The Football League Paper - - INSIDE -

MAS­SIMO Cellino may not be re­turn­ing to Leeds in April, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be back at all.

Nowhere in the (now for­mer) owner’s crazy, ram­bling state­ment do the words “never”, “good­bye” or any­thing of fi­nal­ity make an ap­pear­ance.Yes, he has sold his stake, but who to? Not Red Bull, with whom he held talks in De­cem­ber. Not Rus­sell Crowe, more’s the pity.

In all like­li­hood, it has been passed to ei­ther a patsy or some­one who will sell it back on re­quest. Don’t for­get that two of his sons re­main on the board.He’s hardly sev­ered all ties.

Cellino clearly be­lieves the Foot­ball League have over­stepped their author­ity in bar­ring him from own­ing Leeds due to a con­vic­tion for tax eva­sion in Italy. Whether he’s chal­leng­ing that sin­gle de­ci­sion or the le­gal­ity of the en­tire own­ers’ and di­rec­tors’ test re­mains to be seen, but one thing is clear: Cellino is pre­par­ing to take an almighty swing at the au­thor­i­ties and doesn’t want them hold­ing up Leeds as a hu­man shield.

Lose, and he’ll con­trol the club from the shad­ows.Win (and the guy has very deep pock­ets to pay very good lawyers) and I’d be very sur­prised if he doesn’t make a tri­umphant re­turn to the di­rec­tors’ box.

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