have today is, in effect, a verdict “as is”.  Things might change, and then the Football League would, in theory, have the option of acting anew against Cellino.

There are worrying signs within the judgement handed down by Mr Kerr today that the Football League acted with extraordinary zeal in an effort to preserve their decision to disqualify Cellino.  They went so far as to try and have the evidence of an independent Italian legal expert disregarded, on the grounds that his impartiality was in doubt because – wait for it – he’d ended one incautious social media exchange with “Ciao – Forza Leeds“.  The QC dismissed such prevarication, pointing out that the League were happy to rely on the witness where his evidence – as in part it did – counted in their favour.  Such selective pleading rightly fell on stony ground.  But the point is, this kind of eagerness and opportunism said a lot for how keen the League have been to exclude Cellino.  After that decision was overturned, they expressed their “disappointment”.  Some slight understatement there, we might now suspect.

The thing is, by June things might look different again – if the Italian judge finds in her reasoned judgement that Cellino has been guilty of dishonesty.  But by then, he will probably have the wheels moving of some sort of revolution at Elland Road.  Plans will have been laid, money committed.  Are they really going to disrupt all of that and plunge the club once again into crisis and uncertainty?  The answer to that might be indicated by their apparent readiness to throw Leeds United to the administrators in the process just concluded.  The implied duty of care that binds them to looking after the best interests of their member clubs did not seem to have persuaded them to act otherwise.

Another point is that the League – as I have frequently pointed out – have within several of their clubs owners with much nastier things than unpaid import duty on their shrivelled consciences.  Rape, money laundering – that kind of nasty.  Whatever the ins and outs of spent convictions, or offences committed before the Owners and Directors test was drafted – the de facto situation is that those people remain – and the League have not seemed all that fussed about acting against them.

The trouble with all of these legalistic shenanigans is that – to the humble fan in the street – the machinations behind them all can remain bafflingly obscure.  That’s made worse by the fact that nobody seems inclined to explain to us, in layman’s terms, precisely what is going on.  It is quite reasonable, then, for a fan of Leeds United to point to Blackpool FC and say – hang on.  They have a convicted rapist as majority shareholder.  Where’s the even-handedness, where’s the justice?  But no explanation is forthcoming; perhaps, we might suspect, no reasonable explanation exists.  Whatever the case, if the Football League persist in their arrogant attitude of airily dismissing such concerns whilst pursuing Cellino – who may well be the only feasible saviour of the biggest club outside the Premier League – with such slavering, predatory eagerness, determined, to all appearances to “get their man” – then they might very well end up shooting themselves in the foot.

This sort of thing could, after all, leave the League open to charges of bias, prejudice, vendettas – all sorts of things that a responsible and impartial governing body should be eager to shy away from.  Leeds fans will be quite justified in asking “why always us?”  They can call on plenty of history to illustrate the validity of that plaintive demand.  And at the end of the day, having gone through one high-profile and ultimately fruitless legal process – do they really want to embark on another, so soon?  If they haven’t already made themselves look foolish by the desperation evident in Tim Kerr’s written judgement, they’d certainly do so by launching themselves, pell-mell, back into the courtroom again, with barely a chance for anybody to draw breath.  A high-profile organisation like the Football League cannot afford that kind of all-too-apparent dopiness and pig-headedness.

Human nature being what it is, the gentlemen of the League are probably sulking tonight.  Their showpiece application of the much-vaunted “fit and proper” test has exploded in their faces, casting doubt on the fitness and propriety of those who drafted it.  Concerns have previously been expressed in other quarters about how prescriptive the test is, how little room there is for the application of some common-sense ad hoc judgement.  Now, the test itself has been tested – and found wanting.  The League mandarins are “disappointed”.  Hell hath no fury like an ego thwarted.

It may well be that the initial League reaction is – right; we’ll wait till June and then hit Cellino with whatever we can find in the reasoned judgement.  But, with time to cool off, perhaps that determination might mellow, eventually, into something more approximating pragmatism and common-sense.  It might be best, after all, to see how Cellino goes about his Leeds United revolution, or evolution – whichever it may be.  If he’s doing a good job and being a good lad, perhaps wiser counsel might prevail.  The League have an over-riding duty to act in the best interests of their member clubs.  If Cellino is putting things straight at Elland Road – and it’s an open secret that the place is in a parlous mess right now – then what good purpose would be served by interrupting that work?  It could fairly be argued: none.  Let Massimo have his chance, now that he’s had this disqualification over-turned, to work whatever improvement he can.  Let us see how he does.

Of course, that’s common sense – the kind of thing laymen deal in because they’re not used to manipulating legal niceties.  But – and here’s the thing – it sometimes works better than some of these administrative gentlemen might imagine.

And it may well be, in any event, that the Italian court’s reasoned judgement, when it is available, will not contain anything to harm Cellino’s prospects of remaining in control at Leeds.  That’s one construction to put upon the unusually low fine imposed – around half the prescribed minimum – and the mention of “generic mitigation”.  It may be that our Massimo has been guilty of oversight or ignorance, rather than anything criminal.  After all, as the man himself incredulously asks, why would somebody of his fabulous wealth make a point of dodging import duty of three hundred grand?  It’s chicken feed to the King of Corn.

So there may not be anything to worry about after all.  But nevertheless, some of us will worry.  Those of us who are aware of the fraught relationship between Leeds and the League over the last half-century.  Those of us who remember Hardaker, or Mawhinney and minus fifteen.  Those of us who could sense the frustration and malice in the League’s reaction to this latest decision which, for once in a very long while, has actually favoured Leeds United.

The worry won’t quite go away until finally we can be reassured that there is no stick for the League to beat Cellino and Leeds with.  Because, failing that, we’ll be relying on their capacity for rational thought, common sense and the preservation of a member club’s future.  And, for anyone who knows the Football League of old – that is not a very happy thought at all.

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84 responses to “Football League Need to be Wary of “Vendetta” Accusations – by Rob Atkinson

  1. The beer is flat and the champagne back on ice till june , cheers rob

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  2. great link , let the good times roll

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  3. Only a few days ago, Massimo Cellino was chased from ER by an angry group of Leeds fans. At that point it seemed like Ken Bates had a better chance of taking ownership of LUFC. The FA then told us Mr Cellino was not fit and proper to run the club and suddenly he is the most popular man in town. Mr Cellino, LUFC and its fans owe the FA a big thank you. For the first time in years we are marching on TOGETHER.

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    • Few days ago? Chased? FA? You need to read Rob’s blog a bit more often AZ ! It was the end of January when Cellino was prevented from leaving ER. The FA govern the PL clubs, of which hopefully we will within the next season or two we will be. The FL are the spiteful set of imbeciles who prolonged this process with their unhealthy interest in destroying Leeds United.

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      • Well put sir! Spiteful imbeciles indeed.

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      • Az White

        I also believe the FA bungled this one badly, and yes they’ve dragged it out way beyond a “few days”. (I’m not good at sarcasm, apparently). I do however, stick by my point that our poor treatment at the hands of the FA has driven fan-support for Cellino to a level that seemed most unlikely in January. Back then, Cellino was portrayed in many blogs as a pantomime villain who tried to sack a popular manager.

        Much has changed in the interim of course: the prospective new owner has dipped his hands into his pockets many times (very encouraging: how often have we seen that from fully-vested owners?) and recent poor results have tarnished Brian McDermotts shiny image, perhaps unfairly.

        Despite these events, the debate no longer seems to be about support for new owner vs. support for team manager. We now have a common enemy we can all agree upon. Thank you FA (sarcasm intended).

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      • I agree – apart from your references to the FA. It’s the Football League – FL – who are the panto villains here.

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      • Az White

        You are correct, Rob. Perhaps I should have said “Thank you FL for FA” 🙂

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      • Heh, heh 🙂

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  4. Flew back today from Shanghai to Seattle and did not know till a few hours ago of our last 3 losses but I read about Massimo getting approval from the FL. Tax evasion on a boat he bought in the US and sailed to Sardinia is absurd – hopefully he can sail it up the River Wharf or whatever it is.
    Please welcome Massimo with open arms because he is our savior. I like his style and openness but after so many losses McD has to go at the end of the season.

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  5. Ben Dunphy

    I’m a leeds supporter for the best part of 50years .ive seen a lot gone on at in that time ,I’ve never had the privilege of seeing them play in elland road, and probably never will now I’m living in Australia. Leeds utd is a huge club with great history it’s a shame the way things have gone on in the past ,but now they have a chance to get back some of the glory days and play in the premiership .we should all get behind the new owner massimo cellino he has put his own money into a club he believes has the potential to play at the highest level .

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  6. I was thinking about Mawhinney as i read your article, and can remember the stupid grin on his face as he was being interviewed on the tele. His arrogant attitude whilst he was trying his utmost to destroy our club by relegating them and deducting fifteen points was something i always wanted to come back and bite him on his arse.

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    • That smug smirk haunts me too, the way it invariably appeared when he oiled on about Leeds being a member of the football family, whilst doing his best to finish us completely. Horrible bastard.

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  7. I thought the ruling was that Cellino had been deemed to have been convicted but it was not considered a dishonest act. Wouldn’t this mean even if found guilty in June by the Italian courts it still wouldn’t be deemed dishonest…?

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  8. The link to the interview with Cellino’s lawyer is reassuring. The fact that the appeal failed to win on the argument of his innocence until the legal process is complete but did win on the argument that the conviction wasn’t an indicator of dishonesty suggests that the FL can not come back if the Italian court were to maintain guilt after his appeal. The FL seems to have come out of this poorly – I would have liked to see them try to explain their impartiality given Shaun Harvey’s role

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    • If the Italian court impute guilt that’s a problem. But the unusually light fine and mention of generic mitigation suggests they may see it as mere oversight with no dishonest element. As MC says, he expedited the court case because he genuinely felt he was in the clear. He could have spun it out – but he chose to, as he thought, get it out of the way. If he can prove even that he just THOUGHT he was clear of wrongdoing, then that blows dishonesty clear out of the water.

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      • Well i’m sure if maria millers expenses fiddle can be deemed to be an administrative error and that other tory piece of shit ids can get away with a fraudulent italian degree. Surely Cellinos tax oversight could be forgiven? After all its not like he’s running a country.

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      • The trouble is, people think that sort of like-for-like comparative argument is naive and misses the point. But in fact it IS the point. What better measure of justice than showing parity of treatment, without fear or favour, malice or ill will? We have to do our bit to spread the word and make sure those arrogant tossers know we won’t tolerate being perennial whipping boys. We are Leeds – MOT

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  9. The Farnun connection has yet to unravel and those 25% GFH shares. Once Cellino owns ER and TA we can confidently be rid of Bates as well!

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  10. The FL were suppose to make the decision fairly snd on the evidence available – they got it wrong! Then they have the temerity to say that the are disappointed? Disappointed with the fact that Cellino did not act dishonestly. So, he is not dishonest, well they must be very upset about that then. The FL need to review their policy and pass the adjudication process to someone who is completely independent and unbiased. The FL are not fit for purpose my friend and apparently not at all even handed. The disqualification of a person over such a trivial matter in my view shows churlish behaviour on their part. For God’s sake, half of the directors in the UK would be disqualified form their businesses. And would our wonderful MP still have a job if they were pursued with such vigour. FL GROW UP!

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    • Churlish behaviour over a trivial matter – I agree. Whatever the legal intricacies, morally the League’s stance stinks. To leave undisturbed rapists and thieves, yet set the hounds of hell on MC because of a petty cash oversight is pathetic and ridiculous.

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  11. Written with your usual suspicion of the dodgy hand shakers Rob, however I cannot see the bitter fox and hound runners try and kick us in the goolies further down the line, especially if we are looking like a well run club who are planning to have a go at getting out of this god forsaken league! I think the outcry would be too embarrassing for them if they attempt to! I just want to talk about results of the game from now on!!

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    • I agree – it’s vital for Cellino to hit the ground running and establish himself as a force for good. He can’t afford any slip ups that’s for sure – they’d be on him like Ronaldo over a trailing leg in the area.

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  12. Reblogged this on altwoodmoon's Blog and commented:
    “Be careful what you wish for” Ken Bates words that continue to hunt us.

    A cornered Football League will come out fighting, i am concerned that their may be more trouble ahead.

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  13. fatha revie

    thank god somebodys got a brain another brain cell and the fl would have been abunch of daffodils

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  14. I thought that the lawyer agreed that in fact Cellino had a conviction however it wasn’t dishonest so whatever happens (remember he was not handed a prison sentence) then it doesn’t matter about his appeals even if the conviction is upheld! it would only have mattered had the lawyer assumed his innocence which he did not so Cellino has no existing or future issues based on this conviction.

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    • The problem is, that’s the picture on the evidence available NOW. Kerr refused to second-guess the Italian judge, but if her reasoned decision, when it’s available in June, imputes dishonesty – that’s a game-changer because you then have guilt AND dishonesty which amount to a disqualification under the FAPP rules. Sadly, Kerr feels guilt is shown on the evidence – and he’s also dealt with the “compelling reasons why disqualification should not apply” provision which MC might have argued if there had been guilt AND dishonesty.

      All that said, I have a lot of faith in MC’s legal team and I’m sure they have plenty more up their sleeves yet. They might well need it, because MC ain’t out of the woods yet, with future cases pending.

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      • But even IF the written reasons (which are not due until June) show dishonest intent, that is only the judge’s opinion. That opinion could/should/may be subject to appeal by Cellino. It is my understanding that there are two (ascending) levels to which Cellino could appeal if he disagrees with the judge’s reasoning. This could drag on for many months and surely the bastards at the FL wouldn’t dare leave Cellino or the club in limbo for such a long time. Surely Cellino’s lawyers would take the matter to the government sports body responsible for overseeing all sports. (Sorry, don’t know the name of it).

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      • I think that only counts if Kerr accepted that – as per Italian law – Cellino was not guilty till the legal process was complete. But he didn’t, so we’re stuck with the guilty verdict. Add an imputation of dishonesty to that, and we’re fecked.

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  15. Ropey Wyla

    if the league can screw us they will, but, lawyers tend to be better at law than old men in suits who wanted to be lawyers but weren’t clever enough, hence the fact Mr. Chellino won his appeal.

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  16. I welcome Massimo, however being Leeds I suspect the football league will apply the rules in the way that best suits there needs. Your common sense reasoning is something that the football league does not possess when it comes to dealing with Leeds. One law strictly applied to us, another to everyone else. But he’s no fool and a fighter the FL will have to play hard to get one back on him. Buona Fortuna to Massimo and the future of Leeds. MOT

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  17. Frank Snayde

    I don”t think that the football league is able to take any further action against Cellino. Para 121 of the judgment seems to confirm this. They could have suspended the appeal until the Full Italian judgement is published. It didn’t. The para in the appeal judgement seems to me to be clear that the F.L. Have nowhere else to go.

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    • I read it as saying with no evidence of dishonesty, there is no disqualification, even though Cellino IS to be regarded as guilty, albeit narrowly. The distinction between guilty and dishonest is crucial. Both elements must apply for a disqualification to result. IF the Italian judge lady in her reasoned judgement, due by June, imputes dishonesty, then that catches MC under the FAPP test. What do people think – have I read it correctly? As it stands, MC is guilty but not dishonest, so the bullet is dodged – for now.

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  18. This probably also helps to explain Massimo’s eagerness to work with Together Leeds. For once light at the end of a very dark tunnel. Looking forward to the pre-season friendly in Sardinia. Forza Leeds !

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  19. I still think the best way to stick it to FL and all the hater clubs is an away boycott not nice but see what they have to say when there not getting the extra revenue MOT WITH MC

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    • I agree – that’s fan power in the raw. But how to organise it? If LUST tried, half the support would be instinctively hostile. Sadly, in terms of positive action, the fans are not united.

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  20. Reality Cheque

    Another excellent post Rob and thanks for articulating the views and frustrations of so many Leeds United fans throughout the FL’s unprecedented scrutiny of Mr Cellino. It is now absolutely clear that their motive was always to steamroller the British legal system with a “Guilty until proved Innocent” stance of delaying their decision until Cellino’s Italian Court hearing, when according to Cellino’s legal advisor, the FL have powers to disqualify ANY director retrospectively anyway – so why the unprecedented delay in not giving an earlier decision re Cellino??? Cellino has acted with passion, honesty and dignity in equal measure throughout the Football League’s behaviour toward him. He has grown in stature with his honesty and forthright analysis of all the factors (and individuals) contributing to the continued demise of our great club. He is EVERY football fans dream ticket and his supporters will soon extend beyond just Leeds United fans. He is a breath of fresh air blowing into League Football and the FL now have a very strong and popular opponent who is no “chicken” should they choose to continue to treat him with disdain. Let battle commence and I have no doubt whatsoever that the result will be an emphatic HOME WIN!!!! Bring on Blackpool in front of a packed Elland Road stadium roaring a welcome to our very own gladiator!!! MOT

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    • I couldn’t agree more. Cellino has a lot to offer. I feel there is a window of opportunity here – MC needs a charm offensive and then some spectacular early coups, improving the LUFC situation beyond all recognition. Try to remove him THEN, and the League could have a full-blown revolt on their hands.

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  21. Robskibeat

    Based on reading the transcript his lawyers seem very competent which I wouldn’t have credited them as a few weeks ago. Don’t forget he is in talks with Farnan for a reason and he’s also reported as having told Cagliari ‘I never left’. The crazy corrupt bastard has something up his sleeve. Apparently he’s sacked Haigh as well according to the reliable source that is ‘The Sun’? He’s the kind of crook I like. MOT

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  22. for once it is nice to see that British justice is impartial, the QC. Tim Kerr, even though a Chelsea fan, resisted the temptation to dismiss the evidence of the Italian law expert, even though the FL were trying to undermine his views

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  23. I hope the link up with Together Leeds Happens because that could provide somewhat of a shield for both Leeds and Cellino if his court cases go against him.

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    • Fully agree – safety in numbers, and all that. It’s sounding as though MC has a busy week lined up as well – heads may roll any time from Monday onwards with BMcD and Haigh already aboard the tumbrel.

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  24. As a solicitor, I doubt if the football league will revisit this matter, the best chance they had was to stop him at the gates, now that the gates are open and he is in tough luck. Our Italian friend is about to start a revolution and what I know about revolutions there will be casualties. I with my son and daughter been to games home and away and to be totally frank we have been shortchanged the quality at united is dire and coaching inept. There will be blood on the carpet starting with gfh, through to the team and eventually to the coaches door.

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  25. They’ll be poised like jackals ready to tear into LUFC should Cellinos tax appeal. We’re going to have an uphill struggle every game we play next season and will have to win by wide margins if indeed we win at all if you know who is still in charge. You wrote that the football league were in a huff yesterday, that spiteful little wretch on another blog has moved his “sofa” into the corner to sulk. What a complete tosser.

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  26. mike johnson

    What a brilliant counterpoint to the Mail on Sunday’s “Crooks Charter” back page screamer.(But, we are Leeds…fair game for spite,right?) I feel like printing that out, framing it, and hanging it in my den next to the Leeds scarf my mum knitted me 30 years ago, and my latest Leeds tea mug from my son,…it’s that good. Thanks Rob, for the best of the best LUFC blogs.

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  27. What a brilliant counterpoint to the Mail on Sunday’s “Crooks Charter” back page screamer.(But, we are Leeds…fair game for spite,right?) I feel like printing your words out, framing and hanging them in my den next to the Leeds scarf my mum knitted me 30 years ago, and my latest Leeds tea mug from my son,…it’s that good. Thanks Rob, for the best of the best LUFC blogs.

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  28. I have just watched the FL show.Steve claridge made a comment saying that compared to a lot of football directors cellino,s Offence was a misdomeanour, a storm in a teacup. As has been said by bloggers before me Massimo cellino is guilty but not dishonest. This was stated by the Italian judge.I believe that this was a misunderstanding rather a deliberate act to avoid paying import duty that is why I am just giving you the minimum fine. . Rob can,t wait for your blog always enlightening and enjoyable. Could you confirm that Haigh has been sacked or not.this information came from the sun,not very reliable source.

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    • Thanks Gordon. I know as much as you do about the Haigh thing. It WAS the Sun – but then again it was a direct quote from MC. Then, you have to make a judgement call on how sober or otherwise he was when he said it! Interesting times ahead…

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  29. Yachts a matter you haigh gotta no respect, ,,,,,!!!!!!!!

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  30. John Hayton

    I have read the QC judgement and don’t think the Italian appeal process which is open to Cellino was the reason for upholding his appeal against the FL decision. The persuading argument according to the QC was that the Italian judge appeared to consider that Cellino was not dishonest – dolo eventuale, not dolo diretto. There were a number of reasons that the QC thought this was the case, not least the fact that the fine imposed by the Italian court was very low for a “dishonesty” case. The QC said that there may be more clarity when the Italian judge’s written account is eventually published, which will be in June.

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  31. Andy Bentley

    Surely the focus now shouldn’t be Leeds United ownership, but the FL’s incompetence (or worse) as a governing body? They have demonstrated on several occasions that they have been derelict in their duty to ensure the best for their member clubs. They have vested and conflicting interests and in my opinion, they should have no part to play in the ownership issue. Despite their own shortfalls, this role would be better laid at the door of the FA.
    I find it interesting that they use the term ‘investigate’ the decision! I would prefer them to put their efforts into investigating the process, their decision making and the double standards they employ! They are dinosaurs, a dysfunctional gentleman’s club. They lack openness and transparency and in my opinion they are fortunate not to be facing a court case of their own in regard to the losses incurred due to their over zealous pursuit. Their reaction of ‘disappointment’ is a dreadful pr error. They behave like the first golf club who were told it would be unlawful to bar women!

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    • Couldn’t agree more. A big re-think is needed and a shift towards guaranteed independence and impartiality of decision-making. It’s scandalous that it takes a QC to put the Football League house in order.

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  32. I remember in the Amanda Knox trial and all the fan fare that surrounded it a journalist saying how the Italian judicial system was very different to ours , he went on to say that a lot of what goes on is to save face on both sides but in the end money always talks, I don’t think the FL understood the Italian way of dealing with these things Rob and all this will be resolved in due course , but resolved the Italian way , a roundabout way of saying Massimo will play the game , grease a few judges’ palms over there and that’ll be the end of the matter

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    • At the end of the day, he’s no worse than a bit of a rogue and there are much, MUCH worse examples of sin and venality extant within the “football family” (sarcasm very much intended). I’m convinced Cellino is very much the way forward for Leeds and I’m happily aware that there are many converts to this point of view. The League have never had our best interests at heart – that’s a historical fact. Quite honestly, they should butt out and put their own house in order. Two years max, and Leeds United won’t be their problem any more.

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  33. The FL claim this was nothing personal or a vendetta against Cellino,fair enough.Then it must have been personal against the club.THE FL claim it has a duty to protect and care for member clubs iff so why didn’t the pay the clubs wage bill for march. Cellino has put the FL to shame..

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  34. What a performance from Everton today, such a shame that Ross Berkely wasn’t good enough to get in colins great side of last season. Do you know that Everton chairman Bill Kenwright was in a Carry On film? And isn’t Howard Kendall the spitting double of Phil Silvers?

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  35. How will it look if Massimo cellino buys back Elland road and Thorpe arch.How could the league say he is not fit to run a football club,when he is the only one to really put money into leeds United. He also has a plan to take the club forward.Wouldn’t have repercussion beyond football if he was disallowed on a later date. I do also think that Massimo should come to an agreement with Together leeds.

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  36. Rob
    believe me the FL will not only seek revenge but they will get it served cold eventually.

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  37. Don’t worry this will give the righteous b”stards at the FL plenty of time to concentrate on Birmingham City”s chairman and the expeditious way they dealt in barring him! Two faced f@@@ers!!!

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  38. If the FL were to re-visit the Massimo ruling in June, wouldn’t this set a precedent?
    The Football League will subsequently have a duty to constantly monitor and review each and every one of its 70-odd Clubs’ owners and directors – yes, all of them! – as and when new charges and allegations arise?
    As has been pointed out many times, convictions and imprisonment for money laundering and rape do not appear to be an obstacle elsewhere in the competition, while pornographers are seen to be most worthy.
    As I see it, the FL’s ruling was overturned by the independent QC, therefore Massimo now IS “fit and proper”. In the absence of new evidence, any further overturning constitutes “double jeopardy”?

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    • This is precisely what I meant when I referred to “vendetta” in the title of the most recent piece. The FL, in pursuing a blatant anti-Leeds agenda, will be wide open to such a charge. Already, the text of Kerr’s decision reveals a naked malice and a steely determination to impose a malign will on what is their biggest club and most compelling attraction. The sooner we are out of this tinpot competition, the better.

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  39. Rob , what’s you’re view on cellion owning two clubs at the same time ? Do you think its a good thing , bad or indifferent, ? I’m concerned there might be a conflict of interests , I read today that he’s sacked the coach after the Roma loss and can’t help but feel its too many eggs in one basket

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    • I agree but I think the important thing is that he’s trying to sell Cagliari – it’s just taking time. But in the longer term, he has to be 100% Leeds. I’m far more concerned now about the ridiculous and childish stance of the FL which seems committed to plunging Leeds United back into crisis at the earliest opportunity. I would like to know why Leeds constituency MPs aren’t more vocal and supportive of the club. It’s about time the gloves came off. If they want war, let them have it.

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  40. I have just had a terrible feeling that the FL are about to set a precedent, as is their wont where Leeds are concerned, and arrange for a vote to be taken by all their member club chairmen as to the ratification of Massimo Cellino’s take over. The foundations are there as per the minus 15 situation and is a solution to clear their eggy faces. Hell hath no fury like a bunch of unelected, pompous, middle class, self serving rats scorned.

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    • If this were to be the case, we need to demand political support from the city’s MPs and unite to give the FL as hard a time as possible. This case cries out for independent sports arbitration. The League are quite happy with their rapist at Blackpool – his son sat on the panel that disqualified Cellino. Now they’re in tantrum mode, because their fit and proper test has had its wheels fall off on the first serious outings. I’d call them clowns, but in all honesty that’d be an insult to the proud history of slapstick. Incompetent, arrogant and corrupt morons about covers it for me.

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  41. Pingback: Welcome to Elland Road, Blackpool FC AND Their ‘Fit & Proper’ Rapist Owner – by Rob Atkinson | La Vita, Leeds United, l'Universo e Tutto

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