Cellino’s fight back begins TSS December 15, 2014 Leeds United 8 Comments Massimo Cellino today launched his appeal against The Football League’s decision to disqualify him as Leeds United owner. As expected, Cellino waited until the last minute to launch the appeal in an attempt to drag out proceedings for as long as possible, thus reducing the effective duration of his ban which will start no later than the 29th of December but only runs until March when his conviction in Italy is considered spent under UK law. The Italian’s lawyers will likely put forth a similar argument to the one they made when Cellino first failed the Owners’ & Directors’ test before winning an appeal and taking over Leeds United. Cellino and his lawyers believe his conviction in Italy isn’t yet binding and can’t be used against him until he’s exhausted the appeals process. The argument goes that under Italian law, those convicted of an offence aren’t considered guilty until they’ve had an appeal heard and Cellino is therefore innocent while the appeals process is ongoing. Unfortunately for Cellino, The Football League’s lawyers seem to interpret things differently. When considering whether a conviction received overseas breaches ownership rules, The Football League relate it to UK law where such a conviction can still be overturned on appeal but the defendant is considered guilty in the meantime. It’s for that reason the outcome of this appeal will likely be the same as before leaving Cellino sidelined until March. What Cellino does during that time will perhaps be most interesting of all. The Italian has two similar cases due to be heard in Italy which could mean he faces a further 12 months ban from controlling Leeds United. Since we seem destined to repeat the same dramas all over again, perhaps this is the best time to take this matter further and challenge The Football League’s rules in a higher court.