Dubai's GFH Capital finally sells 75% stake in Leeds United

Italian businessman Massimo Cellino completes takeover after successful appeal to Football League
Dubai's GFH Capital finally sells 75% stake in Leeds United
(Getty Images - Photo for illustrative purpose only)
By Staff writer
Sat 12 Apr 2014 01:47 AM

Italian businessman Massimo Cellino has completed a deal to buy a 75 percent stake in English football club Leeds United from Dubai-based owners GFH Capital.

The move follows a ruling by the Football League on Thursday which confirmed that Cellino can take up his position as a director of Leeds United.

Following last week's successful appeal against the League's initial ruling barring him from buying a majority stake in the club, the game's governing body has now rubber stamped his ability to become a director of the club.

A Football League spokesman said: “At its meeting in London today, the Board of Directors of The Football League considered the outcome of the recent appeal by Massimo Cellino under the Owners’ and Directors’ Test.

“In making its original decision, the Board took the view that Mr Cellino’s recent conviction in Sardinia was for an act that ‘would reasonably be considered to be dishonest’ and that he was therefore subject to a disqualifying condition.

“In the current absence of detailed reasons for the conviction from the Sardinian Court and having taken into account the principles of Italian law, an independent QC reached a different conclusion.

"On this basis, Massimo Cellino is cleared to be a Director of Leeds United.”

Club manager Brian McDermott said: “The big thing is that the ownership is now settled and we have clarity. We have the stability we needed. This is a new chapter. Massimo has come in and we have a blank sheet. It’s a new start."

Separately, the BBC reported that Leeds managing director David Haigh has resigned from the Championship club's board following the takeover.

Haigh, who had been set to become chief executive following Cellino's takeover, had been on the board since GFH Capital, a subsidiary of Bahrain's Gulf Finance House, took over the club in December 2012.

He attempted to take charge of the club through his Sport Capital consortium but the deal collapsed in January.

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