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Leeds still want to deal with 'banned' Cellino

THE Leeds United owners Gulf Finance House Capital have not given up on Massimo Cellino's company Eleonora Sport completing a takeover despite the Football League's decision to disqualify the Italian businessman from becoming a director of the club.

Cellino is disqualified from becoming a director by the Football League
Cellino is disqualified from becoming a director by the Football League

The Football League issued a statement earlier yesterday announcing Cellino's conviction last week for a tax offence in Italy constituted "a disqualifying condition under its owners' and directors' test". But GFH Capital have added to mounting confusion at Elland Road by revealing they are still in talks with the League and Eleonora Sport in a bid "to find a solution that is suitable to all parties".

GFH Capital exchanged contracts to sell 75% of the club's shares to Eleonora Sport on February 7 and it would appear Leeds' current owners are determined to keep the deal alive.

Cellino, 57, who owns Italian club Cagliari, has bankrolled Leeds for the last two months and fans fear the club could slide into administration if a new owner is not found soon.

Leeds managing director David Haigh has insisted there is "no chance" of the club going into administration.

The League's decision to block Cellino's takeover was taken at a board meeting on Sunday evening which considered his eligibility in the wake of his conviction in Sardinia.

Bahrain-based investment firm GFH Capital has been searching for major investment since buying the club from Ken Bates in December 2012.

Another group, Together Leeds, fronted by former Manchester United international managing director Mike Farnan, has been waiting in the background, but it is understood there are other unnamed parties ready to step up their bids. GFH Capital has so far refused to enter into serious talks with Together Leeds after rejecting a "derisory" offer from them in November.

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