Leeds Fans United's Buy-Out Blocked By Owner

Last updated : 04 November 2015 By .

A statement from Leeds Fans United (LFU) said it was told by Cellino’s lawyers this morning that he “no longer wishes to sell to Leeds fans”, less than a week after he invited the group to acquire his shares in the club.

Cellino made the offer to LFU officials during a meeting at Elland Road last Friday and the supporters group - set up earlier this year with the original intention of buying a minority share in Leeds - has been working on a deal for the past four days.

LFU wanted Cellino to guarantee it a period of exclusivity, effectively protecting it from rival bids while it started due diligence, but the 59-year-old has refused that request.

LFU attacked Cellino’s “insincerity”, saying: “Leeds Fans Utd has just been informed by the lawyers of Massimo Cellino that he no longer wishes to sell to Leeds fans.

“Our insistence on him confirming his verbal offer of exclusivity in a legally-binding agreement has forced transparency on his motives. It is much better that we identify this insincerity now before we spend our shareholders’ money.

“This exercise has proved our capacity to adapt to any acquisition scenario very quickly. We now know we have the capacity to do both a minority and majority deal and it has shown that Leeds fans have a desire for fan ownership.

“We hope that Massimo will treat the club and fans with respect and honour.”

The Leeds United Supporters Trust - one of the organisations backing LFU’s plans - said it was “shocked but not surprised” by today’s developments.

Michael Green, the chair of LUST, said: “The Trust is shocked but not wholly surprised by this development.

“Our first sympathies are with Leeds Fans United. Their efforts to put together a package to buy out Massimo Cellino after he made on offer to sell “to Leeds fans”, should be acknowledged as heroic.

“Now that Cellino has shown himself to be insincere, entirely consistent with his history since arriving at Elland Road, it is in the club’s and the support’s interest he departs, ban or no ban, at the earliest juncture and leaves Leeds United to be run by someone with integrity.

“We call on all fans attending the Huddersfield game on Saturday, ironically live on Sky, to show our disgust at this behaviour.”