Massimo Cellino: Leeds chairman calls off plan to sell club to fans

Massimo Cellino
Massimo Cellino previously owned Italian club Cagliari

Leeds United chairman Massimo Cellino has told Leeds Fans United he no longer wishes to sell them his majority stake in the club.

The Italian announced on Friday that he was willing to agree a takeover with supporters and forgo any profit.

The supporters' group said on Tuesday that they believed Cellino would sell them the club for £30m.

"We've been informed by the lawyers of Cellino he no longer wishes to sell to Leeds fans," LFU said in a statement.

"Our insistence on him confirming his verbal offer of exclusivity in a legally binding agreement has forced transparency on his motives. It is much better that we identify this insincerity now before we spend our shareholders' money.

"This exercise has proved our capacity to adapt to any acquisition scenario very quickly. We now know we have the capacity to do both a minority and majority deal, and it has shown that Leeds fans have a desire for fan ownership.

"We hope that Massimo will treat the club and fans with respect and honour."

Cellino, who is appealing against a second Football League ban, said at the start of the week he would no longer attend matches at Elland Road.

The Whites are 17th in the second tier after winning their first home match since 4 March against Cardiff on Tuesday.

Cellino's biggest controversies: a timeline

  • April 2014: After initially being prevented from buying the club he successfully appeals and becomes the majority owner.
  • May 2014: Manager Brian McDermott leaves the club after the end of the season.
  • August 2014: His surprise replacement David Hockaday is sacked after just six matches.
  • October 2014: Slovenian Darko Milanic is sacked after six games and just 32 days in charge.
  • December 2014: Cellino is banned from running the club by the Football League after an Italian court finds him guilty of tax evasion. He appeals against the decision but is unsuccessful.
  • March 2015: Cellino's ban is extended from March to the end of the 2014-15 season.
  • May 2015: Replaces Neil Redfearn as head coach with former Brentford and Wigan boss Uwe Rosler.
  • October 2015: On the same day he sacks Rosler and replaces him with Steve Evans the Italian is banned from running the club by the Football League for a second time. He has submitted his appeal against this decision. It is understood he faces further legal cases in his home country.
  • November 2015: Vows to no longer attend matches. Changes mind about selling majority stake in the club to supporters' group Leeds Fans United.