Cellino ‘Sacking’ Again Raises Questions About Football Ownership – The London Economic

Cellino ‘Sacking’ Again Raises Questions About Football Ownership

By Matthew Biggin [email protected] [email protected]_Sport

I had to smirk when I awoke on Monday morning to news that Massimo Cellino, the eccentric (I’m being polite) owner of Leeds United A.F.C. had been disqualified from the Yorkshire club and asked to resign by the Football League.  I guess that’s the owner equivalent of ‘left by mutual consent’.

So who exactly is Cellino?

Well he’s the former owner of Italian outfit Cagliari, where he earned the nickname Il Mangia-Allenatori, translated as The Manager Eater.  Now quite why any manager would choose to work for a man with such a nickname is quite beyond me.  But they did.  And since May he has sacked three.  Beware the ides of March.

Anyway, Cellino is a rather outspoken individual – imagine a cross between Bernie Ecclestone and Paolo Di Canio (you get the picture).  Some of his quotes since joining Leeds include ‘Me, I sort out the f***ing problems at Leeds,’ and ‘[the fans are]…tired of eating sh*t and shutting their mouths.  They accept me with enthusiasm and that gives me a lot of responsibility.  I’m the richest man in the world with these fans and I can challenge anyone, everyone.’

Quite the charmer isn’t he?

Well up until Monday he was the flamboyant (still being polite) owner of fallen giants Leeds.  That is until he was ‘disqualified’ for, yep, you guessed it, tax evasion.  How boringly unoriginal of him.  It was something of an anti-climax considering the nature of the man, but there we have it.

Cellino was found guilty in March of failing to pay import tax duty on his yacht (they all have yachts). The League (in their defence) did attempt to block his takeover of Leeds at the time.  But their decision was overturned by a QC, who granted the takeover in April.  That gentleman will surely be receiving a pink slip in the mail.

It’s worth noting, by the way, that Cellino will be able to resume control of the club from 18th March next year, as all his convictions will be deemed spent.

Anyway, this all got me thinking about what a mockery these owners continue to make of the Football League, Premier League and FA ‘fit and proper’ tests.  Now I don’t want to have another pop at the poor old FA, so I’ll leave them out of this post.  But it seems ridiculous that so many questionable characters are allowed to take such positions of power.  And if there are independent parties overruling decisions the leagues make in the first place what is the point of having measures in place for a fit and proper test?

I am reminded of the Carson Yeung debacle – the Hong Kong businessman who took over (then) Premier League club Birmingham City in 2009 and is now facing 6 years in prison for money laundering.

Then there was media circus involving Portsmouth FC in 2009, when the then Premier League side endured two takeovers in as many months.  Takeovers from men like Dr. Sulaiman Al Fahim, who wasn’t actually a doctor of anything and seemingly had fewer discernible assets than David James.  Then there was Balram Chainrai the man who successfully oversaw the administration of the first ever Premier League club, when Pompey entered administration in February 2010.  And Cellino is the latest example, though something tells me he won’t be the last.

Why aren’t the league’s means-testing wannabe owners to make sure they can service existing debts and pump money into the club?  Why are prospective owners not being screened for criminal histories, particularly those involving fraud or larceny?

When these kind of shady characters are being allowed to take over top level football clubs with no questions being asked you know something’s rotten in Denmark.

Ultimately it is the supporters, players (sometimes) and the clubs themselves who suffer – not the owners.  The English football system needs to stop embarrassing itself and properly screen prospective owners before allowing appointments and takeovers to go ahead.

For more from Matthew visit www.matthewbiggin.com

48 Responses

  1. Gary

    Matthew, regarding Cellino and his ability to service debt and provide much need finance for LUFC, you clearly don’t have a clue what you’re talking about. Take a tip, research before putting pen to paper, it helps……..

  2. JOHN WALKER

    YET ANOTHER BADLY INFORMED SO CALLED JOURNALIST HAVING A GO AT LEEDS UNITED.
    CELLINO CERTAINLY IS NO ANGEL , BUT HE IS PUMPING HIS OWN MONEY INTO THE CLUB,
    AND THE CLUB IS NOW MORE FINANCIALLY SECURE THAN IT HAS BEEN FOR 20 YEARS.
    THE FOOTBALL LEAGUE ALLOWED KEN BATES TO TAKE CONTROL WHEN HE HAD JUST LEFT
    CHELSEA £90 MILLION IN DEBT. THE SAME FOOTBALL LEAGUE WHO SANCTIONED SHAUN
    HARVEY TO ARRANGE AN ASIAN GAMBLING COMPANY TO BUY THE CLUB INSTEAD OF CELLINO.
    THEY ALSO ALLOWED GFH TO BUY LEEDS WHEN THEY HAVE INSUFFICIENT FUNDS TO DO SO.

  3. pome

    So he didn’t pay vat on a yacht bought in the US by a US based company on which US taxes were paid. Don’t think that exactly makes him out to be the criminal you are implying. He is the best thing that has happened at Leeds in a very long time and has paid off debts and injected capital. You should really be having a go at the FL who are utterly incompitent.

  4. PauG

    Oh, Mr Biggin …. how sad to see yet another sloppy, lazy piece of ‘journalism’ in respect of Leeds, Cellino and the Football League.

    Before you put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) again, I’d suggest you consider the following:

    Since taking over at Leeds, Cellino has had to face (and has successfully resolved) at least four winding up petitions on the club (I may have lost count on this). All relate to matters arising when his predecessors were in charge at the club; people who WERE deemed to be ‘fit and proper’ people by the Football League. People who have systematically failed the club by draining it of resources, and by failing to setlle its day-to-day expenses – including the wages of players and other staff. Since taking over, Cellino has poured money into the club; as a result of which it has signed more players in one Summer than in the previous 5 years. Not a fit and proper person ….?

    As for the Football League’s attempts to block Cellino’s takeover – this only failed because, as the independent (note that word) QC determined that the FL had failed to follow its own rules. You really couldn’t make it up, could you?

    And one final point. You might like to ask yourself why the Football League (and indeed the Premier League) aren’t pursuing some of the other club owners (Birmingham City, anyone) with quite the same vigour with which they are pursuing Cellino and Leeds …..

  5. tykemaster22

    How amusing,a journalist (i use the term loosely in your case), pontificating about ethics. Massimo Cellinos extremely minor tax debacle pails into insignificance compared to the money launderers,convicted fraudsters and rapists (yes rapists) who the FA and FL allow to own current clubs. Suggest you do some proper journalism instead of another biased poorly researched not so hidden agenda based attack on Leeds. The reason everyone involved in football hates Leeds United is simple. From pretty much the mid sixties onwards Leeds never disguised their utter contempt for all the inferior clubs,governing bodies and supporters they have outplayed. On the plus side complete nobodies like yourself through your jealously will always keep the legend that is Leeds United going. MOT

  6. Fat Lad

    I’ve read some dreadful articles on this subject over the last few days and I have to say this is the worst of the lot.

    This article typifies the attitude towards Leeds United outside of our own fan base.

    “I had to smirk when I awoke on Monday morning…”

    Did you now. Why, precisely? I’ll tell you why. Because you, like most of the footballing world is revelling with perverse glee at the demise of Leeds United. But that’s OK, we kind of like it. Dirty Leeds is a label we’ve embraced over the last few decades, and it’s part of our DNA now.

    But when the Football League, an organisation who has a duty of care to its member clubs, who is supposed to be looking after the best interests of the clubs, adopts the same attitude as the likes of you, it’s clear there is a problem.

    I quote further….

    “Anyway, this all got me thinking about what a mockery these owners continue to make of the Football League, Premier League and FA ‘fit and proper’ tests. Now I don’t want to have another pop at the poor old FA, so I’ll leave them out of this post. But it seems ridiculous that so many questionable characters are allowed to take such positions of power. And if there are independent parties overruling decisions the leagues make in the first place what is the point of having measures in place for a fit and proper test?”

    What a load of un-researched drivel. The poor old FA. What c**p.

    Massimo Cellino does have the money. He has resurrected a football club that was on its knees 9 months ago, he has practically erased the club debt, invested in the squad, re-engaged the fans, and League position aside, anyone connected with the club can see that finally we are on the up, a team playing well, and an owner who is passionate about the club and it’s fan base, and is slowly but surely laying solid foundations to try to make us successful again.

    But if you’d bothered to do any research at all you’d have known that.

    And we have appeals and independent bodies to ensure the laws are ahered to, its the basis of any good legal system. If you don’t feel that’s appropriate, I suggest you emigrate to North Korea and see how you like it there.

    The real irony though, is the legislation they are using to attempt to derail and destabilise the club is the very same legislation which is intended to protect clubs such as ourselves.

    There’s no way they are acting in the best interests of Leeds United. And they damn well know it. Rules for the sake of rules.

    They don’t like him and they don’t like us.

    The fit and proper person test is a good idea in principle, but it should only be enforced when it is in the best interests of the club, that is why it’s there in the first place.

    We don’t care though, it’s a paperwork exercise to withdraw until March and its business as usual, it changes nothing.

    Just another day in the life of Dirty Leeds.

    Its just a shame people don’t realise…. We’re not famous anymore.

  7. [email protected]

    You quote the below in your text ….. “Why aren’t the league’s means-testing wannabe owners to make sure they can service existing debts and pump money into the club?” ………… This shows how little you understand of the situation at Leeds United ! ………… Cellino is not looking to “scam” the club or the Football League, and without him funding the club (even as a “good will” gesture BEFORE he owned Leeds) the club would have gone into administration. This is due to the FL providing Leeds fans with absolutely NO protection during the preceding 10 years of ownership with Bates ( who the Football Leagues “chief exec” Shaun Harvey worked for ) and GFH. Unfortunately, by some miracle these parasites do comply as “Fit and Propper”, which says all about the criteria used in the test that needs to be said ! ….. Cellino has proven funding, and has pumped millions into Leeds already, simply because he loves football. This is money he will never get a return on, and is not expecting to do so. ………….. Yes he did not pay tax on a yacht which remained in Italian water beyond its permitted “tax free allowable” limit, but please remember he had already paid tax on the yacht in the USA, where he lived, and where he bought it ! …. Technically a crime, but in reality I doubt that many other FL chairmen are much “cleaner”. … What you miss in criticizing Cellino, is that unlike with the usual “ownwership” issues, Leeds fans NEED and want Cellino at our club. ….. So, how does the Football League see that banning Cellino is good for either the club or the Leeds fanbase ? …. The Football League actions are simply to show compliance with their poorly complied criteria in their own assessment test ! … Please have the dignity to respond and reconsider your position !

  8. madman

    Dear Mr BIGGIN You have jumped on the anti Cellino bandwagon like most of the press ,writing the same old negative crap and lies. My challenge to you and the rest them arrange to meet him and tell him to his face so he can have a chance to defend himself .There will only be one winner and it wont be you or the rest of your shit stirring lot MY FRIEND.

  9. Not wishing to have a go at you for such an ill-informed or biassed article and for ignoring the most pressing question – why is it ALWAYS Leeds United that is singled out for treatment when other criminal owners as you mention continue untouched while any petty thing they can get their hands on with Leeds causes them to exercise the full powers they can.

    Now, my point is this, why not simply consult those who matter and who pay their hard-earned money to watch the club year in, year out. Whether you like us or not, Leeds is one of the best supported clubs STILL in the whole of Britain. If not THE best supported considering the circumstances.

    My question: why not simply ask the fans if they want Massimo Cellino to continue as owner or not?

    The answer would be a resounding 95% PLUS — YES!!

    Why let the dishonest, biassed incompetent bunch at the Football League make decisions which are clearly 1. UNFAIR 2. NOT IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF LEEDS

    Please, let sense prevail and an END to this stupidity. There are managers who are convicted of rape and money laundering. GFH and previous owners of Leeds were not stopped, why this man who has done more good in six months than any of the owners in the previous ten years. Only one answer I’m afraid…

    THE FOOTBALL LEAGUE IS CORRUPT!

  10. AA

    Boring, Boring, Boring…gutter press journalism as usual, it’s not Leeds that should be under scrutiny it’s those idiots in the FL who are supposed to protect clubs from bad owners. Cellino has been a good owner injecting millions and getting rid of debt..cannot type any more, getting too angry

  11. stelufc

    the football league can never be taken seriously when the people running it include the likes of karl oyston and shaun harvey who are far more unfit and proper than cellino. also mk dons chairman is on the fl board, a club that is an affront to football traditions.

    also typical victimising of leeds by english football authorities, gone on for decades, we know the score.

    why dont fans have a say in ownership. 90% of leeds fans are happy with cellino, he may be mad but our last 4 owners were bad, likelyhood is any new owner would be bad too, e.g. fecking bates again
    (thanks to his pet gimp harvey at the fl) or red bull making us play in bloody red.

  12. Chareose

    London based media muppet who like the rest knows absolutely nothing about whats happening at Leeds. Its easy to pump out this drivel as it gets the golden star of approval from Leeds haters

    Independence for Yorkshire please….

  13. I do have to laugh at your un-researched and mi-informed drivel, Cellino maybe a little off kilter for the rest of the footballing world,but then you are the sort of person that would probably laud up Ken Bates who has more than screwed this club over.I do find all your bluster refreshingly boring but I do applaud you for being ever original at havinga go at Leeds United who the football world fear. We will win through as to be a fan of Leeds United you need a resolve like no other,eg take the story of a lad from Chennai who won through at the weekend.But you wouldn’t understand this family mentality we have here at Leeds

  14. stelufc

    of course, if fan power decided who ran football, the odious oystons wouldnt be allowed near any club, as most blackpool fans rightly hate them. and harvey would have had to have gone back to being a postman before he even got his grubby paws on leeds as bradford fans hate the oilly little pillock too.

  15. Mexboroman

    There’s something about smirkers – can’t put my finger on it – which is probably just as well and this article confirmed my suspicions. If you’re biased before you start it will be poorly written and a piece of one-sided claptrap….. just look at result. When all is finally resolved Mr Biggins smirk may well become an embarrassing egg on the face moment. Oh dear.

  16. Look, TLE doesn’t doubt that Massimo Cellino has been good for Leeds United. The fact is, however small Cellino’s misdemeanour, he did break the law and by Football League rules – he should be suspended. What Matthew is trying to highlight is the fact that these rules are rarely implemented and that far from Leeds being made an example of, the Football League should look into other cases (such as Birmingham City) and judge other clubs by the same standards that they judge Leeds United.

    I can understand the vitriol because at the moment, Leeds is looking like a scapegoat but IF the Football League take this further (a big IF) by investigating other owners then long-term it is good for the game.

    I agree with most of you however that it does seem counter-productive to suspend a man who effectively saved a club. Nevertheless that shouldn’t disguise the fact that Cellino technically broke the law. So the real question here is, does the Football League ‘fit and proper’ ruling need reviewing?

    1. stelufc

      the football league wont do that though.

      because….

      1 they hate leeds.
      2 two of the people who most need looking into, run the bloody thing, harvey & oyston
      3 its got a xenophobic whiff of “we dont like these foreign owners and their funny ways” about it.

    2. Paul Leggott

      Actually I don’t agree that he technically broke the law, Under Italian law where the offence was alleged, you are presumed innocent until any appeals procedure is finished, currently Celleno is appealing and therefor remains innocent of any such crime until this or a further appeal he can make decides against him. The mistake in my opinion is that the league interpenetrated a wording in another country’s legal system, and confused this with the law in England and applied it to rues written for english law, It appears that most lawers that are aware of this case belive the league was poorly and incorestly advised and that cellino is still presumed inocent and as such has no case to answer in regard the football leagues fit and proper persons test. I think you may find on appeal cellinos legal team will win and the Football league and all your reporters will have egg on your face

    3. [email protected]

      Exactly , so if, in your own words ….. “does the Football League ‘fit and proper’ ruling need reviewing?”, …. why did your journalist not carry out some research and do an article directed as this issue !! ….. I suppose it was far too easy to just “jump on the band wagon” and effectively support the injustice which the Football League are imposing, all because of their “ownership”criteria is misguided. …. If you genuinely feel this to be true, why not ask the questions of the Football League yourselves !!!!!

    4. CL

      I would agree the ‘fit and proper’ ruling does need to be reviewed, but I think the problem runs much deeper. There needs to be an investigation into the whole management structure at the FL.

      There were calls in parliament for inquiries by the Serious Fraud Office and the Serious and Organised Crime Agency into financial dealings at Leeds after Ken Bates, Shaun Harvey and the other directors put the club into administration in 2007. Unfortunately, such investigations have yet to take place . . . fingers crossed though.

  17. Carl Harrison

    What a spurious, ill conceived and poorly researched piece of writing that is. Irrespective of what you think about his tax affairs, the fact is that he has taken a club that was haemorrhaging money on a daily basis, paid bills and debts that had been created and then ignored by the previous two owners, stabilised the whole club financially, bought players better than the ones we had and shipped out the dross we couldn’t get rid of.
    All with his OWN money.

    Where were people like you and the Football League when Ken Bates and his cohort Shaun Harvey (now, brilliantly, the Football League chairman) were asset stripping the club whilst fleecing the fans with ever increasing price rises?
    Or when GFH were loading the club with debt and crippling them financially?

    Where were you and the Football League when local businesses were going under due to the unpaid debts of our previous two owners?

    A ‘fit and proper’ owner should be judged on how he runs his club. Essentially, the football league welcomed our two previous owners with open arms and they both systematically stripped us any assets and abused the trust placed in them, taking us to the brink of financial ruin.
    Whereas the only owner in the last 15 years to have put money INTO the club, paid any debts accrued and invest in the playing staff is castigated by all and sundry as unsuitable to run a football club.

    One last thought – Shaun Harvey, Leed’s inept former director and current football league chairman, has taken two different clubs into three administrations. Is he really a man we should trust to judge others on their competency to run a club?

  18. CL

    “Anyway, this all got me thinking . . . . ”

    This is the problem Matthew. You didn’t really do much thinking about this did you ?

    In 2007 Ken Bates and his fellow directors (including one Shaun Harvey, now Chief Exec of the FL) placed Leeds United into administration, wiping £38m of debt (including £7.7m owed to HMRC) from the books. HMRC were eventually paid 10p in the pound, but many smaller creditors received little or nothing.

    In contrast, Massimo Cellino has been settling the debts incurred by Leeds United (including tax) out of his own pocket. Most of the debts were incurred before he even arrived.

    I know Mr Cellino has been found guilty of not paying tax on a yacht in Italy, but if our HMRC were to apply ‘fit and proper’ person tests I think Mr Cellino would score a damn sight higher than the Chief Exec of the FL.

    It does beg the question, how does Shaun Harvey, a man who was sitting on the board of Leeds United when it went into administration, and who was the managing director of Bradford City when they went into administration (twice) become the Chief Exec of the FL ? It can hardly have been his business acumen that swung it for him.

    My own view is that the FL is a dysfunctional organisation, whose hierarchy is populated by self-serving individuals who have more interest in grinding their own particular axes, than serving the game of football or the fans that pay for it. But, what do I know, I am just a fan.

    Have you considered that perhaps Mr Cellino isn’t the villain here ?

    I also have to ask . . having read the other comments here . . . are you still smirking ?

  19. Bryan

    Biggin, I believe your lack of research may have left you with a lawsuit. I will also “wake with a smirk”, when a costly judgement is made against you.

  20. Paul Leggott

    Terrible inaccurate and badly researched journalism….if you had researched mr biggins, you would know there are currently two petitions rapidly gaining signatures. the first is asking the FL to withdraw it disqualification of cellino as it is against the best interests of Leeds United football club, (now more than 14,000 signatures) the second is calling for the removal of the Fl Chief executive and has nearly 9,000 signatures, that’s what real football fans think, they know who is corrupt and who is fit and proper

    1. Same Old

      It’s all well and good saying there is no agenda, and I won’t say that there is: but surely any editor worth his salt would be able to recognise sizeable portions of this article as simple vitriol, even without considering a few of the points that have been brought up in response.

  21. Fat Lad

    @TLE – You make a fair point, we all know Cellino is no saint, I think most Leeds fans would agree, but I doubt there’s a single successful businessman alive that doesn’t have the odd blot on his copy book.

    The point is that he may be no saint but he is our saviour, he saved us from administration and his flamboyant style and un-erring dedication to doing the right thing for us is being undermined by the Football League who feel he is unfit to run our club.

    He IS fit to run our club and he’s doing a damn good job despite attempts from all angles to stop him.

    There’s not one shred of evidence to suggest he is unfit to run a football club, he’s done just fine for the last 20 odd years. OK there’s been the odd minor misdemeaner, but does that really warrant an outright ban? I don’t think so. It certainly isn’t in the best interests of the club, which is the whole point surely.

    The legislation is there to PROTECT clubs, not destroy them.

    Its tantamount to saying someone wouldn’t make a good copper because they got caught doing 35mph in a 30 a few years ago. But you broke the law and a charge is still a charge none the less. Tough s**t.

    It very much feels like a vendetta against us, and they won’t be content until they’ve got him on some technicality somewhere. If not this, you just wait, they’ll have him under a microscope until they can come up with something else.

    Rumour has it that Shaun Harvey had another team lined up to buy Leeds but GFH favoured Cellino so they needed him out the way. I wonder if there’s any truth in that? Or still any truth in that?

    The rules should be changed, and other clubs and owners should be subject to the same scrutiny as Leeds and Cellino.

    We all know that will never happen though, half the clubs in England would be without owners if they did.

  22. stelufc

    the football league SHOULD be following the craig whyte case in scotland where he is being done for fiddling the books at rangers by selling future season ticket sales to make the club look healthier before selling it.

    the same thing happened at leeds.

    trouble is the people doing this wheeze at leeds were mr kenneth bates and mr shaun harvey, currently of the football league and arbitter of what is fit and proper in football.

    its ok going “everyone needs to follow the rules”. but when the people setting the rules are more bent than the people having to follow them, what you basicly have is a bananna republic.

    be interesting to see what you write when fifa throw the book at england for a few minor misdemeanours. the situations are comparable harvey IS a mini blatter.

  23. This is clearly a subject which has caused some consternation. If anyone would like to respond to this article, please get in touch. As I said before, The London Economic is a paper without agenda and defends the rights of free speech. For every opinion stated, everyone has a right of reply. Please feel free to use it – in article form.

    1. You state The London Economic is a paper without agenda. How does this statement fit without agenda?

      I had to smirk when I awoke on Monday morning to news that Massimo Cellino, the eccentric (I’m being polite) owner of Leeds United A.F.C. had been disqualified

      Shame on you for employing biased lazy hacks and you support them. We expect this piece to be withdrawn and Mr Biggin issue a full apology. Unbiased my backside.

  24. Fat Lad

    You are absolutely correct, free speech is what makes this country great, and in fairness to Matthew, the basis of the article is sound. There are some terribly corrupt and unsavoury individuals running football clubs, and this should be addressed.

    I think where he went wrong was to single out Massimo and character assassinate him, tar him with the same brush as certain other low lives currently gainfully employed in other football boardrooms without researching the man and the situation properly first.

    A lesson learned hopefully.

    This poor guy has taken over a club saddled with debt left behind from previous regimes, and despite all the pot shots, winding up orders, legal disputes etc, none of which were his making, he has ploughed millions and millions into the club, all his own money, he has performed miracles in 9 months, and he’s done it against all the odds.

    His actions have left all Leeds fans in no doubt that this man has made it his personal goal to get Leeds back in the big time and if it costs him a fortune of his own cash in the process then so be it. He is a real football man and the Leeds fans love him for that.

    And they get quite rightly touchy when suggestions are made to the contrary.

    Sure he’s a rogue, but he’s a loveable rogue, he’s outspoken, a loose cannon at times, but he’s flambuoyant and a fan favourite.

    And I personally believe his heart is in the right place, I was against his appointment to start with, I openly protested against his takeover outside the directors box at Elland Road before the Huddersfield game after he sacked Brian McDermott, but since that day he has won me over by his actions. He has been true to his word and things are looking up.

    He is the right man to take us forward and I hope the FL (and others) see that soon.

  25. This is a disgraceful, ill informed article. I suggest the cretin who wrote it looks into exact;y what Massimo Cellino has achieved at Leeds in the short period he has owned the club. Having done that, perhaps an apology would be in order.

  26. Richard

    Biggin, I work in a Hospital in Leeds in the Neurosurgery department and I’m happy to offer you a free frontal lobotomy. After reading the garbage above I can only draw the conclusion that you are mentally ill / have some physiological disorder in your cerebellum. As drastic as this might sound I think you’ll be a better person after the procedure.

  27. gary

    mr biggins
    may I suggest you drag yourpen and notepad north of Watford. I know its grim up north, find out the facts maybe interview the man your disrespecting. maybe interview a few folk around the ground. look on at comments in the local rag from leeds fans. ask about previose owners he lives above subway. then and only then put pen to paper. mr cellino has the respect of 99% of leeds fans, we love him ask yourself why? better still go find out for yourself.

  28. Dan

    I have no problem with Mr Cellino being disqualified as long as the FL apply their rules fairly across the board. But, they don’t, so I’m sure we can be forgiven for feeling a little hard done by.

    The smug opening line says it all. In particular the first 4 words…..

    “I had to smirk when I awoke on Monday morning to news that Massimo Cellino, the eccentric (I’m being polite) owner of Leeds United A.F.C. had been disqualified from the Yorkshire club “

  29. Still no apology?

    I can not see many reply’s supporting the article but i’m not surprised as it’s pure rubbish I really think the TLES should take internal action over this and respond with a more factual report covering the support Massimo Cellino is giving to Leeds Utd and the overall support from most of the supporters of Leeds for his positive intentions towards the club, by asking other people to respond with a supportive article looks like they realise how poor the report was in the first place but its to late now the damage has been done .

    1. buddy i sent TLE an email as requested saying i have an alternate article. This was sent a number of hours ago and no reply from them so i am wondering how committed they are to unbiased articles.

  30. Neil P

    Mr Biggens, I think you have been personally vindictive towards Massimo Cellino with your “smirks” n “quite a charmer” comments, this is definitely not an un-biased article. GET OFF YOUR BACKSIDE & ACTUALLY FIND OUT THE FACTS ABOUT WHAT MR CELLINO HAS DONE FOR THE CLUB, rather than trawl out the same old crap. Then actually write an informative article & apology. No-one, other than Leeds supporter, gave a flying f*** when Bates, Harvey n GFH & the rest were stripping us bare of all assets, going into administration, selling all our best players & not re-investing. That was fine for Football League & all the Leeds bashers, as it meant that the mighty whites would be in the lower leagues, so you could all have your cup finals against us, with a sold out away end. As soon as we finally have a chairman who actually cares, who actually puts his money where his mouth is, has a plan to get back to the premiership, the Football League decides to act & Shaun Harvey is the worst culprit of them all. He would not pass a “Fit & Proper” test to own a football club, but can make the decision on other potential owners. (perhaps you could write an article on that) If the “Fit & Proper” test is to be credible it needs to be assessed by an independent non-football related board, not Club Chairman (some already corrupt), who have their own agendas, looking out for their own clubs, & who do not want to lose the financial gains of sold out away end or ex-employees, with grudges in the same. & then actually decide if they would improve the club. Massimo Cellino has & will continue to do so. The Leeds United juggernaut is gaining momentum. The fans are feeling more positive than ever, the football is the best that has been played for years & is still improving every game. Massimo was born to own Leeds MOT

  31. liam

    The only reason TLE has written this article, is to get a reaction and an instant boost to the number of hits on their website.

    I bet they have never had so many replies and so many views on one of their stories before.

    Suggesting that people write their own article in response is also a joke.

    How about TLE get the reporter on their payroll, to first of all write an apology and then do a some real reporting and journalism, do a bit of research and then write a proper article.

  32. gary

    trawled back through your last 10 pages of sport to see something else mr biggins has wrote. {to get a feel of the quality}. notice how many comments on all the other articles. 10 comments per 100 articles. says it all really, mr biggins don’t bite the hand that feeds you. looking forward to your next offering . MOT

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