By Jonathan Davies
The Italian businessman Massimo Cellino has been disqualified from owning Leeds United Football Club by the Football League.
The Football League reconsidered its original decision on the Owners' and Directors' Test, adding another twist to the ownership saga at Leeds.
With speculation of a takeover intensifying in January, news broke that the club's manager Brian McDermott had been sacked by Massimo Cellino, despite the takeover not being officially completed. Shortly after, Leeds released a statement saying McDermott had not been sacked and was still manager.
Contracts were exchanged in early February between Leeds and Eleonora Sport Ltd, the consortium owned by the Cellino family.
In March, the Football League disqualified Cellino after he was found guilty of not paying import duty on a boat in Italy.
Cellino appealed the decision at a hearing of the Professional Conduct Committee (PCC), chaired by an independent QC, and returned to ownership of the club.
In a statement, the Football League said: "The board considered detailed legal advice and agreed unanimously (with the exception of its chief executive, Shaun Harvey, who did not take part in the debate or vote having declared an interest) that Mr. Cellino is subject to a disqualifying condition under the terms of the test.
"Mr. Cellino is entitled to appeal the Board's decision to the PCC within 14 days. As the judgment of the Italian Court has not been published in Italy, The Football League will not make any of its contents public.
"Additionally, the Board concluded that it was appropriate to ask an independent Football Disciplinary Commission (FDC) to consider whether Mr Cellino and/or Leeds United breached League regulations relating to the timely disclosure of relevant information. The matter will be heard by an FDC in due course."
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