If there’s one lesson for wealthy folks to learn from Massimo Cellino’s failed attempt to buy Leeds United — and there are many, many lessons — it’s to always pay the import duty on your yacht.
That’s something us regular folks have known for ages!
In any event, England is not going to get another enigmatic-at-best owner after the Football League disqualified Cellino’s company, Eleonora Sport, from purchasing 75 percent of the storied club.
You’ll remember our headline last month asked “Can a man with a messy history clean up the disarray at Elland Road?” Well, the answer is, “No.”
It seems Leeds supporters dodged a bullet here. As detailed in our last post regarding the matter, the man has been convicted of fraud and embezzlement off the pitch and fired 35 managers in the 22 years he’s owned Cagliari.
The Football League voted unanimously that Cellino’s yacht-related actions were deemed dishonest, and Leeds hierarchy is unhappy. They still want to find a way to keep the prospective owner involved with the club.
“The club and its shareholders are disappointed at the decision of the Football League not to approve Massimo Cellino as a director of Leeds United FC.
“However, the board and executive management of the club will continue discussions with the Football League and Eleonora Sport to find a solution that is suitable to all parties.
“Our shareholders continue to support the club directly or through additional investments as has always been the case.”
There are fears Leeds United could go into administration without stability at the ownership position, as they are reportedly losing $1.65 million per month. Leeds is currently 13th in the Championship.
For his part, Cellino is “ashamed” at the development. He says the money in question is a figure he could easily pay, and that the Italian government is at fault.
“I am not a dishonest crook. If I made a mistake, it was not on purpose. I’m shocked, I’m very shocked. I feel like I will disappear. I am so ashamed of myself, you have no idea. It’s not about the money at the moment.
“I didn’t try and do anything bad to Leeds, to anyone – I just wanted to do something good. I’m so shocked that I feel like I will jump from the window right now. I feel so ashamed.
“Why did they take two months to wait for the decision of the Italian court? I could have delayed the trial for one or two years if I had wanted.”