Leeds remain in state of flux as Cellino puts sale of club on hold until next year

Massimo Cellino.
Massimo Cellino.
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mASSIMO CELLINO’S plan to sell his stake in Leeds United is understood to be on hold until the new year.

The Italian had signalled his intent earlier this month to put the Championship club on the market.

He subsequently spoke of having had contact from up to six interested parties, one of which was lifelong Leeds fan and haulage magnate Steve Parkin.

However, Cellino’s plan to sell is believed now to be firmly on the back-burner amid suggestions that none of the bidding groups were serious.

The latest development leaves United in a continued state of flux with the uncertainty added to at Elland Road by the recent ban handed out to Cellino by the Football League over a conviction in Italy for tax evasion.

The Leeds owner, who served a similar suspension last season, has lodged an appeal and is free to continue working at the club until that is heard. No date has, as yet, been set for the hearing in front of the League’s arbitration panel.

If, however, Cellino’s plea is rejected he will then have to serve a ban of 223 days.

This length of time will equate to the time between his disqualification becoming effective on November 12 to June 23 next year, which is the date when his tax conviction in Italy will become spent.

Amid all this off-field uncertainty, head coach Steve Evans has to keep his players focused on what is sure to be an emotional reunion today for the Scot with former club Rotherham United.

“It is unusual for me not to get any messages from them,” said Evans when asked about his former Millers players.

“I have not had any this week. That tells you, quite rightly, where their focus is – on the game.

“For sure, they will be fired up. Neil (Redfearn) is going through a transition of maybe changing their style of play.

“That always lies at the door of the coach and, ultimately, you get judged on whether that is a success or a failure. But not on a short-term basis, when you decided to change a style of play, it happens over a period of time.”