‘Confused’ Cellino could face ban this week over Leeds United’s McCormack deal

Massimo Cellino
Massimo Cellino
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LEEDS UNITED owner and president Massimo Cellino could be suspended from the game later this week.

Cellino is set to learn his fate later after being charged over an alleged illegal payment during the transfer of striker Ross McCormack to Fulham.

The Elland Road club and McCormack’s licensed agent, Derek Day are accused of breaching the Football Association’s agent regulations during the Scotland international’s multi-million pound move from Elland Road in 2014 – with the deadline for United to respond to the allegations passing on Friday.

The deadline was originally scheduled for May 20, but was extended by seven days by the FA.

The charges surround a payment of £185,000 which Leeds agreed to make to Day following the reported £10.75m sale of McCormack in July 2014.

United and Cellino are accused of agreeing to pay that fee to Day, knowing that the agent – who runs Glasgow-based firm Shadow Brands – intended to pass the money to Scottish boxing promoter Barry Hughes, an advisor of McCormack’s.

Hughes is not licensed by the FA and the organisation’s rules on agents state that “a club must not directly or indirectly make any payments to any unauthorised agent in respect of any agency activity”. McCormack is not accused of wrongdoing.

The FA issued the charge on May 16 after investigating allegations of an illegal payment for a number of months.

Cellino had denied deliberately breaking FA rules and speaking earlier this month, said that he was “confused” about the allegations against him.

But if found guilty, the Elland Road owner and Day could face suspensions from football, while Leeds are more likely to receive a substantial fine.

Cellino also faces possible additional disciplinary action from the FA, who are continuing to mull over whether Leeds broke rules on third-party ownership with their loan signing of Adryan from Flamengo in 2014. Cellino denies any wrongdoing.