‘Lonely’ Leeds United owner Cellino looking for exit door at Elland Road

Massimo Cellino
Massimo Cellino
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Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino says he wishes he had never bought the club after again stating his desire to leave Elland Road.

The Italian took over at Leeds in April 2014 and has endured a turbulent reign, although his pending disqualification is likely to be withdrawn by the Football League after his appeal against a conviction in a tax case was upheld in an Italian court last week.

Cellino agreed to sell the club to Leeds Fans United earlier this season before reneging on that proposal and has talked about leaving on numerous other occasions.

His latest claim – made in an interview with The Times – comes days after Leeds ended the Sky Bet Championship season in 13th place.

“I’ve had enough,” he said. “It’s better to walk out, not because I’m dishonest but because I’m tired and hurt and lonely.

‘Why did they disqualify me when they knew the truth? I don’t want to complain because I’m a foreigner but I’m lost. I have no happiness any more and don’t know if I have the enthusiasm for the next season.

“If I could turn back time and you ask whether I would come to this club, I would say never. But now what should I do? Cry?

“I’ve never been so confused. I’m nearly 60 and would never have expected that from Leeds. I’m ashamed to say it.

“If someone wants to buy the club I will sell it. If somebody doesn’t come in I have no choice but to run it.”

Cellino has been the subject of a number of protests from fans’ group Time To Go Massimo and admitted the supporters’ anger towards him had left him feeling unsafe.

He added: “I’m scared to take a train in case someone comes up to me. My family don’t come to Leeds anymore because they are scared.”

It emerged this week that Cellino’s son Ercole had stepped down from his position as director on the club’s board, while his brother Edoardo was suspended by the Football Association following offensive comments he made to a supporter on social media.

Time To Go Massimo is encouraged by Cellino’s latest comments and hopes it is the beginning of the end of the Cellino family reign.

It said in a statement: “Time To Go Massimo cautiously welcome statements made by Massimo Cellino to The Times newspaper, where he appeared to confirm he is ready to sell Leeds United Football Club.

“We are aware that he has made comments and given interviews similar to this in the past and sincerely hope that this won’t be another false promise.”