Thursday 29 September 2016

A Range Rover and yacht at root of Italian's problems with taxman

Published 27/10/2015 | 02:30

Massimo Cellino has until tomorrow to appeal against a Football League ban on him owning or directing Leeds United for the duration of this season
Massimo Cellino has until tomorrow to appeal against a Football League ban on him owning or directing Leeds United for the duration of this season

Massimo Cellino has until tomorrow to appeal against a Football League ban on him owning or directing the club for the duration of this season - imposed after a second conviction for tax evasion in Italy.

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Cellino said that he would be contesting the decision but refused to disclose the basis of an appeal.

"When in your life you have a problem you have to face the problems," he said. "I like to face the problems, or your dreams don't come true. It's too easy to run away from something. I am responsible for protecting this club.

"The last people here tried to take the club into the Premier League because they thought that it was easy. In the meantime (they) spent more than (their) income.

"When they didn't get into the Premier League they sell it and run away. You fix (the club) and (get into) the Premier League afterwards."

To the question of how he will appeal against his ban, now that a written judgement in Cagliari has confirmed his guilt on a charge of non-payment of VAT on an imported Range Rover, he said: "I have to speak to my lawyers."

The Football League's owners' and directors' test prohibits a person from owning 30pc or more of a club's shares or being involved in running it at executive level if they have been convicted of a criminal offence that involves dishonesty.

The latest offence, which brought a £28,400 fine, follows Cellino's conviction in March 2014 for failing to pay £305,000 import tax duty on a yacht, Nelie, in Cagliari three years ago.

Irish Independent

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