Two parties in battle to buy Leeds United from Cellino

Rob Conlon
Massimo Cellino: Closing in on Leeds sale

Massimo Cellino’s controversial reign at Leeds United looks set to end with two parties reportedly battling to buy the club from the Italian.

Earlier this month Cellino claimed six parties were interested in buying Leeds, having reneged on an agreement to sell the club to supporters group Leeds Fans United.

However according to the Daily Mail, it is now between Guiseley owner Steve Parkin – who is worth an estimated £200million – and a group of unnamed overseas investors, who are believed to be acting alongside a UK-based businessman with links to the city.

Neither group is understood to have agreed a period of exclusivity to negotiate a price with the 59-year-old.

The suggestions of unnamed investors may worry some supporters, with Red Bull having been linked with a takeover in the past, while Ken Bates’ early reign as chairman was set against the murky backdrop of unknown owners.

Former Cagliari owner Cellino revealed his intentions to sell the club after fans protested against his ownership during the 2-0 defeat to Blackburn Rovers at the start of the month.

“It pains me to make this decision as I have put my heart and soul into this club,” he said

“But what I was subjected to at the Blackburn game left me feeling like I had no other option but to take a step away.

“After the time, effort and emotion I have given to the club to try and enable us to move forward, it hurt me a lot to hear the fans singing what they did on Thursday night.

“The fans made it clear they believe I am no longer the best person for this job, and for the first time I am starting to think that they may be correct.”

It appears his hand was somewhat forced after being disqualified by the Football League for the second time after being found guilty of tax evasion in Italy.

Cellino is appealing the ban although it is yet to be decided when his case will be heard.