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Soccer: Italian Cellino completes Leeds Utd takeover

'Coach-eating' chairman trying to sell Cagliari

07 February, 19:02
Soccer: Italian Cellino completes Leeds Utd takeover (ANSA) - Cagliari, February 7 - Cagliari Chairman Massimo Cellino has signed a contract to buy a controlling stake in Leeds United, the Championship (second-tier) English side said on Friday.

Cellino's family holding company is buying a 75% stake from the Middle East-based group that is currently in charge.

Leeds have won three English league championships and two Inter-Cities Fairs Cup and reached the 1975 European Cup final, losing 2-0 to Bayern Munich.

But their recent history has been troubled and they dropped to the third-tier of English football in 2007 after going into administration.

They returned to the Championship in 2010.

Cellino, an unorthodox character who is a big guitar enthusiast, failed in a bid to buy top-flight English side West Ham United in 2010.

The 57-year-old has a reputation for being a "coach-eating" chairman in Italy for the high turnover of bosses at Serie A side Cagliari.

His arrival puts the position of coach Brian McDermott in doubt.

McDermott was reportedly briefly sacked by Cellino last week, before being re-instated by the existing board.

Some Leeds fans have expressed concern over the takeover due to Cellino's criminal record for a fraud conviction.

Cellino is now trying to sell Cagliari after 22 years in charge.