FA to rule on Ross McCormack ‘bung’ charges against Leeds United and Cellino this week

Leeds United owner, Massimo Cellino.
Leeds United owner, Massimo Cellino.
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Disciplinary charges against Massimo Cellino and Leeds United over the sale of Ross McCormack to Fulham will be heard this Thursday, it is understood.

Leeds and Cellino are accused of breaching Football Association rules by making an illegal payment of £185,000 to an unlicensed agent following McCormack’s transfer to Craven Cottage in July 2014.

The FA alleges that United and their Italian owner agreed to pay the fee to McCormack’s licensed representative, Derek Day, in the knowledge that Day would pass the money onto Glasgow-based businessman Barry Hughes, an advisor of McCormack.

Hughes is not licensed by the FA and the rules of the association forbid payments to unlicensed agents during transfer deals.

The FA’s disciplinary department spent almost two years investigating McCormack’s move and brought charges against Leeds, Cellino and Day in May.

Leeds and Day are accused of breaking FA regulations relating to agents while Cellino is accused of a separate breach of FA rules.

Cellino and United deny any wrongdoing while Day has previously insisted that no money was paid to Hughes during the McCormack’s sale.

McCormack, who has since transferred to Aston Villa, is not accused of any offence by the FA.

Cellino will argue his and United’s case in front of a disciplinary commission on Thursday in a bid to stave off any punishment.

Leeds face a financial penalty if found guilty while the FA could potentially suspend Cellino from footballing activity if the offence is deemed serious enough.

The club has not commented on the case and the FA sait it would not disclose the date of the hearing. The FA is, however, expected to publish a full written verdict once a decision is made.