Leeds demand League decision on Cellino takeover

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LEEDS United have written to the Football League demanding a decision on Massimo Cellino’s takeover of the club by the end of today.

United’s owner, Gulf Finance House, attacked the Football League over what it said was an “unprecedented delay” in approving or rejecting Cellino’s £25m buy-out.

Cellino, the Italian owner of Serie A club Cagliari, has been awaiting approval from the League since he and GFH exchanged contracts over the sale of a majority stake in Leeds on February 7.

His takeover is in serious doubt after a judge in Sardinia found him guilty of tax evasion on Tuesday, a conviction which could see him fail the Football League’s Owners and Directors Test.

The Football League has been awaiting full documentation from the court case before reaching a decision on Cellino’s deal but it said last Thursday that it would make an announcement within 10 days.

Leeds, however, as pushing for an answer in the next 24 hours after writing to the Football League’s in-house lawyer, Nick Craig, this morning.

A spokesman for GFH said: “Leeds United have this morning sent a letter to the Football League, demanding that the Football League hands out its decision by the close of play today.

“This is an unprecedented delay which is damaging the owners’ ability to move the club forward.”

GFH - the Islamic investment bank based in Bahrain - has been in control of United since it bought out ex-United chairman Ken Bates in December 2012.

United managing director David Haigh said: “I’ve been in regular contact with the Football League throughout the whole process and I can say that both Shaun Harvey (the Football League’s chief executive who is presently abraad in Kuala Lumpur) and other League officials have been extremely helpful every step of the way.

“Shaun has even taken calls at 3am local time!”

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