Former Leeds United Owner Massimo Cellino is back in the news, after being found guilty (again) by the FA of breaching rules related to agents, and his 12 month ban and fine have been upheld.
The breach of relegations has to do with the £10 million transfer of Ross McCormack to Fulham and some of the agent payments surrounding the transfer. The FA had already found Cellino guilty in December of 2016 and doled out punishment, an 18 month ban and a £250,000 fine. Cellino appealed against the ban and fine, and that appeal was heard in January 2017, and his ban was reduced to 12 months and the fine was reduced to £100,000. However, that was not the end of the saga:
Cellino challenged this decision by way of an FA Rule K Arbitration on grounds which included an allegation of apparent bias, on the basis that one member of the Appeal Board had been a member of The FA Council.
The FA disputed that contention but agreed to compromise the proceedings on the basis that Cellino’s appeal would be heard again by the Arbitration Tribunal, sitting as an FA Appeal Board.
That hearing took place on 27 July 2017. The Tribunal upheld the previous findings of the Regulatory Commission and imposed the sanctions set out above.
Cellino's 12-month ban only applies in England. FA has no power to impose a suspension outside its jurisdiction. Free to crack on at Brescia— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) October 30, 2017
He was indemnified by LUFC for his actions as a director. It's quite likely the Club will pay fine and costs.— MikeT/AdrianTeakdesk (@Mike_J_Thornton) October 30, 2017
Leeds will likely be on the hook for the fine and costs associated with the appeals, and since Cellino has sold his shares in Leeds United to Andrea Radrizzani and moved back to Italy, where he now owns Brescia, it is likely that no actual punishment will be served to Cellino. And that really is the takeaway from this whole saga. Massimo Cellino did something he shouldn’t have, drug Leeds United through the mud while doing it, and he somehow managed to avoid any real consequences.
So glad that Radrizzani is now the owner of Leeds United. So glad.