Seventy-five percent of Leeds United sold: Can a man with a messy history clean up the disarray at Elland Road?
Feb 7, 2014, 5:30 PM EST
Let’s imagine for a moment that 75 percent of your favorite club has been sold to one man. What would you hope to learn about the new owner?
That he tried to sack the manager and install his choice before the sale was even final?
That he’s twice been convicted of fraud and is also facing embezzlement charges?
That he’s a guitarist in a rock band? That he hates the color purple (not the movie, the hue)? That he dislikes the number 17 enough that he reportedly replaced all the seats 17 at his old stadium with “16b” tags?
Massimo Cellino is about to purchase 75 percent of one of England’s storied clubs, the Championship’s Leeds United. The club has confirmed the sale, but the Football League has to approve it.
But will they?
On the surface it’s difficult to imagine the Football League stamping its approval on the move, but money certainly talks. Cellino hit the Elland Road scene with style, reportedly telling manager Brian McDermott to take a hike and put his friend Gianluca Festa, the former Inter Milan and Middlesborough defender, in charge of the team.
Yet the Football League could view this as the better of two evils. Leeds has been in turmoil for a while, even facing potential bankruptcy after a “winding up” order from one of their major sponsors.
As for Cellino, some other fun facts:
— Cellino is currently trying to sell Serie A club Cagliari, which he currently owns.
— He made his money in agricultural engineering, earning the nickname “King of Corn.”
— Sky Sports says he’s sacked 35 managers since taking over Cagliari in 1992.
— He lives in Miami, Florida.
PST is unable to ascertain whether Mike Ashley is forward this story to Newcastle United supporters in a bid to tell them it could be worse.
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