Leeds owner Cellino cleared of tax evasion in Italy

Date published: Thursday 10th December 2015 5:25

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Leeds United chairman Massimo Cellino has been cleared by an Italian court of alleged tax evasion during his time as owner of Cagliari.

The case related to the transfers of former Cagliari players Edgar Alvarez and Joe Bizera in 2007, but a government ruling introduced last October meant the alleged offences were no longer punishable by law and Cellino was acquitted.

The ruling has no impact on the ban imposed on Cellino by the Football League in October after he was found guilty in a separate tax evasion case in Italy.

The 59-year-old was banned for the rest of this season from being an owner or director of Leeds following the case, which centred on the non-payment of VAT on an imported Range Rover.

He is appealing the decision and is waiting for a date to be set for a hearing.

It is the second time Cellino, who bought Leeds in February 2014, has been given a ban for a similar offence, with the league originally suspending him from last December until May following his conviction for tax evasion relating to a yacht.

The Italian’s ownership has proved hugely controversial, and a small number of Leeds fans staged a walkout during their victory over Hull last weekend in protest at Cellino’s running of the club.

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