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Championship: Leeds owner Massimo Cellino steps down as club president and director


Leeds United owner has stepped down as club president and director after losing his appeal against being disqualified from running the club.

Cellino was handed the ban by the Football League after they were given documents that showed he had been found guilty of tax evasion in his native Italy.

Cellino appealed the decision but on Monday found out that it would not be overturned, meaning that he cannot be involved directly with the club until April.

Cellino released a statement explaining his decision, which said: "It is with great sadness and frustration that I have to take this step."

"However, I abide by the Football League's decision to temporarily disqualify me from this great football club and will return in April in good health and good spirits."

"I have done my best for a club and fans that I hold close to my heart and it is now financially much stronger than it has been for a long time."

"It will continue to thrive and I am sincerely looking forward to returning very soon."

Cellino also confirmed who would take temporary charge in his absence, saying: "Following my resignation and in my temporary absence, the board has appointed Andrew Umbers to become chairman of Leeds United."

"Andrew has personally worked tirelessly with me in restructuring the football club from May 2014 and shares the same goals, strategy and insights that I do in bringing Leeds United back from its financial abyss to make it the strong entity that its fans, players and city need it to be."

"Andrew is also a Yorkshireman and lifelong Leeds United fan."

Leeds are currently 20th in the Championship and are on their third manager of the season, with Neil Redfearn stepping up permanently after the short tenures of David Hockaday and Darko Milanic.

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