Aces hidden in sleeves, did Cellino hold all the cards all along? Graham Smeaton February 4, 2015 Leeds United 20 Comments It’s been a while since I have dropped by, but I thought I would share some news. The Football League are sticking up for us, so it seems, in face of criticism from those nice people in Westminster. It’s all a bit strange really, Leeds United and the Football League have a hate-hate relationship – a bit like me and the Missus really. Finger-pointing comes from both sides and accusation and counter-accusation are hurled like confetti at a wedding. Until today so it appears, until the Football League came out slinging leather in our defence. Anyway, I digress. Massimo Cellino doesn’t have to sell the 75% ownership in Leeds United because, well because, he doesn’t own those shares – they are not his to sell. In a classic move that Old Cap’n Birdseye Bates would have been proud of, it seems that the 75% share ownership of Leeds United is held in a ‘blind trust’ of which El Jefe Cellino and his family are the beneficiaries of the trust. The trust’s ‘owner’ (insomuch as it can be owned) is Eleonora Sports which purchased the 75% of Leeds United from previous sole owners GFH Capital. Now one of the conditions of Cellino being found a not ‘fit and proper person’ with regard to the Football League’s ‘owners and directors test’ was that he quite possibly had to relinquish ownership of the club for the duration of his ban and also show that he wasn’t acting in a prominent position of influence regarding club running. However, Massimo’s lawyers have said that, as he doesn’t own the shares physically, then there are no shares to be sold in order that the Football League ban is upheld correctly. Naturally, the Rt. Hon. Gentleman Damian Collins, who has proposed a Parliamentary Bill on football governance, is a smidgeon miffed to say the least. Calling it ‘unacceptable’ that Cellino can be banned yet still remain in control due to a trust where he is the beneficiary, he goes on to say, “If the league is happy with this it calls into question whether they are fit to run their competition, and whether we can have confidence in Shaun Harvey as the chief executive, who said when he was at Leeds that he did not know who the owners were.” Regarding that point about “have confidence in Shaun Harvey”, I guarantee that many Leeds fans would agree with the Rt. Hon. Member. Then, like the 7th Cavalry against a backdrop of Montana hills, in come the Football League to the rescue with…wait for it, support for Leeds United. Responding to the criticism aimed at them, they [the Football League] responded with this shot across Damian Collins’ bows, “It is for Leeds United to satisfy the Football League that Massimo Cellino is not acting as a relevant person [an owner or director] as defined by its regulations, rather than for the league to dictate how this is achieved” Seems like Massimo has positioned the fan, turned it up to 11 and is leaving the Football League and MP Collins to throw the sh*t at it whilst he sits behind it with a grin on his face and smoking a big Cohiba. Maybe Cellino did learn something from Uncle Albert Bates before he sent the old goat packing.