Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino could face Football League ban following tax evasion fine

Joe Hall
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Massimo Cellino was banned from exerting influence at Leeds in December (Source: Getty)

The future ownership of Leeds United has been pulled into further doubt after owner Massimo Cellino was fined for tax evasion by an Italian court.

Read more: Can these Leeds United fans save English football's sleeping giant?

Cellino was fined €40,000 (£28,398) for evading paying €16,000 tax on an imported Land Rover from the US according to local reports in Sardinia.

The eccentric 58-year-old was acquitted of customs offences, but now faces a potential second disqualification from the Football League for failing the owners and directors test if the league decides the latest fine constitutes a "dishonest act".

In December, Cellino was banned for four months from having any executive influence at Leeds after being fined €600,000 by an Italian court for failing to pay import duty on his yacht.

Defined as a "dishonest act" by the judge, the description meant Cellino failed the Football League's test for owners and directors - which lists a "dishonest act" as a "disqualifying condition" and was banned from being a "relevant person" at the club.

The ban was extended to the end of the season as a result of Cellino's failure to disclose court documents.

In the 18 months since he secured the purchase of the Yorkshire club, Cellino's stewardship at Leeds has already been littered with incident including four managerial changes.

And the headaches could keep coming for the Italian businessman with a separate court hearing for tax evasion in relation to a second yacht scheduled in October.

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