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Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino rebukes corruption allegations: "I have not committed crimes"

Joe Hall
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In the clear? Leeds have dismissed the Telegraph sting as a "non-story" (Source: Getty)

Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino has defended his conduct after he was named in an investigation into corruption in football.

The Italian was secretly filmed discussing selling a stake in Leeds to undercover reporters from the Telegraph posing as Far East businessman.

According to the newspaper, in offering to sell a 20 per cent shareholding in the club, Cellino was providing the fictitious business firm with a way to profit from player sales while at the same time bypassing third party ownership rules.

Read more: Leeds fans must stump up £30m to buy club from owner Massimo Cellino

​The Football Association is currently investigating the case, while Leeds United issued a statement describing the allegations as a "non-story".

Cellino has now broken his silence on the issue and insists he did not propose anything illegal with the undercover reporters.

"I am not corrupt," insists the eccentric businessman in Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport.

"I have not committed crimes. I have not been corrupted. I have only mentioned a corporate strategy."

In a statement Leeds said: "The club has reviewed the supposed 'evidence' that The Daily Telegraph have published. At no time in this video clip has Mr Cellino suggested getting around the FA's rules on third-party ownership of players.

"In complete contrast to what has been suggested, Mr Cellino has made a perfectly proper suggestion which is entirely consistent with the FA's regulations, as the only parties entitled to take benefit from ownership of a player is the club itself."

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