What is delaying FA verdict on Massimo Cellino over Leeds United’s transfer of Ross McCormack?

Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino (
Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe).
Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino ( Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe).
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LEEDS UNITED owner Massimo Cellino was today still waiting to hear the verdict of a charge over breaching Football Association rules in Ross McCormack’s transfer to Fulham in 2014.

An independent panel is understood to have reached a verdict following a two-day hearing in September, but is delaying an announcement pending a written explanation of the decision.

Cellino’s charge relates to an alleged illegal payment made to an unlicensed adviser of McCormack. Leeds and the club’s Italian owner were accused of sanctioning a fee of £185,000 to McCormack’s licensed agent, Derek Day, in the knowledge that Day would pass the money to Glasgow businessman Barry Hughes.

Hughes was unlicensed and FA rules forbid payments to unregistered third-parties during transfer deals.

The FA charged Leeds and Day with breaking agent regulations.

Both parties are believed to have pleaded guilty. Cellino, however, denied a separate breach of FA rules and made his case during September’s two-day hearing at Wembley. McCormack is not accused of any wrongdoing.

Neither Leeds nor the governing body are believed to know yet the verdict of the panel.

No possible punishment has been mentioned by the FA, but Arsenal were fined £60,000 last year for breaching agent regulations during their signing of defender Calum Chambers from Southampton.

Stuart Dallas, meanwhile, has been named in the Northern Ireland squad to face Azerbaijan and Croatia in this month’s World Cup qualifier double-header.

The winger was injured during the last international break and has not featured for Leeds since the 2-1 win at home to Barnsley on October 1.

Whether Dallas is available for United’s trip to Norwich City this weekend will be a big feature in whether he then jets off to join up with Northern Ireland.

“Stuart hasn’t played due to injury, there is a question mark but we have named him,” said Michael O’Neill, who led his country to the knockout stages of Euro 2016 last summer.

“We will see how he is. What happens this weekend will be a big factor in his availability.”

Dallas suffered the calf injury during the build-up to last month’s World Cup qualifier against Germany.